On Thursday, NATO defense ministers will gather the alliance to decide the key of the Readiness Action Program. This program was aimed to strengthen the ability of the alliances, specifically in responding the security challenges that may come from North Africa, Russia and Middle East. Oana Lungescu, the NATO spokeswoman said the military chiefs will determine the composition and the force size of the 28 member states to response the specific threat. It will be the first opportunity for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to respond the security challenges specifically from the new Islamic militants and aggressive Russia.
Russia and the Conflict of Ukraine
Conflict between the Pro-Russia and Ukrainian government seems to be no end. A few times ago, ceasefire agreement was rejected by the Pro-Russia. Even they insist about it and will reject any attempt of ceasefire. The problem is getting serious and the truth was revealed one by one. NATO officials have been accused the Russia about their act in this conflict. They accused Russia for supplying fighters and arms to the Russia separatist. Moscow also denies the satellite imagery that shown the Russian convoys in the Ukraine.
Based on the monitor of European security, they have reported the increasing movement of the Russia military vehicles to the separatist territory. It seems to be a reinforcement from the Russia for the separatist to help them seize Donetsk international airport.
Help for Ukraine
So far, United States and European Union has been limiting the aid to the supplies and nonlethal equipment. This is including food and also night vision goggles. But in the other side, Russia improving the support to the separatists. This is why United States security figures asked President Obama to provide weapons for Ukraine. At least, it helps them to defend themselves.
Lethal Help to Ukraine
In the Senate confirmation, the defense nominee, Ashton Carter said he would consider about military aid to Ukraine. He said, increasing the American military assistance may help the Ukraine government to fight the Russian separatist. This help is including the lethal arms sale. But white house is thinking about the opposite. They think lethal weapon may turn the war any further even worsen the situation.
Lethal help is not always good. If Ukraine government gets the lethal help from the other countries, their ability as an independent country will be at risk. Russia said, they will not respected the integrity of Ukraine’s territories anymore. If it that so, course it leads Ukraine to the worse situation. At least, this is what Russia want to affirm.
Although United States does not give the lethal help yet, Germany has been sending more weapons to the Ukrainian conflict. But Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor said it is not to give more pressure to negotiate specifically for the end of the war.
Actually, weapon request has been made by the Ukrainian president too. Ukrainian president was called NATO to give the lethal help to end this conflict. Although it still considered by IMF, he expects for the good decision soon.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II response the death of the Jordanian pilot so seriously. For him and for the world, ISIS is getting too far. They act too far and murdering people without guilt. Even Jordan’s King Abdullah II will vow the severe response to ISIS and participate personally on the ISIS raids. He said, the death of the Jordanian pilot will never be in vain. It is clearly show how serious the king will response this security threat.
Extremists will kill anyone who hinders them. It seems inhuman, but this is what people see from the ISIS’s acts. Hundreds of people were brutally killed by ISIS. They behead the hostages, crucified them, burying them alive even killing Iraqi children. On the latest case, a Jordanian pilot was murdered and burned alive. Many people curse this act. Unforgiveable, this is what Jordan’s King Abdullah II said. As the countermeasure, Jordanian government executed a suicide bomber of Iraq, Sajida al Rishawi and Ziad al Karbouly, Al Qaeda spy.
Between Religion and Politic
At the beginning, ISIS is not just fighting for their religion. This is about politics and building the Islamic rule. Of course there is nothing wrong about it. In fact, Islam wants to make peace and the good governance. But ISIS interprets it with the wrong way. This is why they fight something that they called as the evil with the evil ways.
Until now, ISIS network has spread around the world. This is not just in the middle-east, the other countries such as United States, Europe and Asia became their target too. Even their volunteers are also coming from the other country. Their army is not just coming from middle-east. They also fight with the strong belief. This is why they do not fear with the death.
Until now, they are still fighting and enlarging their territory. After taking control to the Iraq and Syria, they enlarging the territory to Lebanon.
