The FBI News Review: Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Political Roundup: Pundits predict the year ahead in NZ politics – New Zealand Herald

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January 10, 2019
Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Political Roundup: Pundits predict the year ahead in NZ politics – New Zealand Herald
Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows… Yup, it’s day 20 of Trump’s govt shutdown – The Register
Man With CT Ties Sought in Theft from Kentucky Armored Car: FBI – NBC Connecticut
The Latest: FBI agents say shutdown affecting operations – Stillwater News Press

Crime and Criminology from Michael_Novakhov (8 sites): “political crimes” – Google News: Political Roundup: Pundits predict the year ahead in NZ politics – New Zealand Herald

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (25 sites)
COMMENT: By Bryce Edwards Will New Zealand politics in 2019 be characterised by policy substance or issues of leadership, personalities and political manoeuvrings? The various political journalists and pundits have made their forecasts (and indulged in some wishful thinking) for the year ahead.
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Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows… Yup, it’s day 20 of Trump’s govt shutdown – The Register

The Register
The IT impact of the ongoing partial US federal government shutdown has begun to show up in the form of degraded computer security. According to internet services biz Netcraft, more than 80 TLS certificates used on .gov websites have expired and have not been renewed.
Read More

Man With CT Ties Sought in Theft from Kentucky Armored Car: FBI – NBC Connecticut

NBC Connecticut
A man wanted by the FBI in connection with the alleged theft of cash from an armored car in Louisville, Kentucky has ties to New Britain, Connecticut, according to the FBI, and they said he should be considered armed and dangerous.
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The Latest: FBI agents say shutdown affecting operations – Stillwater News Press

Stillwater News Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s fight for funding for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall and the partial government shutdown (all times local):
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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): Voice of America: Renewed Focus on Press Freedom 100 Days After Khashoggi’s Death

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The death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed just moments after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, sparked widespread condemnation of Saudi Arabia and renewed fears for the safety of journalists worldwide. VOA’s congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson reports on how U.S. lawmakers are keeping the focus on press freedom 100 days after Khashoggi’s death.

Voice of America

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Presidents Ramaphosa, Lungu Call On DRC To Release Election Results

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, have called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo electoral commission to release election results in order to maintain the credibility of elections.

“The two Presidents underscored that the delay in releasing the
results of the elections can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and
stability of the country,” said the Presidency in statement.

On Wednesday, President Ramaphosa received President Lungu, who is
also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson for
the Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation, on a working
visit to South Africa.

During their meeting, the two Presidents were briefed by the Foreign
Minister of the Republic of Zambia, Joseph Malanj who led the SADC
Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) during elections in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Ramaphosa and Lungu reiterated comments made by SEOM that
considering the number of voters, the vast area to be covered and the
new technology implemented by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (CENI), the elections were generally peaceful and the right
to vote was protected.

The two Presidents called on all the political parties and the people
of Congo to remain calm and exercise total restraint while waiting for
CENI to release the final results.

The two Presidents commended the United Nations Organisation
Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)
and the DRC security forces for supporting CENI in ensuring that the
people vote in a peaceful and secure environment.

The two Presidents agreed to monitor the situation in DRC and committed SADC’s support and solidarity.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

The Global Security News


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Presidents Ramaphosa, Lungu Call On DRC To Release Election Results

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, have called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo electoral commission to release election results in order to maintain the credibility of elections.

“The two Presidents underscored that the delay in releasing the
results of the elections can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and
stability of the country,” said the Presidency in statement.

On Wednesday, President Ramaphosa received President Lungu, who is
also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson for
the Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation, on a working
visit to South Africa.

During their meeting, the two Presidents were briefed by the Foreign
Minister of the Republic of Zambia, Joseph Malanj who led the SADC
Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) during elections in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Ramaphosa and Lungu reiterated comments made by SEOM that
considering the number of voters, the vast area to be covered and the
new technology implemented by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (CENI), the elections were generally peaceful and the right
to vote was protected.

The two Presidents called on all the political parties and the people
of Congo to remain calm and exercise total restraint while waiting for
CENI to release the final results.

The two Presidents commended the United Nations Organisation
Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)
and the DRC security forces for supporting CENI in ensuring that the
people vote in a peaceful and secure environment.

The two Presidents agreed to monitor the situation in DRC and committed SADC’s support and solidarity.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Presidents Ramaphosa, Lungu Call On DRC To Release Election Results

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, have called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo electoral commission to release election results in order to maintain the credibility of elections.

“The two Presidents underscored that the delay in releasing the
results of the elections can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and
stability of the country,” said the Presidency in statement.

On Wednesday, President Ramaphosa received President Lungu, who is
also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson for
the Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation, on a working
visit to South Africa.

During their meeting, the two Presidents were briefed by the Foreign
Minister of the Republic of Zambia, Joseph Malanj who led the SADC
Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) during elections in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Ramaphosa and Lungu reiterated comments made by SEOM that
considering the number of voters, the vast area to be covered and the
new technology implemented by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (CENI), the elections were generally peaceful and the right
to vote was protected.

