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News from a World gone mad

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Date

February 6, 2016

Russia Ramping Up Military Drills To Cold War Levels, NATO Says

Russian jet buzzes US Air Force spy plane

Russia has stepped up its military maneuvers to a level unseen since the height of the Cold War, according to a new report released by NATO Thursday.

Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s secretary general and author of the report, noted that Moscow has conducted at least 18 large-scale exercises over the past three years, “some of which have involved more than 100,000 troops.”

Those exercises included several simulated nuclear attacks against NATO allies and partner nations, such as Sweden in March 2013.

The report was released two days after the Obama administration proposed spending $3.4 billion on its troops and training in Europe as a direct result of Russia’s recent action in the regions, including the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

video and full story at https://silentsoldier.us/2016/02/05/russia-ramping-up-military-drills-to-cold-war-levels-nato-says/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough seas, harsh winter, border limits add to migrant woes

Macedonia Migrants

PRESEVO, Serbia (AP) — Rasul Orwani thought he had faced the worst after braving cold, rough seas in a rickety wooden boat to travel from Turkey to Greece, then came the Balkans.

After arriving in Macedonia with dozens of other migrants, the group crossed into Serbia on foot in the middle of the night, icy snow stinging their eyes and lacing the children’s faces with tears.

Their heads bent low to protect from the cold, the migrants trudged slowly through the snow, carrying babies, small children and belongings along the 2-kilometer (1.2 mile) stretch of the road over the so-called green boundary between the two Balkan nations. A 10-year-old boy took a blanket from his shoulders to wrap it around his younger sister as they walked across the frozen landscape hand in hand.

Even as winter bears down on Europe and European Union countries set up new administrative hurdles for their entry, tens of thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia have been desperate enough to embark on the weeks-long journey across the Aegean Sea and along the so-called Balkan migrant corridor where frigid weather and stricter border controls have turned an already tough journey into an even more treacherous one.

Safe in the Serbian town of Presevo on the border with Macedonia, Orwani said there was no turning back.

“Our trip is very dangerous and risky,” the 20-year-old Orwani said. “We crossed the sea, we were in a boat, and the waves in the sea could easily sink us in the water.”

While Europe took in more than 1 million people in 2015, EU countries have been struggling to limit the biggest migration to the continent since World War II. Some countries along the migrant route have said they want to slow the influx or even completely block it. Some of the nations imposed new, stricter regulations for those transiting toward their ultimate goal, Germany or other rich west European countries.

As a result, dozens of refugees have been turned back from the borders amid freezing winter temperatures, while others have faced border closures and long hours in registration centers and refugee camps. Experts say the measures are unlikely to stop the flow, but could instead prompt the refugees to again start using illegal routes over razor-wire border fences and through forests, pushing them into the hands of ruthless smugglers.

full story at AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

 

What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize objects in photos, or to help think through a medical diagnosis. (One deep learning tool, after watching hours of YouTube, taught itself the concept of “cats.”) Get caught up on a field that will change the way the computers around you behave … sooner than you probably think.

SOURCE  IEET

North Korea advances ‘satellite’ launch

 North Korea"s Unha 3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launch pad in Tongchang-ri, North Korea. The Unha 3 rocket that launched the “Bright Star” satellite into space in 2012

North Korea has brought forward the possible date of a controversial “satellite” launch to as early as Sunday, regional governments say.

The secretive state will launch the satellite-bearing rocket between 7-14 February, the Japanese government has said, according to reports.

Pyongyang previously said the launch would take place between 8-25 February.

The planned launch has been condemned by world powers, which say it is a cover for testing a ballistic missile.

North Korea did not inform international organisations of any other changes in its plan and the rocket’s expected flight path remains the same, said South Korea’s defence ministry.

The South has warned the North that it will “pay a harsh price” if it goes ahead with its plan to launch the satellite.

Japan’s defence minister said he had issued an order to shoot down any missile that threatened to fall on Japanese territory.

South Korean analysts have speculated that the North might do the launch ahead of 16 February, the birthday of the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

North Korea has already provoked international criticism this year with a fourth nuclear bomb test on 6 January.

A launch in the coming weeks would constitute another major violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning the state from carrying out any nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

The North insists its space programme is purely scientific in nature, but the US, South Korea and even ally China say the rocket launches are aimed at developing an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking the US.

Source BBC NEWS

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