The Territory of ISIS and its Condition
Until now, there is only a few information about the condition of the ISIS territory. But a German journalist, Jurgen Todenhofer becomes the first west journalist who come into the ISIS territory. While in the ISIS’s territory, he saw one thing. ISIS is stronger than the most people think. They have the strong belief and hundreds people joining ISIS every day. The volunteers are coming around the world with the various background.
Islamic caliphate that proclaimed by ISIS has been running here. Just like in the other country, they are well organized. They control the security and care for the poor. This condition well accepted by the most people in the ISIS territory. The situation is pretty normal. But in the other side, it also looks gripping enough.
The War is still Going On
Jurgen Todenhofer said, the West does not have any concept to handle this threat. ISIS is getting stronger and their territory is getting larger by the time. They are in the civil society and crust them with a bomb will only kill thousands of civilians. He said, the only one who can stop them is Arab nation.
Jeb Bush, the Republican politician realizes his last name can be a tackle in 2016 presidential campaign. He also said he will work hard to connect himself with people by doing it with his own way. In a speech, he attacked against the President Barrack Obama policy, specifically on the Middle East policy and promised the optimistic campaign. He said, conservative principles will be the base of the campaign itself. But he also want to make it more competitive especially for the next presidential races.
Why the Third Bush Should Live in the White House?
This is the first question that he found on the Detroit event. He said, this is a challenge for him. But this question is still not answered. One thing that he wants to do is just convincing people about his concern about what people care about. He wants to be in the people’s side. But when it connected to his father and his brother, he will do it with his own way. He will not take the same way as his brother, George W. Bush or his father, George H. W. Bush.
On the comment, people can see how he will be. It also suggested to the people if he might not take too much advantage from the former president, specifically to help him in this campaign.
Jeb Bush Critics to the Barrack Obama Government
Jeb Bush criticized about the Obama’s handling, specifically to the threat of Islamic State. He said, this is the result when US pullback their military from region. But in the other case, he also concern about how US troops should be deployed. US military cannot be deployed every time for every global challenge. Of course it was made to put the space between his brother and him, specifically on Iraq war. If that so, the Bush’s speech show enough information about what he will be made if he was elected.
In the other debate, he also criticized about the liberal mindset. The progressive liberal mindset may create a spider web and traps people to the dependence protracted. An illusion behind the independence.
Enthusiasm about Immigration
Jeb Bush is a tolerant person, specifically on the culture. He is bicultural and live with his Mexican-born wife. He said, bicultural can be more important than bilingual. It teaches people about tolerance and allows people with the different culture to live together. He chooses to Miami as their living place also caused by its bicultural. In the United States, Miami is a bicultural city. Many people with the different culture live in here. He also want his children to live and grown up in the bicultural environment, in the bicultural way.
Their family are talking in 2 languages. One time they will talk in English. In the other time, they talk in Spanish. This is because his wife is not too comfortable with English. This is why their children can talk in those languages too.
Talking about immigration law, he talked about the major changes that must be made. He want to end the immigration war and make his country to be a better place for immigrants.
Having a baby is one of the best gifts in the world. But, it is not so for Ruzan Badalyan, a mother in Armenia. She abandoned her newborn Down syndrome baby, Leo, a week after giving birth. She was ashamed of having a baby with Down syndrome and asked her husband, Samuel Forrest, to choose between her or Leo.
Forrest chose his innocent baby of course. He said that it never crossed his mind to abandon his son even after the doctor had said that Leo is suffering from Down syndrome.
“They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful, he’s perfect, and I’m absolutely keeping him.”
Now, Ruzan Badalyan had filed for divorce. She has confirmed the divorce to media. But she did not elaborate her information.
Down syndrome baby in Armenia
Leo is not the only baby with Down syndrome who is abandoned in Armenia. In this country, parents believe that Down syndrome babies will bring shame to the family. Ruzan Badalyan and her family believe it too. She did not even want to see or touch her baby.
Forrest had not known about this fact before. He said that people in Armenia will tell you do not need to keep the baby. After his son, Leo, was born, he found out that most parents abandon their Down syndrome babies. Thankfully, there is special orphanages that will take care of them.
