China may once again turn to purchasing Russian-built weapon systems like it did in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Ilya Kramnik, a military analyst from the Moscow-based Voice of Russia.In his Mar. 5 article, Kramnik said that Rosoboronexport — the state intermediary agency for Russia’s exports/imports of defense-related and dual use products, technologies and services — had earned US$13.2 billion last year from providing weapon systems to developing nations. By doing this, Russia became the second largest weapon exporter last year, coming behind the United States which made US$23. 6 billion. France came in third, but made only US$6.9 billion.
Russian forces tightened their grip on Crimea on Sunday despite a U.S. warning to Moscow that annexing the southern Ukrainian region would close the door to diplomacy in a tense East-West standoff.Street violence flared in Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, when pro-Russian activists and Cossacks beat and kicked a group of Ukrainians at a meeting.Russian forces’ seizure of the Black Sea peninsula has been bloodless but tensions are mounting following the decision by pro-Russian groups that have taken over the regional parliament to make Crimea part of Russia.
At least seven Afghan civilians have been killed and eight more injured in a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand.Helmand provincial governor spokesman Omar Zwak announced on Sunday that the bomb attack was carried out on Saturday in Musa Qala District of Helmand, where a civilian vehicle struck a roadside explosive device killing seven people, including two children and three women.All the victims, according to the official, were members of a single family and were transferred to a nearby hospital.No group has claimed responsibility for the bomb attack so far.
A suicide bomber driving a minibus packed with explosives killed at least 45 people and wounded 157 on Sunday in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla, police and medical sources said.The attacker approached a main checkpoint at a northern entrance to the largely Shi’ite Muslim city and detonated the minibus, a police officer said on condition of anonymity.At least 50 cars were set ablaze with passengers trapped inside and part of the checkpoint complex was destroyed, the officer said.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt admitted on Friday that government attacks from China and the US forced his company to enhance security protocols.Speaking at the SXSW technology conference in Austin, Texas, Schmidt said governments around the world have realized that attempts to block internet access are futile and have moved on to other methods of control.“You don’t turn off the Internet: you infiltrate it,” he said in a wider-ranging conversation, as quoted by the Guardian. “The new model for a dictator is to infiltrate and try to manipulate it. You’re seeing this in China, and in many other countries.”
At least 40 people have been killed in three days of fighting between Shi’ite Muslim rebels and Sunni tribesmen, sources on both sides said on Sunday, as sectarian fighting that flared up in October in the north drew closer to the capital Sanaa.Fighters loyal to the Shi’ite Houthi tribe, who have repeatedly fought government forces since 2004, are trying to tighten their grip on the north as Yemen – home to one of al Qaeda’s most active branches – moves towards a federal system that gives more power to regional authorities.
Malaysia has launched a terror attack probe into the disappearance of the passenger plane carrying 239 people, which vanished from radars en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing early Saturday.Malaysian authorities are checking CCTV footage at the airport and investigating the identities of four passengers, at least two of whom got on the flight using stolen passports.