The two Presidents called on all the political parties and the people
of Congo to remain calm and exercise total restraint while waiting for
CENI to release the final results.

The two Presidents commended the United Nations Organisation
Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)
and the DRC security forces for supporting CENI in ensuring that the
people vote in a peaceful and secure environment.

The two Presidents agreed to monitor the situation in DRC and committed SADC’s support and solidarity.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)

The Global Security News

Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Presidents Ramaphosa, Lungu Call On DRC To Release Election Results

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, have called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo electoral commission to release election results in order to maintain the credibility of elections.

“The two Presidents underscored that the delay in releasing the
results of the elections can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and
stability of the country,” said the Presidency in statement.

On Wednesday, President Ramaphosa received President Lungu, who is
also the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson for
the Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation, on a working
visit to South Africa.

During their meeting, the two Presidents were briefed by the Foreign
Minister of the Republic of Zambia, Joseph Malanj who led the SADC
Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) during elections in the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC).

President Ramaphosa and Lungu reiterated comments made by SEOM that
considering the number of voters, the vast area to be covered and the
new technology implemented by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (CENI), the elections were generally peaceful and the right
to vote was protected.

The two Presidents called on all the political parties and the people
of Congo to remain calm and exercise total restraint while waiting for
CENI to release the final results.

The two Presidents commended the United Nations Organisation
Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)
and the DRC security forces for supporting CENI in ensuring that the
people vote in a peaceful and secure environment.

The two Presidents agreed to monitor the situation in DRC and committed SADC’s support and solidarity.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Spain’s 20 Years In The Euro: A Beneficial Straitjacket – Analysis

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By William Chislett*

Twenty years ago this month Spain
was one of the 11 EU countries that started to use the euro when the
common currency was first introduced. Joining the euro and being in the
vanguard of a European movement, 13 years after Spain entered the
European Economic Community (EEC) and ended a long period of isolation
from mainstream Europe, was very much a matter of national pride.

Yet has it been worth it? Euro zone membership deprived
Spain of its former capacity to set interest rates and devalue its
currency. Interest rates are set by the European Central Bank, not by
member state central banks, and euro zone countries cannot devalue. The loss of independence in
these areas meant that when the Spanish economy entered a long period
of recession as of 2008, as part of the meltdown of the North Atlantic
financial system and the subsequent Eurozone debt crisis, it could not
use some of the most important macroeconomic tools –monetary policy and
exchange rates– to restore competitiveness and perhaps emerge from
austerity more quickly and less painfully but not necessarily on a
sustained basis. The country had to rely on ‘internal devaluation’,
cutting production costs, mainly wages, in order to lower unit labour
costs and make the economy more international and competitive.

Preparing the country for the euro, which involved a tough
wrench, mainly fell to the conservative Popular Party under José María
Aznar. When he took office in 1996, Spain met none of the criteria for
joining the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as of 1999. Inflation,
interest rates, the budget deficit and public debt all breached the
convergence requirements enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 for
setting up the euro zone. Many policymakers and pundits thought Spain
would never be fit for the purpose.

The Spanish political establishment was determined to prove
them wrong. Civil servants agreed to a wage freeze, public spending was
reduced, privatisations began on a larger scale than under the
Socialists, and various structural measures were taken. By the spring of
1998, Spain had met the conditions: its budget deficit was less than
the maximum allowance of 3% of GDP (6.5% in 1995), public debt as a
proportion of GDP was on a downward path and inflation was down to 2%
from 4.5% in 1995. With it, interest rates fell. The path was also eased
by Spain being the largest net recipient of EEC funds.

The macroeconomic stability required for sustained economic
growth as a result of meeting the euro criteria ushered in a virtuous
circle of high growth, low inflation and job creation. The country’s per
capita income increased from 80% of the average of the 15 EU countries
in 1996 to 87% in 2004, and thanks to the creation of 1.8 million new
jobs the unemployment rate dropped from 23% to 11.5% during this period.
The economy was going so well that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the
Socialist Prime Minister between 2004 and 2011, adopted a football
metaphor and proclaimed in September 2007 that Spain ‘has joined the
Champions League’.

The truth is that Spain’s decade-long boom was a false bonanza, as it was mainly propelled by the debt-fuelled property sector (construction’s
share of GDP grew from 7.5% of GDP in 2000 to 10.8% in 2006), creating a
massive bubble that burst as of 2008. But was that the euro’s fault?
While building and consumption in general was spurred by the sharp drop
in interest rates after Spain joined the euro –average short- and
long-term rates fell from 13.3% and 11.7%, respectively, in 1992, to
3.0% and 2.2% in 1999 and to 2.2% and 3.4% in 2005, encouraging
borrowers to go on a spending binge–, the euro itself cannot be blamed
for banks’ reckless and irresponsible lending practices, particularly
those of the politically-influenced cajas de ahorros (savings
banks). The Bank of Spain did not do enough to discourage the orgy of
borrowing, but it deserves credit for introducing macroprudential
provisions. When several banks, including Bankia, the fourth-largest
lender, were on the verge of collapse in 2012, euro membership enabled
Spain to avail itself of the zone’s bailout fund, the European Stability
Mechanism (ESM), without which the whole financial system might have
gone awry.