He also found out that countless of babies are abandoned because of imperfection, intellectual disabilities, and physical disabilities. According to his statement, about 98% of Armenian babies with Down syndrome are abandoned each year.
Samuel Forrest’s GoFundMe page
Samuel Forrest is originally from New Zealand. He worked as a freelance contractor in Armenia. Living in a foreign country with an abandoned new born baby is not going to be easy. That’s why he plans to move back to Auckland, New Zealand. In this city, he and Leo will have a better life than in Armenia. They will have more support from his family. In this country, there are schools that will educate Leo no matter his condition is. However, it all costs money. Samuel Forrest does not have enough money to go back to New Zealand and start a new life there. That’s why he set up GoFundMe page.
Through this web page, he hoped that he can raise $60,000. With this amount of money, he can take care of Leo while he is doing a part-time job for a year. He does not want to take Leo to a daycare. He wants to be more involved in taking care of him.
More than 15,000 people have visited this page. At this time, this page has gained more than $400,000. It takes less than a month to raise this big amount of donation. Samuel Forrest plans to use this fund not only to fund his new life in Florida. He will also donate it to an orphanage that takes abandoned babies with Down syndrome regularly. He will also donate it to parents who want to keep and raise their Down syndrome babies.
Prince William, the Britain’s Duke of Cambridge scheduled to visit Shanghai, Yunnan and Beijing. Based on the statement of Barbara Janet Woodward, the British ambassador to China, this visit will start on March 1. Since the last 3 decades, this is the first visit of the British royal family to China mainland. A highlight of the visit is the Great Festival of Creativity that will be held in Shanghai. In here, Prince William will highlight the contribution of the Britain specifically on the commercial creativity.
There are dozens of business leaders from several companies joined to the New York’s reception that hosted by London and Partners. For this visit, Woodward said she will start to make preparation. A task for British ambassador to China.
Festival of Creativity Shanghai
The festival will be held at Shanghai Long Museum, West Bund since March 2 up to 4 and it will be led by the Prince William by himself. In this festival, the show will be focusing on the UK innovation especially in its best sectors including luxury retail, technology, fashion, health and entertainment. And of course, it will be a Britain’s effort for seeking opportunities in China.
Visiting Research Development Center and Wildlife Conservationist
The agenda of Prince William in China is not just about festival of creativity Shanghai. In his visit, he also likely to visit the other places such as Huawei research and development center and wildlife conservation. In Huawei research and development center, he want to look how the huge telecommunication network and also service provider works.
Prince William also known as a wildlife conservationist. This is why he interested to visit the wild elephant and also promote wildlife protection at Southwest China’s Yunnan.
The news about the Prince William visit has spread in China. In a China micro blogging service, Sina Weibo, this news received the good response. China society welcome Prince William very well. Even they look enthusiast about it. But for this time, Kate the Duchess of Cambridge will not accompany her husband. She have to prepare to give their child in April.
Tian Dewen, a European researcher that works at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences also gave the positive response. He said, this visit will contribute to the better relationship between United Kingdom and China, not just for the business but also for the other aspects too. He also said it will be an important diplomatic effort for both countries. But he expects, it should not be a political move. Looking at the agenda, he assume Prince William will focus on the global topics such as wildlife protection.
The Previous Visit of the Royal Family
Before it, the royal family visited China in 1986. Queen Elisabeth II and her husband Prince Philip visited China to answer the invitation of the Deng Xiaoping leader. In that time, the queen visited The Great Wall of China, the ancient capital, Xi’an, Kunming, Guangdong and Shanghai.
The comprehensive strategic partnership between UK and China was made since 10 years ago. And in the last year, the relationship looks warmer. This is one thing that will be protected.
For the second time, The Moscow Times has been hacked and down for a few times. The hacker criticized the pro-Kremlin commenters and accused the media as anti-Putin. As the result, the site cannot be accessed in the morning. On Wednesday evening, the media group confirmed this targeted attack but until now, the actor behind the cyber-attack is still unclear.
