Posts published in Day: May 5, 2018

Military intelligence chief: Russia obfuscating actual military spending

Saturday, May 5, 2018

While Russia’s nominal military spending decreased last year and is expected to see further reductions, the size of its federal budget for confidential items has actually grown, chief of the Military Intelligence Battalion of the Estonian Defence Forces, Col. Kaupo Rosin writes in the military’s recently published annual review. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently published a study according to which Russia’s defense spending shrank by roughly a…

Many countries suffer from shrinking working-age populations

Saturday, May 5, 2018

MANY developed countries have anti-immigration political parties, which terrify the incumbents and sometimes break into government. Lithuania is unusual in having an anti-emigration party. The small Baltic country, with a population of 2.8m (and falling), voted heavily in 2016 for the Lithuanian Farmer and Greens’ Union, which pledged to do something to stem the outward tide. As with some promises made elsewhere to cut immigration, not much has happened as…

Divorced Barbie

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Ralph is driving home one evening, when he suddenly realizes that it’s his daughter’s birthday and he hasn’t bought her a present. He drives to the mall, runs to the toy store, and says to the shop assistant, “How much is that Barbie in the window?” In a condescending manner, she says, “Which Barbie?” She continues, “We have Barbie Goes to the Gym for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball…

Antonov confirms SALIS offer to NATO

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Antonov has confirmed to Jane’s its offer to provide additional outsized airlift to NATO following the announcement by Volga-Dnepr that it will no longer support the alliance. The Ukrainian-based company reaffirmed on 2 May its offer to provide the necessary number of An-124-100 aircraft to support NATO’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme, after the Russian-based provider said that when the current contract expires at the end of the year…

Who’s glad, sad and mad about EU budget plan

By Lili Bayer, Emmet Livingstone and Laura Greenhalgh on Saturday, May 5, 2018

A long battle lies ahead but some likely winners and losers have already emerged. The European Commission’s plan for the next long-term EU budget has ministers, lobbyists, farmers, scientists, mayors and many others scanning spreadsheets and poring over PDFs to find out how they will be affected. It will be weeks before the Commission provides more details of the €1.279 trillion plan — which will then be the subject of months,…

Nobel Prize for Literature delayed amid Swedish Academy ‘sex assault’ scandal

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The organisation that decides the Nobel Prize for Literature has said it will not announce an award this year, after it was engulfed in a scandal over sexual assault allegations. The Swedish Academy has been in crisis over its handling of allegations against the husband of a member. She has since quit, as have the academy’s head and four other members. The academy says it will now announce the 2018…

Lithuania is joining OECD

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Lithuania is joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as the decision on this has been made, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told the Seimas, cites LETA/BNS. “The formal decision has been made already, I have been informed by the foreign minister. It’s a fact,” the prime minister said. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius, OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria told the special OECD Council…

France to aim for stronger, exclusive European military force

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Defence Ministers of nine Western countries and Estonia are expected to sign a letter of intent in June to advance the French-proposed European Intervention Initiative, Politico Europe reported. The move comes after the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) took a more inclusive, less ambitious format at the insistence of Germany. Among participant countries are Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Denmark and the UK. The French-proposed initiative…