Nor was the building of ‘ghost’ airports and other white-elephant projects scattered
around the country the euro’s fault. Spain wasted more than €81 billion
on ‘unnecessary, abandoned, under used or poorly planned
infrastructure’ between 1995 and 2016, according to a damning report
published by the Association of Spanish Geographers last year. Likewise,
the euro is not to blame for Spain’s consistently high unemployment (it
reached 24% in 1994, five years before the introduction of the euro,
and it has never got below 8% since the euro was adopted). Today, the
jobless rate stands at 15%, down from a peak of 27% in 2013.

The sharp drop in interest rates and in
Spain’s risk premium (the yield spread with the German bond fell from
500bps in 1993 to below 50bps) enabled companies to borrow funds much
more cheaply in order to expand abroad. The creation of a bevy of
multinationals has been one of the most significant economic
developments in Spain over the last 20 years (the stock of outward
direct investment rose from US$129 billion in 2000 to US$597 billion in
2017). A stable currency (the peseta was devalued many
times) has also been good for attracting inward foreign direct
investment (it increased from US$156 billion in 2000 to US$644 billion
in 2017) and keep relatively high living standards.

The strong euro did not hinder making Spain’s exports of
goods and services more competitive (they rose from 26.4% of GDP in 1999
to around 34% in 2018).

Spain suffered far more than Italy during the euro crisis,
but it has also reformed more and, as a result, enjoyed a much stronger
recovery. The euro ‘straitjacket’ made Spain reform, to its benefit,
while Italy resisted. Unlike Italy, Spain’s economic output has been
above its pre-crisis peak since the middle of 2017. Italy’s GDP is still
some 5% below its prior peak. There was no shortage of misguided
predictions after the Spanish economy crashed that Spain might exit the
euro. Whereas the populists in Italy’s government have toyed with
leaving the common currency, all of Spain’s main parties support staying
in.

Close to two-thirds (62%) of Spaniards believe the euro has been good for Spain,
slightly down on a year ago, according to the latest Eurobarometer (see
Figure 1). More than 20% of the population was not born when the euro
came into force and has not known another currency.

Figure 1. Having the euro is a good or a bad thing for your country? (%) (1)

A good thing A bad thing Can’t decide Don’t know
Euro area 64 (=) 33 (=) 7 (=) 4
Finland 75 (73) 15 (14) 7 (9) 3
France 59 (64) 29 (25) 6 (5) 6
Germany 70 (76) 21 (16) 7 (5) 2
Netherlands 69 (68) 21 (23) 6 (=) 4
Portugal 64 (60) 24 (26) 7 (10) 5
Italy 57 (45) 30 (40) 11 (12) 2
Spain 62 (65) 27 (23) 6 (=) 5

(1) 2017 figures in brackets. Source: Eurobarometer, December 2018.

Three-quarters of people in the 19 euro zone countries are
in favour of the euro, the highest since 2004. But that does not mean
that all is well with the single currency, as even its most fervent
advocates acknowledge. Its design flaws include the lack of a banking union (recognised
but not fully implemented) and a system for making fiscal policy
counter-cyclical. When economies are expanding, they need fiscal
discipline and when in recession some freedom to borrow. Another
omission is the absence of any means to ensure euro countries adopt
structural reforms, which only tends to happen in times of crisis and as
a last resort. Governance that is better designed for crisis management
is also required.

We will never know with certainty whether Spain would have
been better off not joining the euro. What we know is that in real GDP
growth terms Spain has performed better than Germany, France and Italy
since 1999. Were Spain to leave the single currency today and return to
the peseta, the move would have huge repercussions, including
skyrocketing interest rates and a currency devaluation.

*About the author: William Chislett, Associate Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute | @WilliamChislet3

Source: This article was published by Elcano Royal Institute

Eurasia Review

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Albania: Leaders Lock Horns Over New Foreign Minister

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By Gjergj Erebara

Albania’s Prime Minister, Edi Rama, has condemned President Ilir Meta’s refusal to decree his choice for a new foreign minister, which is expected to create a constitutional crisis. 

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Twitter on Thursday condemned
President Ilir Meta’s refusal to endorse his nominee Gent Cakaj as new
foreign minister, calling it “not just unconstitutional but also
shameful”.

He also issued an apology to Kosovo “about this shame”, as Cakaj has citizenship of both Kosovo and Albania.

Earlier,
President Meta refused to approve the new minister, claiming he was not
up to the challenge of running diplomacy, in a move that could create a
constitutional crisis in the country.

Cakaj, aged 28, was chosen by Prime Minister Rama for this key position after he decided to change about half of his cabinet last December in response to a wave of mass protests.