The Motive is still Unclear
Nabi Abdullaev, the newspaper’s editor confirmed this attack too. But he did not know about the motive behind it. In December, the Moscow Times also being a targeted DDoS attack. It disrupted the site and flood it by the huge traffic. This attack disabled the site for about 2 days. But the latest attack looks not similar. Nabi Abdullaev said this is not a DDoS attack.
Cracker is working for a specific purpose. In the past, the most of them are just working just for popularity. But recently, the motive is growing and become more serious such as politic. The number of the commercial hacker is growing too. Their target also being focused on the ideological enemy. One of the most popular attack is DDoS. The most powerful DDoS attack also experienced by Russian website in the beginning of 2014. Qrator Labs revealed the trigger of this attack which is clearly related to the Ukraine crisis.
Hacker attacks specifically in Russia decreased in quantity, but it becomes more powerful than before. Compared to beginning of 2013, the damage is getting larger and more difficult to handle. In 2013, there are more than 4,400 distributed denial of service attacks. But in 2014, the number reduced up to 2,700 cases. But when it talks about the powerful attack, the number is increasingly up to 5 times and reached 7% of the total attack.
Government also being target
Russian media is not the only target. In recent years, government sites also being target, especially on the elections. The attack to the media sites and the government sites is growing. But this is too soon to classify it as a political attack. Although it has a political purpose, the main reason is still about money. Professional hacker do not really care about politics. They just working for money. For some of them, political instability is good for business.
The Moscow Times and Its Critics
The Moscow Times is a daily newspaper that based in English that founded in 1992. Since the tension between Russia and the West has risen, the newspaper criticize Russian government with their articles. Even a columnist from Russia, Israel Shamir accused this media as a militant anti-Putin paper. For him, the Moscow Times is a western press that supported the West.
The Moscow Times runs opinion articles from the Russian conservative commentators. Maxim Shechenko is one of them. It also published many contents about the critical state policy. A few times ago, Julia Gorbunova also criticized Russian government about the human rights in Crimea. Considering about the number of critics, Vladimir Putin signed the new law that limiting the foreign entities on the Russian media. Of course, this is to get more control to the Russian media.
The last year is the difficult time for the West Africa. But when Ebola infection looks coming to the end, the downward trend just suddenly reverse. It looks surprising of course, especially considering the downward trend that reaching the lowest rate since the end of 2014. In the other side, the additional help from the US military will be withdrawn from Liberia soon. If the Ebola infection is growing, US government may take the different action.
Ebola Infection is Rising Again
Based on the health officials, there are 124 new cases in this week. This number is growing and getting higher than the last week which only has 99 new cases. It happens on Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. In Sierra Leone, there are 80 new infections or growing about 15 cases from 65 cases on the last week. Guinea also experiencing the same thing with 39 new cases from 30 cases on the previous week. Liberia, which is reaching the highest success also reported 5 new cases. This number is a little bit higher than the previous week which only has 4 new cases.
Whether it is going to get worse?
The new trend course looks quite worrying, but it does not mean it will be the beginning of the worse things. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Disease Control and Prevention for the US center said the new record in the last week will not make a trend. One thing that can be seen from this phenomenon is about how difficult to reach zero infection rate. It takes a long time and need a hard working.
There are about 200 staffs in the West Africa. They are tracing people who exposed to the Ebola virus and treating the infected people. They are working here for a long time and working so hard to reduce the infection rate. The previous record is giving a new hope, but reaching zero rate is not easy. Although the turn of the downward trend looks so clear, the medical staff stills working hard to make the zero rate.
President Obama Shut down the US Military Operation
On Wednesday, the USA Today reported the withdrawal of the United States troops. In several weeks, the US military will come to the home and leaving 100 service members in the end of March. The mission of this troops is clear, building training center and clinics in the several locations. This is to improve the treatment act and reduce the Ebola virus infection. But considering about the situation and the rate of the Ebola case, they will be withdrawn soon.
