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MOSCOW (AP) – Russia successfully tested a new sea-based ballistic missile Thursday after several previous failures, a naval spokesman said.

President Vladimir Putin has hailed Bulava as a key component of the nation’s future nuclear forces and boasted of its ability to penetrate any prospective missile defenses.

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin has made an astonishing bid to grab a vast chunk of the Arctic, giving himself claim to its vast potential oil, gas and mineral wealth. His audacious argument that an underwater Russian ridge is linked to the North Pole is likely to lead to an international outcry.

Some commentators have already observed it is further evidence of growing Russian assertiveness under its authoritarian president.

A diplomatic source said that Russia was “seeking to secure its grip on oil and gas supplies for decades to come. Putin wants a strong Russia, and Western dependence for oil and gas supplies is a key part of his strategy. He no longer cares if his strategy upsets the West”.

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Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez travels this week to Iran, Russia and Belarus — all countries which have found themselves at loggerheads recently with the United States, his longtime nemesis.

Chavez departs Tuesday for his week-long tour, from June 26 to July 3, defiantly insisting that he will purchase Russian submarines and possibly an air defense system from Belarus, despite vocal objections from Washington.

Chavez, who views himself as Bush’s arch-enemy, will be cultivating relations with each of the regimes, in an apparent bid to drive an even deeper wedge with between the United States and its adversaries.

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LA PAZ, Bolivia: President Evo Morales plans to visit Iran and Russia to drum up investment in the Bolivia’s natural gas industry, the government said Monday.

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – President Hugo Chavez urged soldiers on Sunday to prepare for a guerrilla-style war against the United States, saying that Washington is using psychological and economic warfare as part of an unconventional campaign aimed at derailing his government.

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From the article:
The history of the Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than certain other countries, not least the United States, President Vladimir Putin has said in a speech.

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A new public opinion poll shows a majority of the American people do not see a danger in China’s economic and military buildup, demonstrating that Beijing’s efforts to influence public opinion in the United States have been successful.

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“New intelligence reveals China is covertly supplying large quantities of small arms and weapons to insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban militia in Afghanistan, through Iran.”

“Some arms were sent by aircraft directly from Chinese factories to Afghanistan and included large-caliber sniper rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and components for roadside bombs, as well as other small arms.”

“The Bush administration has been trying to hide or downplay the intelligence reports to protect its pro-business policies toward China, and to continue to claim that China is helping the United States in the war on terrorism. U.S. officials have openly criticized Iran for the arms transfers but so far there has been no mention that China is a main supplier.

“Defense officials are upset that Chinese weapons are being used to kill Americans. “Americans are being killed by Chinese-supplied weapons, with the full knowledge and understanding of Beijing where these weapons are going,” one official said. ”

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China is striving to overtake the United States as the dominant power in cyberspace, according to a senior American general, in what is emerging as a new theatre of conflict between nation states and a growing priority for the Pentagon.

The Chinese foreign ministry rejected the Pentagon report as ‘brutal interference’

Lt Gen Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force, said that all of America’s foes, including Iran, were looking at ways of hacking into US networks to glean trade and defence secrets.

But efforts by China set it apart. “They’re the only nation that has been quite that blatant about saying ‘we’re looking to do that’,” said Gen Elder in Washington.

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See the Immigration Factsheet here.

Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
June 2007
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