Meta has accepted all of Rama’s six other nominations for ministerial posts.

In
a letter sent to the Prime Minister earlier on Thursday, Meta said
Cakaj had neglected his obligation to obtain security clearance for
about seven months since he became a deputy minister.

He also raised doubts about the speed of the procedure followed by
Albania’s Security Check Commission to award him top-level clearance
within one day on January 4.

“Cakaj does not fulfill the
criteria, does not have credibility and does not offer the necessary
guarantees to exert his duties objectively and with the required
stature,” Meta wrote.

Following Meta’s decision, Rama mocked
commentators in Albania and Kosovo that had supported Meta’s decision,
saying they were “defecating rivers of love for the nation”. A
much-repeated slogan of Meta’s claims he works with “serenity and love”
for the nation.

Under the constitution, the President cannot
refuse to decree the appointment of ministers. However, Albania
currently lacks a functioning constitutional court to settle the matter.

Rama
chose Cakaj to replace now ex-minister Ditmir Bushati, who was one of
the seven ministers that he axed after a year of popular student-led
protests against government policies.

Meta was elected President
of Albania last year with Socialist Party leader Rama’s support.
However, his own Socialist Movement for Integration, currently led by
his wife, Monika Kryemadhi, has moved into the opposition since those
elections.

Last October, Meta refused to decree another new Interior Minister, Sander Lleshaj, but later relented.

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Solving Ancient Mysteries Of Easter Island

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The ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) built their
famous ahu monuments near coastal freshwater sources, according to a
team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State
University of New York.

The island of Rapa Nui is well-known for its elaborate ritual architecture, particularly its numerous statues (moai) and the monumental platforms that supported them (ahu.) Researchers have long wondered why ancient people built these monuments in their respective locations around the island, considering how much time and energy was required to construct them. A team of researchers including Binghamton University anthropologist Carl Lipo used quantitative spatial modeling to explore the potential relations between ahu construction locations and subsistence resources, namely, rock mulch agricultural gardens, marine resources, and freshwater sources–the three most critical resources on Rapa Nui. Their results suggest that ahu locations are explained by their proximity to the island’s limited freshwater sources.

“The issue of water availability (or the lack of it) has often been
mentioned by researchers who work on Rapa Nui/Easter Island,” said Lipo.
“When we started to examine the details of the hydrology, we began to
notice that freshwater access and statue location were tightly linked
together. It wasn’t obvious when walking around–with the water emerging
at the coast during low tide, one doesn’t necessarily see obvious
indications of water. But as we started to look at areas around ahu, we
found that those locations were exactly tied to spots where the fresh
groundwater emerges — largely as a diffuse layer that flows out at the
water’s edge. The more we looked, the more consistently we saw this
pattern. Places without ahu/moai showed no freshwater. The pattern was
striking and surprising in how consistent it was. Even when we find
ahu/moai in the interior of the island, we find nearby sources of
drinking water. This paper reflects our work to demonstrate that this
pattern is statistically sound and not just our perception.”

“Many researchers, ourselves included, have long speculated
associations between ahu/moai and different kinds of resources, e.g.,
water, agricultural land, areas with good marine resources, etc.,” said
lead author Robert DiNapoli of the University of Oregon. “However, these
associations had never been quantitatively tested or shown to be
statistically significant. Our study presents quantitative spatial
modeling clearly showing that ahu are associated with freshwater sources
in a way that they aren’t associated with other resources.”

According to Terry Hunt of the University of Arizona, the proximity
of the monuments to freshwater tells us a great deal about the ancient
island society.

“The monuments and statues are located in places with access to a
resource critical to islanders on a daily basis–fresh water. In this
way, the monuments and statues of the islanders’ deified ancestors
reflect generations of sharing, perhaps on a daily basis–centered on
water, but also food, family and social ties, as well as cultural lore
that reinforced knowledge of the island’s precarious sustainability.
And the sharing points to a critical part of explaining the island’s
paradox: despite limited resources, the islanders succeeded by sharing
in activities, knowledge, and resources for over 500 years until
European contact disrupted life with foreign diseases, slave trading,
and other misfortunes of colonial interests.”

The researchers currently only have comprehensive freshwater data
for the western portion of the island and plan to do a complete survey
of the island in order to continue to test their hypothesis of the
relation between ahu and freshwater.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Social And Environmental Costs Of Hydropower Are Underestimated

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While most developed countries have reduced the construction of large
dams for the production of electricity in recent decades, developing
countries, including Brazil, have embarked on even more massive
hydropower developments.

These countries have not accounted for the environmental impacts of
large dams, which include deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, or
the social consequences, such as the displacement of thousands of
people and the economic damages they suffer.

These effects should be computed in the total cost of such projects.
Worse still, these projects ignore the context of climate change, which
will lead to lower amounts of water available for storage and
electricity generation.