IMF Grants $100M Debt Relief to the Ebola Countries
Treating Ebola virus give the high financial burden to the infected countries. At least, there are 3 countries suffering this epidemic. To relieve the financial burden, IMF grants $100M of debt to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. More than it, IMF also urged the other lenders to make the similar action. IMF also offered the new interest of free loans to the West African that reached $160M.
Shrinking economy is not affecting the Russian military budget. Despite is shrinking by the time, the military budget is still growing. On February 3, Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defense announced that Russian Naval Aviation and Air Force will receive about 200 new aircraft in this year. In the last year, Russia government also received 250 new helicopters and planes which is including Su-35 fighter jet, Su-34 bomber and Mi-28 helicopter gunships. All of them are the part of the military modernization that made between 2011 and 2020.
Russia will get 200 New Aircraft1
The Massive Military Budget
Russia has the big concern about its military. For military expansion and modernization, about 20 trillion rubles has been budgeted by the government. It means Russian military will receive more and more military power every year. Under the Defense Procurement and Acquisition program, Naval Aviation and Air Force will get 88 helicopters and 126 military aircraft. More than it, the long range aviation will also be set on 80%.
Russian minister of defense also underlined the improvement of the Russian Air Force on 33% with the serviceable status on 67%. It means, there will be 2 of 3 aircraft to operate anytime. It makes the government priority to get clearer. Under the Defense Procurement and Acquisition program, Russia government will improve the military specifically on the air force.
The New Russian Military Power
In December 2014, the authority of the Russian military confirm about this information. But in this information, Russian military will only get 150 new aircrafts. Looking to the latest information, it seems the number of the aircraft has been updated. The order of the new aircraft has been confirmed too. On the order, there are multipurpose Su-30SM, Sukhoi Su-34 bombers, Su-35S fighter jets, Ilyushin Il-76MD-90 transport planes and Yakovlev Yak-130. And based on the Sputnik News, Russian military also get the rotary wings which is including Mil Mi-28N attack helicopter, Kamov Ka-52, Mi-35 combat helicopter, Mi-8AMTSh assault transport and Ka-226 utility choppers. Su-35D is on the quality assurance trial. And Su-35S is on the test and will enter the service in this year.
Russian Military Industry
The Russian military industry has known as one of the most advanced military industries. They are active in improving their military and serving the other country by exporting the military weapons. Su-35S which is available on the market has been sold at $85 million. Of course, this is the export price. But the price is still competitive even cheaper than Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale which produced by the Western European.
Russian military also continuing and developing the 5th generation of Sukhoi T-50. This aircraft will compete with the other 5th generation fighter from China, Shenyang J-31 and Chengdu J-20. As the 5th generation fighter, the next generation of Sukhoi T-50 will be expected to have the better stealth feature and radar evading feature too. This aircraft will also be a good alternative for F-35 Lighting II, it expected to be sold 1,000 units on the global market. And of course, it is coming in the lower cost too.
Ukraine crisis reminds us about the impact of the modern warfare. Look at the Eastern Ukraine now and you will see how the modern warfare change a country. War is not just giving the huge impact to the conflict areas. It can be felt by the world and affecting the world too. But there is one thing that people need to understand. The role of the modern weapons may change the direction of the war itself. Even worse, the conflict area has been used by several parties to test their new weapons.
Hi Tech Weapons
Ukraine does not have the intensive modernization to its military. As the result, the Ukraine’s army suffering the effect. In this war, they have to fight the separatist pro-Russia without the modern weapons. In the other side, pro-Russia has been equipped with the modern weapons from Russia. There are a few examples about it, UAV and electronic warfare. It has been used for targeting and surveillance. In 2008, these are the weaknesses of Russia. But they developed it intensively and show this weapon in the Ukraine crisis. In the other side, Ukrainian government does not have it and become the huge disadvantage for them.
