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Ukraine Approves Special Status for East as Truce Strains

Ukraine’s parliament approved a law giving special status to the country’s two easternmost regions while a cease-fire, now in its 11th day, came under threat as some separatists called for a resumption of fighting. The parliament in Kiev approved the special status bill and an amnesty law envisaged in the cease-fire agreement, Deputy Speaker Ruslan Koshulynskiy said by phone today. ... Read More »

Ukrainian president offers rebels major concessions to end uprising

President Petro Poroshenko on Monday proposed a series of major concessions to end the uprising by pro-Russian rebels in restive eastern Ukraine, offering the separatists a broad amnesty and special self-governance status for territories they occupy. The proposal also includes protections for the Russian language and would allow the separatist-controlled regions to elect their own judges, create their own police ... Read More »

Scottish ‘Yes’ Vote Could Have Major Impact On U.K. Defense

A version of this article appears in the September 15 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology. However they vote on Sept. 18, the four million residents eligible to cast ballots in the Scottish independence referendum are set to change the face of the British Isles and how they will be defended. Few if any plans to deal with the ... Read More »

London Repeats Offer of New Powers if Scotland Votes No

With two days of fevered campaigning left before Scotland votes in a referendum on independence, the leaders of the three main British political parties renewed a pledge on Tuesday to grant Scots “extensive new powers” if they reject secession. The pledge, in a letter published in The Daily Record newspaper in Scotland, came a day after Prime Minister David Cameron ... Read More »

French Arms Exports Rise 42 Percent

France signed arms export contracts worth €6.87 billion (US $8.8 billion) in 2013, up more than 42 percent from the €4.8 billion in the previous year, despite tougher US competition and Russia, according to a report to Parliament released on Sept. 9. The rise in orders was due to eight contracts worth more than €200 million, compared to three such ... Read More »

Strong 5.6 earthquake reported in Tokyo

An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale shook buildings in Tokyo late Monday night. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered at about two kilometers west/northwest of Iwai, Japan, and hit at about 11:28 p.m. ET. The agency reported the temblor registered a 5.6. Reuters sent out a headline at about 11:30 p.m. ET saying the ... Read More »

Imagery shows Liaoning, J-15 mockup at Dalian shipyard

Satellite imagery provided by Airbus Defence and Space has confirmed media reports that Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning recently undertook a four-month maintenance period in the Dalian shipyard, which refurbished the ship after its acquisition from Ukraine. The Kuznetsov (Orel) (Project 1143.5/6)-class carrier, which completed its first sea trials in the South China Sea in January, was shown alongside at Dalian ... Read More »

Myanmar interested in Indonesian defence equipment, industrial collaboration

Indonesia is looking to expand defence industrial ties with Myanmar as part of an effort to boost military exports to its Southeast Asian neighbour. A delegation from Indonesia’s Defence Industrial Policy Committee (KKIP) visited Myanmar from 11-13 September to promote closer industrial ties as well as a selection of Indonesian defence products, said a statement by the Ministry of Defence ... Read More »

‘It’s despair on all fronts,’ says Ebola aid worker

For Lance Plyler and the other health workers treating Ebola patients at the small missionary hospital in Liberia, exhaustion came in many forms. The physical demands of working under layer upon layer of protective gear, sweating profusely in the sweltering African heat. The mental challenge of staying alert to the risk of infection while caring for patients suffering bouts of ... Read More »

UN takes over C. African Republic peacekeeping

The United Nations took over a regional African peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic on Monday, nine months after sectarian violence erupted that has left at least 5,000 people dead and has forced tens of thousands of Muslims to flee into exile in neighboring countries. About 1,800 additional peacekeepers and police joined the mission as the United Nations took over, ... Read More »

Former Libyan general claims new air strike in western Libya

Forces loyal to former Libyan army general Khalifa Haftar claimed an air strike on an armed group near Tripoli on Monday, a senior commander said, in what would be the first air strikes in western Libya for three weeks. A resident of Gharyan town, south of Tripoli, heard jets attacking targets. Arab TV channel al-Arabiya also reported a strike on ... Read More »

Rocket Engine Presents Unexpected Budget Challenge

Renewed tensions with Russia has made it clear the US Air Force will have to develop a homegrown rocket engine to launch military equipment. The question is: What does that mean for the rest of the service’s budget? Following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the Obama administration issued sanctions against top Russian officials. In retaliation, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin ... Read More »

Can Obama wage war without consent of Congress?

On the cusp of intensified airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama is using the legal grounding of the congressional authorizations President George W. Bush relied on more than a decade ago to go to war. But Obama has made no effort to ask Congress to explicitly authorize his own conflict. The White House said again Friday that Bush-era ... Read More »