1. new consortium seeks to counter threats to cybersecurity
WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A new consortium bringing together university academics and industry professionals is setting new targets for advanced research to combat threats to cybersecurity.
Although the project is focused on the United States, its activities and findings are seen critical to widening the quest for more effective solutions to counter the threats posed in cyberspace by organized crime, drugs and terror gangs.
...The new initiative comes from defense and security manufacturer Northrop Grumman Corp., which invited three leading U.S. cybersecurity research institutions, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.; and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., to join a Cybersecurity Research Consortium.
read more @ upiasia
2. hundreds of Igla and Stinger missiles available globally for illegal purchase
According to the latest UN estimations, the world population owns nearly 500 million units of small and light arms purchased illegally. Western countries, developing countries and Russia are alarmed with this statistics. There are many human tragedies hidden behind clandestine weapons. Often, such weapons are sold at the places of recent war actions or near them. In this respect, Russia is still reaping the fruits of the last year’s war in the Caucasus.
...Illegal mass-produced weapons come to Russia mainly from the West. Former socialistic countries suffer from illegal imports as well. For example, in Poland, according to statistics, 3.5 people out of a thousand are entitled to carry weapons. This is the lowest number in the EU . For comparison, in Czech Republic this number is almost ten times higher, and in Germany – six times higher.
...Yet, Poland has more crimes committed with the use of firearms than its neighbors. Specialists believe it has something to do with a strong criminal market being fed by the Baltic countries and a “green” border with Ukraine that allows weapons transportation.
...Chicago, the criminal capital of the USA, is not lagging behind either. Last year, for example, a half of 13.658 thousand of weapons confiscated last year were semi-automatic and latest automatic weapons officially called “offensive weapons.” This week, the FBI stated that the black market became the main supply source for gangsters. In California alone, FBI agents confiscated almost 30 thousand weapons, including automatic ones.
read more @ pravda
3. Saudi Arabia spends $40.5 billion on arms in 2009
Saudi Arabia buys more arms than any other county in the Middle East. In 2009, the nation spent $40.5 billion on that. Israel comes second with a much smaller amount though - $13 billion. [PAID FOR BY THE US TAXPAYER - ED.]
Interestingly enough, other countries of the region did not take any measures to reduce the number of their arms purchasing deals either, not even against the background of the economic crisis. Quite on the contrary, the number of arms contracts has been growing steadily. In 2006, the countries of the Middle East spent $77 billion on the purpose, and the number grew to $102 billion in 2009.
It may look strange that such a country like Saudi Arabia that enjoys the protection of US army bases is interested in acquiring more and more arms.
Anatoly Tsyganok, an expert with the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that Saudi Arabia intends to diversify its arms. To put it in a nutshell, the nation wants to refuse from the predominance of the United States on its arms market. This trend can be observed in many other countries of the world.
“India currently refuses from the monopoly of Russian arms and turns to the USA instead, whereas Saudi Arabia, on the contrary, intends to cooperate with Russia closer. Probably, they are doing it to be able to compete with the army of Israel,” the expert said.
Ilya Dubinsky, an Israeli political blogger, believes that Saudi Arabia spends so much on arms not to lose its cash. Saudi Arabia has never waged any wars against Israel, not even during the worst time in Israeli-Arab relations.
“Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a headache for Saudi kings before 2003. Saddam was hanged, Iraq collapsed, but now it is Iran that shows aggression against the countries of the Persian Gulf. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest threat to Saudi Arabia’s security, which makes the nation increase its arms deals with other countries.
4. 2 die, 8 injured as violence erupts again over Chinese mine in Peru
LIMA (Reuters) -
Two people were killed and eight were injured in a shootout on Wednesday as Peruvian police tried to arrest a suspect for attacking a mining project owned by Chinese company Zijin, police said on Thursday.
Authorities said they arrested two suspects for the assault in November that killed three workers at the Rio Blanco copper development, but were fired upon as they tried to arrest a third suspect.
Zijin's $1.4 billion Rio Blanco project has locked local communities and companies in a bitter environmental dispute marred by violence.
It has also put pressure on President Alan Garcia, whose approval rating is just 26%, to find a balance between luring foreign investment to oil and mining projects and protecting the environment.
...The government of Peru, a leading global minerals exporter, said it would investigate and that violence must stop.
...HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
In June, three dozen people died near the town of Bagua, in Peru's northern jungle, as police broke up roadblocks set by indigenous groups opposed to oil exploration on their ancestral lands.
Despite frequent conflicts over natural resources, Chinese miners Chinalco and Minmetals [CHMIN.UL] have also been investing in Peru.
Together, Chinese companies hungry for resources have pledged to invest at least $6 billion Peru's mining sector.