The weakness of Ukrainian army is not just about lacking of UAV. They also weak on the secure communication system. Their communication is easy to break and become an easy subject for jamming. As the result, the location of the troops is easy to identify and allows the pro-Russia artillery to attack them.
The New Tanks and Missiles
Ukraine conflict is not just showing us about the damage of the war. It shows us about the new tank model and missiles may change the war. Compared to the Russia, Ukraine force is outclassed. One side, pro-Russia separatist has been equipped with the more modern tanks and the long range missiles. Ukrainian force also lack on the anti-armor weapons. All of these systems are behind the Russian military equipment. Ukrainian aircraft is not effective to fight the pro-Russia. Even many of them losses on the conflict zone. Pro-Russia separatist is well equipped with the air defense. They can fight Ukrainian aircraft easily with the modern missile system. The missile system is not just effective for the long range but it is also effective for the shorter range and the low altitude.
In the other side, Ukrainian army is also lack on the medical support. This is why all of those systems and medical support are on the Ukrainian request list. On the war, medical support is vital. It improves the survivability of the armies.
Ukraine Crisis and the Role of Russia
The role of Russia to this conflict is not too surprising anymore. The pro-Russia separatist weapons are just a few evidences. Intelligence also confirmed it and see how Russia supplying weapons to the pro-Russia separatist. Although they do not admit it yet, the proof looks undeniable. This is why the United States and the several European countries accused Russia. But whatever it is, Ukraine crisis has been eliminating many lives from the both sides and taking the innocents to the fear and desperation.
The cause of TransAsia GE235 crash is still being investigated. The data from the black box flight recorder has been retrieved. Official in Taiwan has revealed some of the findings of the investigation.
It is said that both of the engine of the TransAsia GE235 were off seconds before it crashed. One of the Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council, Thomas Wang, said that the cause of the crashed is that the left engine of the ATR 72-600 has problem 37 seconds after it takes off.
From the data gathered from the black box, it is found that the pilot, Liao Chien-tsung, shut down the engine after the other lost power. Shortly after taking off the Shongshan airport, Taipei, there was an alarm that warned the pilot that there is something wrong with one of the engine. The pilot then reported to the control power that the right engine has experienced a ‘flame-out’ which could be caused by interrupted fuel supply. But based on the black box data, the right engine did not experience a flame out. It is set on idle mode.
Seconds later after the alarm, the pilot shut down the left engine. In consequence, the TransAsia GE235 had no power to stay in the air. The flight crew tried to restart the engine 72 seconds before it crashed. However, Taiwan’s Aviation Safety Council has not said anything officially regarding why the left engine was shut down.
A former Marine Corps fighter pilot, Steve Ganyard, told ABC News that an ATR 72-600 turboprop plane is designed to be able to fly with only one powered engine. He predicted that the flight crew had coordination problem and misidentified the engine that was undergone a problem.
The pilot body found clutching the controls
Since last Wednesday, the evacuating process is still going on. The rescue team has found 51 passengers and flight crew had been rescued. 15 people are injured and 36 people on board were killed. Meanwhile, 7 people on board are still missing. Divers are still searching for them in the Keelung River.
The body of the main pilot had been found in the cockpit with his hands clutching controls as his last attempt to minimize the number of victims and damage. Taipei’s Mayor praised Liao Chien-tsung for doing his best for driving the aircraft away from tall buildings.
Stories from surviving passengers
Huang Jin-Sun, a 72-year old TransAsia235 passenger, told Eastern Television that he was not comfortable after the plane taking off. He then talked to the passenger next to him to buckle the belts and cover their heads.
Right after he had finished saying it, the plane was going down the river. He saw other passengers were drowning. He freed himself from the seat belt and save other passengers. He is now hospitalized for minor injury.
Another passenger, Lin Ming-wei (37), saved his baby son and wife from the drowning airplane. He freed his wife from the seat belt and let her escaped from the cabin. After that, he searched for his two-year old son. He found that his son is not breathing. But he managed to perform a CPR. Thankfully, his baby recovered his heartbeat. Now the baby is hospitalized for pneumonia.