The warning comes from an article by researchers at Michigan State University in the United States published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

The lead author is Emilio Moran, a visiting professor at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil, and the principal investigator of a research project supported by São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP under the São Paulo Excellence Chair program – SPEC, which is designed to study the social and environmental impact of Belo Monte hydropower development near Altamira, Pará state.

“We argue that if the construction of large dams in developing
countries is to continue, it must always be preceded by a painstaking
assessment of their real cost, including the environmental and social
impact they have,” Moran told.

“When a large dam is built, the result is a downstream loss of a
great many fish species that are important to riverine populations.
These communities will have to continue somehow making a living despite
dwindling fish stocks for 15 or 20 years, for example, and the costs of
these projects don’t take such economic and social losses into account.”

According to the authors of the study funded by FAPESP, hydropower
is the leading source of renewable energy worldwide, accounting for as
much as 71% of the total in 2016.

Developed countries in North America and Europe built thousands of
dams between 1920 and 1970 but then ceased to do so because the best
sites had already been developed and environmental and social concerns
made the costs unacceptable.

Many large hydropower developments in these countries are now at the
end of their working lives, and more dams are being removed than built
in North America and Europe. In the US alone, 546 dams were dismantled
between 2006 and 2014, according to the article.

“The cost of removing a dam once its useful life is over is
extremely high and should be taken into account when computing the total
cost of a new hydro development,” Moran said.

“If the cost of removal had to be included, many dams wouldn’t be
built. It would be far more expensive to produce a kilowatt-hour of
electricity via a hydro complex with a useful life of 30-50 years like
those under construction in Brazil.”

Local impact

According to Moran, the first dams were also built in North America
and Europe to supply power to rural areas and provide water for
irrigation systems. “These projects had a social purpose,” he said.

In contrast, the dams now under construction along the rivers of the
Amazon basin in South America, on the Congo River in Africa and on the
Mekong River in Southeast Asia are mostly designed to supply power to
steelmaking companies, for example, without benefiting local
communities.

The most emblematic case is the proposed Grand Inga Dam on the Congo
River at Inga Falls, the world’s largest waterfall by volume. The dam
could increase the total amount of power produced in Africa by over a
third and will export electricity to South Africa for use by the mining
companies there.

“The people affected by these projects reap no benefits, such as
access to electricity or a cheaper power supply. In the case of Belo
Monte, the transmission line passes over the heads of the people
affected and takes the electricity generated straight to the south and
southeast, two of Brazil’s wealthiest regions,” Moran said.

According to the study, in the case of Belo Monte, as well as Santo
Antonio and Jirau, which have recently been built on the Madeira in the
western Amazon, the electricity bills for the nearby communities have
gone up rather than down. Moreover, the jobs promised to locals when
construction began went mostly to outsiders and disappeared within five
years.

“The inhabitants of Altamira supported the construction of Belo
Monte before it began because they thought it would bring the town huge
benefits. No one supports it now because hydro development has destroyed
their peace and quiet. It has brought only problems for most people,”
Moran said.

“Belo Monte has been chaotic and has affected the lives of the
inhabitants so profoundly that plans to build more large dams in the
Amazon basin are being revisited.”

In addition to the problems they cause downstream communities,
serious environmental damage is also being wrought by the new dams under
construction in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

In the Amazon basin, where 147 dams have been planned in a 6 million
square kilometer (km²) area, including 65 in Brazil, hydropower
developments have affected fish populations and dynamics in a region
with some 2,320 species of fish. The number of fish in the Tocantins,
which drains into the Atlantic near the mouth of the Amazon, fell 25%
after dams were installed along the river, for example.

In the area of the Tucuruí dam, also in the Brazilian Amazon, the
fish catch fell 60% almost immediately after the dam was built, and more
than 100,000 people living downstream were affected by the loss of
fisheries, flood recession agriculture, and other natural resources,
according to the article.

“Most fish species in the Amazon basin are endemic [unique to the
region]. The disappearance of these species represents a huge loss to
world biodiversity,” Moran said.

Impact of climate change

Climate change will strongly affect the dams that have been built in the Amazon basin in recent years, according to the article.

The Jirau and Santo Antonio dams on the Madeira, completed in the
last five years, are now expected to produce only a fraction of the 3
gigawatts (GW) they were each designed to generate owing to climate
change and the small storage capacity of their run-of-the-river
reservoirs.

The article also notes that Belo Monte on Xingu, completed in 2016,
will produce less owing to climate variability, a relatively small
reservoir and insufficient water levels, generating only 4.46 GW instead
of its 11.23 GW design capacity even under the best-case scenario.

To make matters worse, most of the climate models predict higher
temperatures and lower rainfall in the Xingu, Tapajós and Madeira
basins.

“Depending on water as the main source of power in a future when
we’ll have less of this natural resource looks like an unreliable
strategy,” Moran said.

“To reduce its vulnerability with regard to energy in the context of
global climate change, Brazil must diversify its energy mix. It’s still
too dependent on hydroelectricity. It needs to invest more in other
renewable sources, such as solar, biomass and wind.”

