HEADLINES ARCHIVE

  • Nigerian militants determined to escalate IED attacks in Niger Delta pose severe risk of damage to oil refineries

    EVENT The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility on 19 May for an improvised explosive device (IED) attack the previous day on the pipeline terminating at the Refinery Jetty in Okrika, Port Harcourt. The Refinery Jetty belongs to the state agency, the Nigeria

  • Airbus expects international Lakota sales in wake of US Army buy

    The US Army's decision to purchase additional Airbus UH-72A Lakota helicopters and to put them at the centre of its training mission raises the potential for international sales, according to the company's top official in the United States. Airbus sees an opportunity to sell hundreds of Lakotas

  • Italy, Japan sign intel sharing agreement

    Japan and Italy have agreed to sign an Information Security Agreement (ISA) to allow the exchange of military intelligence and information on terrorists. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera reached the accord with his Italian counterpart Roberta Pinotti at a meeting in Rome on 7 May. The

  • US court bans Russian rocket engine purchases for military space launches

    Key Points US Federal Court Judge Susan Braden has prevented the purchase of Russian-made rocket engines The legal maneuovre follows a suit filed by private launch provider SpaceX and a congressional effort to commence a new rocket engine development A US federal court judge has issued an

  • Security for foreign firms in Colombia's capital likely to continue improving, but extortion and robbery risks persist

    Key Points Recent security deployments in Bogotá signal the current government's ongoing commitment to reducing violent crime and improving overall security risks in the Colombian capital. Overall, security in Bogotá has drastically improved over the past 10 years, and homicides have

  • Election 2014: Algerian protest risks will remain high beyond presidential poll

    Key Points The cancellation shows the degree of hostility faced by Bouteflika's campaign in some areas of Algeria, particularly those with Berber populations. The 17 April 2014 election and Bouteflika's probable victory are unlikely to mark the end of such protests, especially in the Kabylie

  • Hungarian ruling alliance looks to retain constitutional majority, signalling continuing policy direction

    Key Points The ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition of Prime Minister Viktor Orban won the 6 April parliamentary election and is set for another stable four-year term in power. Fidesz-KDNP's strong parliamentary majority signals another period of uncertainty and unpredictable policies for foreign

  • Russia likely to consider trade sanctions or cargo diversion against Latvia

    EVENT Latvian President Andris Berzins and Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma issued a joint statement on 26 March condemning political attempts to incite tension between Latvians and the country's ethnic-Russian minority. On 6 March the Latvian government adopted a resolution condemning Russia's

  • Army forces air bombardments kill one anti-government militant in Syria's Al-Quneitra

    ACCORDING to the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, one anti-government militant was killed in army air strikes targeting militants on an unspecified location of Syria's Al-Quneitra governorate on 29 March. Casualty figures provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cannot

  • MHI welcomes changes to Japanese export law

    Japan's biggest defence company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has welcomed Tokyo's decision to ease the country's long-standing ban on exports of locally made military equipment. MHI said in a statement on 2 April that the new guidelines, called the 'three principles on arms transfers',

  • Putin outlines future military developments in Crimea and Arctic

    Russian President Vladimir Putin set out development plans for the country's armed forces this year during a multi-service senior promotion ceremony on 28 March. Putin also stated that there is a pressing need to modernise military infrastructures in Crimea and to form new Interior Ministry and

  • Decline in political stability expected following Afghan presidential contest as unifying victor unlikely

    Key Points Presidential elections will be held in Afghanistan on 5 April. President Hamid Karzai's term bar means that there will be a new president for the first time since the United States-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, who will oversee the end of the international mission in the country.

  • Burkinabé president's re-election bid likely to continue despite allied party opposition, increasing risks of violent protest

    EVENT The main allied party of the Burkinabé ruling Congress for Democracy and Progress (Congrès pour la Démocratie et le Progrès: CDP) announced after its annual conference that it is totally opposed to a referendum on removing presidential term limits. The Alliance for

  • Country Risk Watch - April 2014

    Security crackdown will not stop anti-Maduro protests in Venezuela University students and civil society groups are likely to continue staging anti-government protests and roadblocks in Venezuela, despite incumbent president Nicolás Maduro's calls for dialogue. The protests, which Maduro has

  • Ukraine futures: borders, boundaries and sovereignty challenges

    Putin's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and his attempt to annex Crimea is another stark reminder that the dimensions of the international system are not static and nor are they accepted by all for all time. Borders, boundaries and maps change and, more importantly for security and intelligence

  • OSINT Summary: Al-Shabaab leader releases statement in response to Somali offensive

    On 9 March, an audio statement from the emir of Somali militant Islamist group Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, Ahmad Abdi Aw Muhammad Godane (alias Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr), was posted on Somali jihadist websites. The broad theme of the message was a response to the seeming beginning of the

  • Ukraine futures: time for a NATO reboot

    Putin's foray into Ukraine has highlighted NATO's inability to deter and dissuade provocative activity on its borders and has raised fundamental questions about the Alliance's current and future role. For 20 years, NATO and the European Union have sought to take advantage of post-Soviet Russian

  • Chinese marines get first taste of cold weather training

    About 3,000 troops belonging to the People's Liberation Army Navy Marines (PLANM) were deployed together with their heavy equipment and vehicles to a training base in Inner Mongolia for winter warfare training, state media reported in late February. It was the first time a PLANM brigade had been

  • Spanish Army helicopters conduct first ever landing on US warship

    Spanish Army helicopters have landed on board a US warship for the first time, in an exercise on board USS Gunston Hall . The 16,195 tonne full load Whidbey Island-class landing ship dock (LSD) vessel was transiting the Strait of Gibraltar when the compatibility exercise took place at the end of

  • Ukraine futures: escalation or restraint?

    While the potential for escalation and miscalculation persists, an armed conflict between Russia and the United States or NATO in the Black Sea is highly unlikely. The stakes are simultaneously too high – a war would disrupt energy flows to Europe, upset financial markets, undermine diplomatic

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