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In Latvia, fresh fears of aggression as Kremlin warns about Russian minorities

As top Kremlin officials have sounded ominous new warnings that they will defend ethnic Russians wherever they live, Latvia, the NATO nation with the highest proportion of Russians, is feeling in the crosshairs. Six months into a bloody conflict in Ukraine, where pro-Russian insurgents have seized key stretches of territory, other nations that were ruled by the Kremlin until the ... Read More »

Ukraine Pushes for NATO Membership as Gas Talks Commence

Ukraine kick-started the process to strengthen ties with NATO and join the alliance in the “short term” after President Petro Poroshenko declared the worst of its separatist war was over. The country of more than 40 million people is holding talks today in Berlin to resolve a dispute over natural gas supply before the onset of winter. Russia stopped selling ... Read More »

Russian Duma Ratifies Treaty On Eurasian Economic Union

Russia’s State Duma has ratified the treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union (EES). Russian lawmakers unanimously supported the treaty, calling it “historic,” at their session on September 26. The EES was established on the basis of a customs union by the presidents of its member states — Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan — in Astana on May 29. It is scheduled ... Read More »

North Korea Inching Toward Mobile Long-Range Missile

North Korea’s military is taking steps to field a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile that could threaten the U.S., the head of American forces in the Pacific said today. While North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hasn’t yet deployed such a missile, “he’s showing us the signs that he’s trying to get there,” said Admiral Samuel Locklear, who offered new insight ... Read More »

Kim Jong-un hasn’t been seen for weeks and no one is quite sure why

In North Korea, political life revolves around Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Yet Kim appeared to have skipped a high-level governmental meeting Thursday – and no one seems to know quite why. Televised footage of the reopening of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly did not show Kim at the meeting, the Associated Press reports. South Korean officials tasked with keeping tabs ... Read More »

North Korean threat underscores need for land mine exemption

The Obama administration’s decision to remove all of its land mine stockpiles, except those in South Korea, underscores the constant security threat posed by North Korea and serves as a reminder that little has changed in the decades-old military standoff here. “No other country besides South Korea faces such a huge military confrontation like the one on the Korean peninsula. ... Read More »

Some 1,000 Asians Flock To ISIL: Adm. Locklear

PENTAGON: Even as the latest Mideast war sucks in more US attention and resources — as well as wannabe jihadis from around the world — the outgoing chief of Pacific Command emphasized the much-derided “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific” is still going strong. Despite sequestration budget cuts the US is still strong enough to handle both theaters at once — and ... Read More »

India opts to decommission recovered ‘Kilo’ sub

An Indian Navy (IN) board of inquiry (BoI) is believed to have recommended decommissioning INS Sindhurakshak , the Russian ‘Kilo’-class submarine that sank in Mumbai in August 2013 following an on-board explosion. Official sources said the recently concluded BoI decided the submarine was “unfit to sail again” given extensive damage to its hull following the explosion in Mumbai’s Naval Dockyard. ... Read More »

Australian terror suspect may not have acted alone

A terror suspect shot dead after he stabbed two Australian counterterrorism police officers may not have been acting alone as originally thought, a lead investigator said Thursday. Numan Haider, 18, was killed Tuesday after he stabbed two officers during a meeting outside a Melbourne police station. Police initially said Haider appeared to be working on his own, but Victoria Police ... Read More »

Ebola Epidemic Worsening, Sierra Leone Expands Quarantine Restrictions

Acknowledging that the Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone was worsening, officials here put hundreds of thousands more citizens under quarantine on Thursday, sealing off more than a quarter of the country and warning travelers not to get out of their vehicles in the districts under isolation. Nearly all of the country’s 14 districts are now under either total or partial ... Read More »

Fighting Ebola with Data, Satellites and Drones

Current Centers of Disease Control estimates suggest that the disease could infect more than 1.4 million people by January. To limit Ebola’s spread, researchers need better on-the-ground intelligence about where it’s moving. But the virus’s deadly mortality rate, 70 percent for this strain, makes up-close observation as difficult as gathering data on a deadly human adversary. It’s no small challenge ... Read More »

South Sudan: China to Send Troops for U.N. Mission

China said Thursday that it would send 700 troops to join a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, where fighting between government forces and rebels has threatened Beijing’s oil investments. The troops will assist the United Nations with protecting citizens and aid workers, China’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. United Nations officials have previously said it would be ... Read More »

Pirate: $1.6 million ransom paid for journalist

Negotiators paid a $1.6 million ransom for the release of a German-American journalist who was kidnapped in Somalia and held for two years and eight months, a commander of pirates who held him said Wednesday. A German spokeswoman would not confirm that money was paid for the freedom of Michael Scott Moore and U.S. policy prohibits paying ransoms. Moore is ... Read More »

Tunisians Following a Path of Less Rancor

Moncef Marzouki, the physician and human rights activist who became president of Tunisia after the Arab Spring swept out the country’s longtime dictator, is a hot ticket at this year’s United Nations General Assembly. And why not? Mr. Marzouki, 69, leads one of the only countries in the Arab world that is not riven by sectarian strife, tribal feuds, jihadist ... Read More »