The authors of the paper stress that, like the effects of climate
change, the effects of changing land use on power generation potential
are frequently ignored by dam builders.

A study by another research group, they note, showed that the power
generated in the Xingu Basin, where Belo Monte is located, could fall
below 50% of the installed capacity owing to deforestation in the
region. This is because deforestation inhibits rainfall and reduces
groundwater in tropical rainforest areas.

Approximately half of the Amazon basin’s rainfall is estimated to be
due to internal moisture recycling. Deforestation will, therefore, lead
to less precipitation in the region aside from the expected decline due
to global climate change, according to the authors.

“Hydro is only one of several solutions to avoid blackouts in
Brazil. The best approach is to diversify energy sources and develop
innovative solutions that reduce the environmental and social impact of
dams,” Moran said.

An alternative to traditional dams recommended by the authors is
submerged or in-stream turbine technology, also known as “zero head”
because no height differential or damming is required.

This solution could supply steady power to riverine communities at a
low cost and is far more environmentally friendly. Moreover, it does
not entail the displacement of local inhabitants or the other social
costs of dams.

“This technology could be used throughout Brazil wherever there are
relatively small watercourses with discharge rates in excess of 1 cubic
meter per second,” Moran said.

“Small turbines can also be installed near dams to supplement power generation and eliminate the need to build more dams.”

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (50 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): FOX News: 3 found shot dead in luxury home in gated Texas community: report

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A San Antonio man found the woman he had been dating and two teenage girls shot dead inside a luxury home inside a gated community where they all lived, reports said.

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): FOX News: Remains of Navy sailor from San Diego, killed at Pearl Harbor, have been identified, Pentagon says

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James T. Cheshire of San Diego was 40 years old and serving in the Navy as a chief pharmacist’s mate aboard the USS Oklahoma when he was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Khashoggi Murder Leads To Fundamental Regional Alignment: Public Enemy Number 1 Is Now Turkey – OpEd

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It may be an exaggeration to say that the murder of one man can change the trajectory of relationships among multiple nations in the Middle East.  But the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, appears to have done precisely that.  David Hearst’s riveting account of secret meetings among Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Israel designed to woo Bashar al Assad back into the Arab fold; and machinations designed to box out Turkey and elevate it to Public Enemy Number 1, was published this week in Middle East Eye.

As he wrote:

The diplomatic initiative was agreed at a secret meeting
held in a Gulf capital last month which was attended by senior
intelligence officials from the four countries including Yossi Cohen,
the director of Mossad,

An added element in the calculations of those participating in this
meeting was the likelihood that the U.S., under Donald Trump, had
exhausted its ability to influence events either in Syria or Turkey in
ways that could benefit them.  The Saudis in particular hoped that the
U.S. would offer fulsome support for their response to the Khashoggi
murder so that the world would put the scandal behind it.  However,
Congressional outrage at both the murder and Trump’s attempt to
whitewash it, have defeated that strategy.  As a result, MBS has turned
to his brothers in arms, the Israelis and his Gulf cousins to ride out
the storm.

But their deliberations reveal they haven’t entirely given up on the
U.S.  In order to encourage its continued engagement on behalf of Saudi
Arabia, the assembled group proposed to ease the planned U.S. troop
withdrawal from Afghanistan by brokering talks with the Taliban aimed at
stabilizing that country in preparation for the troop drawdown. 
Further, on the same day Secretary of State Pompeo visited Riyadh, the
Saudis made a $100-million “payment.”  The report doesn’t indicate the
nature or purpose of the payment.  But given a president who has
dollar-signs for eyeballs, such blandishments would not go unnoticed or
appreciated.

There is a new Syrian wrinkle: instead of fighting Assad and his allies, those convening have decided to take a different tack.  Since Assad has essentially won the war against Sunni Islamists foes long-supported by Saudi Arabia and its allies, the new approach might be characterized as: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. 

Invite Assad to rejoin the Arab League and restore diplomatic relations with member states broken off at the beginning of the civil war.  Offer billions of aid to rebuild Syria. And offer support to Assad in his efforts to regain control of northern regions of his country now controlled by Turkish forces and their allies.

Under the old saying: the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the group
determined to throw its weight behind Syrian and Turkish Kurds fighting
against Turkey, which itself has endured a long struggle to tame a
Kurdish insurgency inside its borders.

The Sunni axis desperately wants to persuade Assad to either renounce
of reduce his reliance on his Iranian allies.  But the language used is
itself patronizing and belittled the Syrian leader as much as it
cajoled him to comply:

“They did not expect Bashar to break relations with Iran,
but they wanted Bashar to use the Iranians rather than be used by
them,” a Gulf official briefed on the discussions said.

“The message was: ‘Return back to how your father treated the
Iranians, at least as an equal at the table, rather than subservient to
Iranian interests.’”

Perhaps the most important aspect of this meeting was the realization
among those attending that Iran, which had been the foremost enemy for
many of them (especially the Saudis and Israel) was fading in that
role.  In light of the Khashoggi killing and Turkey’s rise as a
formidable military power in the region, playing major roles both in
Syria and Iraq, Erdogan had risen to the top of the heap of villains
confronting the Sunni alliance.

