A Falcon 9 booster rocket exploded on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as tropical storm Hermine bore down on the area. An Israeli satellite that was to provide Facebook broadband to Africa was lost in the explosion, SpaceX confirmed.
Western media and thinktankdom have gone wildly off the rails regarding the Russian leader, blaming anything and everything on Vladimir Putin. The public has largely bought the raw propaganda wholesale and this is a tragedy for US-Russian relations.
A cursory glance at Putin’s track record should convince even the most jaded Russian observer that he has done everything possible to build solid relations with the United States. Yet not only has the Obama administration refused to meet Putin halfway, it characterizes the Russian leader as the global arch villain bar none.
The Turkish-led “Euphrates Shield” operation is likely to swing the balance in favor of Washington, some analysts say, while others warn that the US may alienate its Kurdish allies in Syria. They agree, however, that Ankara’s involvement will dramatically change the course of the war.
The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to unblock vast swathes of South Asia, with Gwadar, operated by China Overseas Port Holdings, slated to become a key naval hub of the New Silk Roads.
Deep-sea ports will be built in Kyaukphyu in Myanmar, Sonadia island in Bangladesh, Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Add to them the China-Belarus Industrial Park and 33 deals in Kazakhstan covering everything from mining and engineering to oil and gas.
War casualties: 155,000 – 400,000, depending on who is counted
4.8 million registered Syrian refugees
Aleppo, Bosra and Palmyra irreparably damaged
Majority of refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt
Islands off the coast of Greece and Italy are overwhelmed
Rise of xenophobia across the West
Many people will have missed this story last week, buried under a number of other major international headlines. Details of new government-directed ‘Civil Defense’ measures were leaked to the German press. Western Europe has not seen such news since the height of the Cold War, some half a century ago. Is Berlin just being extra careful, or is there more to this story?