Category: International Conflict

Pentagon Has Opened Over 50 Criminal Probes on US Aid to Ukraine

The Pentagon’s inspector general said its criminal investigators have opened more than 50 cases related to aid provided to Ukraine, including some involving contractors, but have yet to firm up any allegations. The investigations, which are at different stages, are looking at issues including “procurement fraud, product substitution, theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion,” the inspector general, Robert Storch, said…

Italian parliament OKs frigate, Leopard tank deals

ROME — Italy’s parliament has approved the planned acquisition of two new FREMM frigates with updated electronics and 132 combat-version Leopard tanks as well as 140 other tank versions. The new buys, approved Feb. 21 by the parliament’s defense commission, are part of a uptick in Italian military spending partly spurred by the Ukraine conflict. Italy has previously ordered 10…

US Indicts Japanese Crime Boss Takeshi Ebisawa and assiciate Somphop Singhasiri for Alleged Trafficking of Nuclear Materials to Iran

In a significant legal move, authorities in the United States have brought charges against the head of a prominent Japanese criminal organization, accusing him of orchestrating a scheme to traffic nuclear materials from Myanmar, with the intended destination being Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Takeshi Ebisawa, aged 60, stands accused alongside his associate, Somphop Singhasiri, aged 61, of engaging in a…

Fincantieri teams with EDGE to sell to non-NATO countries

ROME — Italy’s Fincantieri and UAE group EDGE have agreed to create a Abu Dhabi-based joint venture to build and sell naval vessels to non-NATO countries, the firms said Tuesday. The JV, which will be 51% owned by EDGE but run by Fincantieri managers, will aim to take advantage of the UAE’s relations with other states and the export credit…

East Coast Marine F-35 squadron reaches initial operational status

The Marine Corps now has its first F-35B squadron on the East Coast that has achieved initial operational capability. That is one of many steps in the Corps’ pursuit of a fully fielded and operational F-35 fleet of aircraft by 2030. Initial operational capability means that Marine Fighter Attack Squadron, VMFA 542, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air…

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base begins retiring A-10 fleet

The first set of A-10 Warthogs from the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, have moved to the boneyard after nearly a half-century of flight. Both of the aircraft, which belonged to the 354th Fighter Squadron, didn’t have to go far to retire, according to an announcement Thursday. The second of the two aircraft taxied to its final…

Israel holding up food for 1.1 million Palestinians in Gaza, main UN aid agency says

JERUSALEM: Israel has imposed financial restrictions on the main UN agency providing aid in the Gaza Strip, a measure which prevented a shipment of food for 1.1 million Palestinians from reaching the war-battered enclave, the agency’s director said Friday. The restrictions deepened a crisis between Israel and UNRWA, whose operations have been threatened following Israeli accusations that some of its…

Former CIA engineer who sent ‘Vault 7’ CIA spying secrets to Wikileaks sentenced to 40 years

A former CIA software engineer was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday after his convictions for what the government described as the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history and for possession of child sexual abuse images and videos. The bulk of the sentence imposed on Joshua Schulte, 35, in Manhattan federal court came for an embarrassing…

Army officials retaliated against whistleblowing staff: report

Two Army Cyber Command officials worked to get an employee fired following his reporting of misconduct and subsequent participation in investigations, the Pentagon’s inspector general found in a report published Wednesday. The IG recommends that the employee be reinstated to his job with backpay, while the Defense Department officials involved “receive appropriate action.” For one of them, that means just…

Foreign Affairs: Spying From Space

  In 2023, the Department of Defense announced an ambitious plan to launch 1,000 satellites over the next decade. Over the same period, the National Reconnaissance Office, which runs the country’s spy satellites, plans to quadruple the size of its fleet of a couple dozen satellites.   The U.S. government can expand its fleet this quickly because satellites have become…

US lawmakers want pressure on Hungary to back Sweden’s Nato membership

WASHINGTON: Senior US lawmakers said they wanted Hungary to immediately approve Sweden’s accession to Nato, suggesting on Thursday, a week after Turkey’s approval, that Budapest risks permanent damage to its relationship with Washington if it does not act. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin said he had “deep concerns” over the direction of Hungary’s current government. The Democratic lawmaker noted…

Document spells out allegations against 12 UN employees Israel says participated in Hamas attack

TEL AVIV: An Israeli document obtained Monday spelled out allegations against a dozen UN employees the country says participated in Hamas’ October 7 assault – claiming seven stormed into Israeli territory, including two who participated in kidnappings. The allegations against staffers with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees prompted Western countries to freeze funds vital for the body, which is…

Battles in Gaza after Jordan attack kill three US troops

GAZA CITY: Deadly fighting and air strikes rocked besieged Gaza on Monday, a day after an attack that killed three US troops in Jordan heightened fears of a wider regional conflict. Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip killed 140 people overnight, including 20 members of one family, said the health ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory. The Israeli army, in…

$40m for arms stolen by corrupt officials: Ukraine

KYIV: Employees from a Ukrainian arms firm conspired with defence ministry officials to embezzle almost $40 million earmarked to buy 100,000 mortar shells for the war with Russia, Ukraine’s security service reported. The Ukraine’s SBU said Saturday that five people have been charged, with one person detained while trying to cross the Ukrainian border.If found guilty, they face up to…

Canada Starts Inquiry Into Election Interference by China, Others

Vancouver, British Columbia — An official commission is about to get underway in Ottawa as Canada tries to determine to what extent China and other countries interfered in its last two elections. The investigation also will examine whether Russia and India interfered as well. All three countries have denied the allegations. Former Conservative Member of Parliament Kenny Chiu (Canadian House of…

North Korea fires missile, minister to visit Russia as tensions rise

SEOUL: North Korea fired an apparent intermediate-range missile into the sea on Sunday, South Korea and Japan said, as tensions run high after Pyongyang’s recent launches of an intercontinental ballistic missile and its first military spy satellite. North Korea has stepped up pressure on Seoul in recent weeks, declaring it the “principal enemy”, saying the North will never reunite with…