This suits the Israelis perfectly since Erdogan has been a thorn in
their side for a decade or more.  Every statement he makes about
Palestine or Gaza incites greater animosity towards him as he compares Israel to the Nazis  in its treatment of the Palestinians.  Israel has also arrested a number of Turkish nationals,
including academics, who are making pilgrimages to the Jerusalem holy
sites.  While some have been deported, a number have been imprisoned for
long periods.

What’s noticeable about this shift is that Israel has long held Iran
as its most dangerous foe in the region.  Bibi Netanyahu, according to
numerous accounts, was once hours away from ordering a massive air strike on Iranian nuclear sites, only to be called off the plan by his military and intelligence chiefs.  Iran is the Israeli’s bete noire.  His punching bad which he can always rely on to rally his voters when politics call for it.

Perhaps with Assad’s victory, Bibi believes Iran can no longer be relied on to stir up mass fear and anxiety.  So a new bogeyman is needed.  Erdogan, whose dictatorial proclivities make him an easy caricature, as the ayatollahs once were, is an easy target.  He bellows, he hectors, he shouts down his enemies.  He’s a megalomaniac with a caliph-complex.  Almost a cartoon figure.  After milking Iran as Israel’s existential enemy for so long that it has exhausted its usefulness, Bibi now seeks a suitable replacement.  Turkey’s authoritarian leader more than fits the bill.

This article was published at Tikun Olam

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Stars and Stripes: Remains of San Diego sailor killed on battleship Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor are identified

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Chief Pharmacist’s Mate James T. Cheshire of San Diego was killed Dec. 7, 1941. His remains have been identified, the Pentagon announced this week.

Stars and Stripes

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Lima Charlie News: Leaving Syria – a misstep continues to haunt America’s allies

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Trump’s proclamation that the U.S. would leave Syria caught America’s allies off balance, but the logic of international power politics seems to have stopped the decision cold, escalating tensions with NATO ally Turkey. On December 19th,…

The post Leaving Syria – a misstep continues to haunt America’s allies appeared first on Lima Charlie News.

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Iran: Rouhani Vows To Launch Satellites, Defying US Warnings

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(RFE/RL) — Iran soon will put two satellites into orbit using domestically made rockets, President Hassan Rohani has said, despite U.S. concerns that the launches could help further develop the country’s ballistic missiles.

“Soon, in the coming weeks, we will send two satellites into space using our domestically-made rockets,” Rohani said on January 10 during a commemoration for the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian state television reported.

He gave no further details about the rockets and satellites.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran not to proceed with “provocative” plans to launch three rockets, called Space Launch Vehicles (SLV), claiming they were “virtually identical” to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and would violate a UN resolution.

“The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk,” Pompeo said in a January 3 statement.

Resolution 2231, which enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, called on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Tehran, which considers its space program a matter of national pride, insists that its space-vehicle launches and missile tests do not violate the resolution and will continue.

Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought the current, clerically dominated regime to power.

This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution.

Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

Eurasia Review

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Iran: Rouhani Vows To Launch Satellites, Defying US Warnings

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(RFE/RL) — Iran soon will put two satellites into orbit using domestically made rockets, President Hassan Rohani has said, despite U.S. concerns that the launches could help further develop the country’s ballistic missiles.

“Soon, in the coming weeks, we will send two satellites into space using our domestically-made rockets,” Rohani said on January 10 during a commemoration for the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian state television reported.

He gave no further details about the rockets and satellites.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran not to proceed with “provocative” plans to launch three rockets, called Space Launch Vehicles (SLV), claiming they were “virtually identical” to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and would violate a UN resolution.

“The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk,” Pompeo said in a January 3 statement.

Resolution 2231, which enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, called on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Tehran, which considers its space program a matter of national pride, insists that its space-vehicle launches and missile tests do not violate the resolution and will continue.

Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought the current, clerically dominated regime to power.

This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution.

Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites)


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The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites): Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Iran: Rouhani Vows To Launch Satellites, Defying US Warnings

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(RFE/RL) — Iran soon will put two satellites into orbit using domestically made rockets, President Hassan Rohani has said, despite U.S. concerns that the launches could help further develop the country’s ballistic missiles.

“Soon, in the coming weeks, we will send two satellites into space using our domestically-made rockets,” Rohani said on January 10 during a commemoration for the late President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iranian state television reported.

He gave no further details about the rockets and satellites.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran not to proceed with “provocative” plans to launch three rockets, called Space Launch Vehicles (SLV), claiming they were “virtually identical” to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and would violate a UN resolution.

“The United States will not stand by and watch the Iranian regime’s destructive policies place international stability and security at risk,” Pompeo said in a January 3 statement.

Resolution 2231, which enshrined Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, called on Tehran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Tehran, which considers its space program a matter of national pride, insists that its space-vehicle launches and missile tests do not violate the resolution and will continue.

