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Feb 10, 2012

Vietnam seen courting Western arms deals

SINGAPORE/LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Vietnam is
opening up to Western defence firms as tensions in the South
China Sea trigger subdued yet growing warnings of a regional
arms race, defence executives and security analysts said on
Friday.

The Communist-ruled country is one of several Southeast Asian
nations seeking to expand surveillance and maritime patrol
capabilities, sparking fierce competition for regional deals
estimated to be worth up to several hundred million dollars.

Feb 9, 2012

Analysis: In cyber era, militaries scramble for new skills

LONDON (Reuters) – With growing worries about the threat of “cyber warfare,” militaries around the world are racing to recruit the computer specialists they believe may be central to the conflicts of the 21st century.

But whilst money is plentiful for new forces of “cyber warriors,” attracting often individualistic technical specialists and hackers into military hierarchies is another matter.

Feb 9, 2012

In cyber era, militaries scramble for new skills

LONDON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – With growing worries about the
threat of “cyber warfare”, militaries around the world are
racing to recruit the computer specialists they believe may be
central to the conflicts of the 21st century.

But whilst money is plentiful for new forces of “cyber
warriors”, attracting often individualistic technical
specialists and hackers into military hierarchies is another
matter.

Feb 8, 2012

Higher speeds, hired guns drive Somali piracy cost

LONDON (Reuters) – Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean costs the global economy some $7 billion a year, a study said on Wednesday, with ships forced to travel faster over longer routes and increasingly hire armed security guards.

“The question for the shipping industry is how long this is sustainable,” said Anna Bowden, program manager for the research by the U.S.-based One Earth Future foundation.

Feb 6, 2012

Corrected – Disagreements on cyber risk East-West “Cold War”

LONDON (Reuters) – With worries growing over computer hacking, data theft and the risk of digital attacks destroying essential systems, western states and their allies are co-operating closer than ever on cyber security.

But as they do so, the gulf between them and China and Russia – blamed for many recent hacks and with a very different and much more authoritarian view over the future of the Internet – grows ever wider.

Feb 3, 2012

Disagreements on cyber risk East-West “Cold War”

LONDON (Reuters) – With worries growing over computer hacking, data theft and the risk of digital attacks destroying essential systems, western states and their allies are co-operating closer than ever on cyber security.

But as they do so, the gulf between them and China and Russia — blamed for many recent hacks and with a very different and much more authoritarian view over the future of the Internet — grows ever wider.

Jan 31, 2012

Global “great power politics” returns to Mideast

LONDON (Reuters) – With Russia sending warships to discourage foreign intervention in Syria, and China drawn more deeply into Iran’s confrontation with the West, “great power” politics is swiftly returning to the Middle East.

After Russia pulled back from the region at the end of the Cold War, the United States and its Western allies faced few external rivals in attempts to influence events. But as the US withdraws from Iraq, emerging economic powers reshape the globe and are themselves sucked ever deeper into the Gulf by their energy needs, that era seems over.

Jan 25, 2012

Even without Hormuz blockade, Iran has options

LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Under pressure over its nuclear
ambitions, Iran might never act on its threat to close the
Strait of Hormuz but could retain enough tricks in its playbook
to keep its enemies, shippers and global markets on edge.

As Western states tighten sanctions and its enemies wage an
apparent covert war against its uranium enrichment programme,
Tehran has warned several times it may seal off the waterway,
choking the supply of Gulf crude and gas.

Jan 18, 2012
via FaithWorld

Nigeria’s radical Islamist Boko Haram ups it’s game, but it’s not Al Qaeda

Photo

(Security forces view the scene of a bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

With a YouTube video reminiscent of the broadcasts of Osama bin Laden, Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram seems keen to paint itself as part of a wider global jihad. But in reality, their concerns and focus look to remain almost entirely Nigerian. Whilst recent high-profile attacks including the bombing of a United Nations compound in August resembled Islamist attacks long common elsewhere, analysts say there remain few proven links to similar militants elsewhere.

Jan 17, 2012

Ditch the assumption that developed economies safe

LONDON (Reuters)- The downgrade of much of Europe’s credit ratings demonstrates in perhaps the bluntest terms so far the collapse of any lingering — if lazy — assumptions that developed states are somehow “safer” than emerging counterparts.

In the years to come, investors may make much harder-nosed assessments of how much to lend Western nations and how cheaply to do it, scrutinising their economics, demographics and particularly politics much more sharply.

    • About Peter

      "Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. Previously, he was emerging markets correspondent based in London after postings in southern Africa and Sri Lanka. His neck was broken in a vehicle smash on assignment in Sri Lanka in 2006, leaving him largely paralysed from the shoulders down."
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