Editor’s Note: As Stratfor readies to look forward in coming days at the implications for Russia — and its leader Vladimir Putin — in the downing July 17 of a Malaysian jetliner, we also invite readers to take stock with us of past forecasts of Russia’s geopolitical evolution in the context of global events. Stratfor Chairman George Friedman will examine the likelihood of Putin’s undoing in the next issue of Geopolitical Weekly, to publish July 22. Accordingly, we look back here at 1998, when we predicted the unfolding Kosovo crisis would be the undoing of late Russian President Boris Yeltsin. We share our assessment from 2000, when we assessed how newly elected President Putin was rapidly consolidating absolute power. In 2005, Stratfor reassessed Putin’s situation after his first presidential term and laid out how his leadership would begin to reverse the tide of concessions and reassert Russia’s role in line with historical cycles — including the forging of strategic relationships with countries such as Germany. In 2008, we looked at how Russia would capitalize on American weaknesses, including the fatigue of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, we foresaw the next stage, as Russia moved to solidify its sphere of influence while still able. In this forecast, we saw the events setting the stage for today’s crisis in Ukraine. Now, we foresee more historical change. We offer this chronology of forecasts in advance of our next report on Russia’s future. Read the rest of this entry »
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The Tor network, which allows for anonymous browsing on the internet, may have been cracked by researchers.
Tor believes this attack came from researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Emergency Response Team, not an identity thief (or, uh, the government). CERT researchers abruptly canceled a highly anticipated talk they were going to give about the possibility of deanonymizing Tor at the Black Hat conference this year, kicking off speculation that they’d successfully pulled it off.
From Ars Technica:
The campaign exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in the Tor protocol to carry out two classes of attack that together may have been enough to uncloak people using Tor Hidden Services, an advisory published Wednesday warned. Tor officials said the characteristics of the attack resembled those discussed by a team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers who recentlycanceled a presentation at next week’s Black Hat security conference on a low-cost way to deanonymize Tor users. But the officials also speculated that an intelligence agency from a global adversary might have been able to capitalize on the exploit.
From Bearing Arms:
Lawyers for the state wrote in briefing papers that even if the ban does limit the Second Amendment right to bear arms, it is a reasonable measure designed to protect public safety.
“Assault weapons are a subclass of unreasonably dangerous firearms developed and adopted for their military effectiveness, with features appropriate for military and some law-enforcement purposes, but which are not commonly owned generally, or commonly used for self-defense,” wrote a team of lawyers in the Maryland Attorney General’s office.
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From Fox News:
A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Saturday overturned the city’s total ban on residents being allowed to carry firearms outside their home in a landmark decision for gun-rights activists.
Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. wrote in his ruling in Palmer v. District of Columbia that the right to bear arms extends outside the home, therefore gun-control laws in the nation’s capital are “unconstitutional.”
Update from Roll Call:
Though they won’t yet say how far they are willing to take their fight, District of Columbia officials plan to do everything in their power to limit the carrying of handguns in the nation’s capital, arguing that despite a court’s ruling that paves the way for more permissive laws, Washington is a unique place with heightened security concerns.
“An absolute ban on [carrying handguns] may not pass constitutional muster regardless of the judge, so we’re going to prepare by working on legislation that will pass muster” said Tommy Wells, a Democrat who represents Capitol Hill on the D.C. Council.
From The Guardian:
Google has been given 18 months by the Italian data regulator to change how it handles and stores user data.
Users will now have to grant permission before the firm creates a profile on them, and Google has to honour requests to delete data within two months (although it will have an additional six months to remove the content from backups). Google will also have to explicitly inform users that the profiles it creates on them are for commercial purposes.
“Examining the Terrorist Threat from America’s Southern Border is republished with permission of Stratfor.”
On July 21, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was deploying 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the Mexican border to help strengthen border security. The move is the latest in a chain of events involving the emigration of Central Americans that has become heavily publicized — and politicized.
Clearly, illegal immigration flows are shifting from Arizona and California to Texas. In fiscal year 2013, the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector surpassed Tucson as the leading sector for the number of apprehensions (154,453 in Rio Grande Valley versus 120,939 for Tucson). Also, between fiscal 2011 and 2013 (all Border Patrol data is recorded by fiscal year), the number of “other than Mexicans” – mostly Central Americans — apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley sector increased by more than 360 percent, from 20,890 to 96,829. (By comparison, the Tucson sector apprehended 19,847 “other than Mexicans” in 2013. Significantly, minors constituted a large percentage of the “other than Mexicans” apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley in 2013: 21,553 (compared to 9,070 in Tucson sector). However, the majority (84 percent) of those labeled Unaccompanied Alien Children by the Border Patrol are teenage minors and not younger children. Read the rest of this entry »
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The Team was comprised of two Master Class shooters, one Sharpshooter, and one Marksman: Captain and Coach Steve Killingsworth, CDR, USNR (Ret) of Coronado; Roy Sasai of Union City; Reid Thompson of Guinda; and Eugene Berman of Foster City, respectively.
From Defense Media Network:
Tinkertoy, Scooter, Bantam Bomber, Mighty Midget, Mighty Mite, Heinemann’s Hot Rod, and other affectionate names were given to the A-4 Skyhawk, which first flew on June 22, 1954, and in fact the Douglas Aircraft Company’s Edward H. Heinemann had the design so right that Skyhawks are still in service today.
“A Chronology of Russia from Yeltsin’s Fall Through Putin’s Rise is republished with permission of Stratfor.”