Iran typically displays achievements in its space program in February, during the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which brought the current, clerically dominated regime to power.

This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the revolution.

Iran has sent several short-lived satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 launched a monkey into space.

Eurasia Review

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)

The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Half Of All Jobs To Be Obsolete In 15 years, Warns China’s Leading AI Expert

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Almost half of all current jobs will become obsolete in just 15 years, according to one of China’s leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI).

Kai-Fu Lee, a writer, venture capitalist and technology executive who has over 30 years’ experience in AI, claims the world of employment is facing a crisis “akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution,” reports the Daily Mail.

Lee, who’s appearing on CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday to spread the word, says he is trying to warn those most at risk so they can start retraining for the new world. Lee also warns that education will need to adapt to prepare younger generations for the new landscape.

AI may be the future, but it can’t do everything, claims Lee, who
says certain professions are safe from the revolution. Especially those
that involve empathy or human to human interaction like therapists,
nurses, teachers or doctors. Innovative and creative professions are
also safe because AI generally struggles to do the work of scientists or
to deal with the unknown.

The jobs most at risk in the next two
decades are roles than can be easily filled by robot technology, like
telemarketers and telesales, customer support, warehouse workers,
cashiers, fast food workers and dish washers.

“AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue-collar work, but a lot of white-collar work,” says Lee in the upcoming episode. “Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living; their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15-25 year time frame”.

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1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Half Of All Jobs To Be Obsolete In 15 years, Warns China’s Leading AI Expert

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Almost half of all current jobs will become obsolete in just 15 years, according to one of China’s leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI).

Kai-Fu Lee, a writer, venture capitalist and technology executive who has over 30 years’ experience in AI, claims the world of employment is facing a crisis “akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution,” reports the Daily Mail.

Lee, who’s appearing on CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday to spread the word, says he is trying to warn those most at risk so they can start retraining for the new world. Lee also warns that education will need to adapt to prepare younger generations for the new landscape.

AI may be the future, but it can’t do everything, claims Lee, who
says certain professions are safe from the revolution. Especially those
that involve empathy or human to human interaction like therapists,
nurses, teachers or doctors. Innovative and creative professions are
also safe because AI generally struggles to do the work of scientists or
to deal with the unknown.

The jobs most at risk in the next two
decades are roles than can be easily filled by robot technology, like
telemarketers and telesales, customer support, warehouse workers,
cashiers, fast food workers and dish washers.

“AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue-collar work, but a lot of white-collar work,” says Lee in the upcoming episode. “Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living; their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15-25 year time frame”.

Eurasia Review

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The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites): Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Eurasia Review: Half Of All Jobs To Be Obsolete In 15 years, Warns China’s Leading AI Expert

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Almost half of all current jobs will become obsolete in just 15 years, according to one of China’s leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI).

Kai-Fu Lee, a writer, venture capitalist and technology executive who has over 30 years’ experience in AI, claims the world of employment is facing a crisis “akin to that faced by farmers during the industrial revolution,” reports the Daily Mail.

Lee, who’s appearing on CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday to spread the word, says he is trying to warn those most at risk so they can start retraining for the new world. Lee also warns that education will need to adapt to prepare younger generations for the new landscape.

AI may be the future, but it can’t do everything, claims Lee, who
says certain professions are safe from the revolution. Especially those
that involve empathy or human to human interaction like therapists,
nurses, teachers or doctors. Innovative and creative professions are
also safe because AI generally struggles to do the work of scientists or
to deal with the unknown.

The jobs most at risk in the next two
decades are roles than can be easily filled by robot technology, like
telemarketers and telesales, customer support, warehouse workers,
cashiers, fast food workers and dish washers.

“AI will increasingly replace repetitive jobs, not just for blue-collar work, but a lot of white-collar work,” says Lee in the upcoming episode. “Chauffeurs, truck drivers, anyone who does driving for a living; their jobs will be disrupted more in the 15-25 year time frame”.

Eurasia Review

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)

The Global Security Review from Michael_Novakhov (11 sites)


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1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (114 sites): Настоящее Время: Почему красноярский водовоз боится лайкать посты в соцсетях

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Сергей приехал в село из города и заключил контракт с администрацией на развоз воды. Вода в районе плохая, скважины строить дорого, поэтому воду до сих пор развозят в огромных бочках. Люди ждут водовоза, делают запасы воды. Зимой замораживают их в бочках и кадках

Настоящее Время

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (22 sites): FOX News: ‘Green Book’ writer, producer Nick Vallelonga apologizes for 9/11 tweet

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Golden Globe-winning screenwriter and producer of “The Green Book” Nick Vallelonga apologized Thursday for a 2015 tweet in which he claimed Muslim residents of Jersey City, N.J., celebrated the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (87 sites): Defense One – All Content: America’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East is Not What Pompeo Claimed

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, gives a speech at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

Defense One – All Content

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Global Security News from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)


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