Ryan Pickrell, provided by Published 3:45 pm CDT, Wednesday, October 24, 2018 REUTERS/Stringer The Chinese People's Liberation Army is pushing ahead with its ambitious plan to build a modern, capable "blue-water navy" that will dominate China's neighbors, showcase Beijing's rising power and one day even threaten the US Navy. China has one aircraft carrier in operation, another undergoing sea trials, and a third one in development, putting the Chinese navy on track to begin fielding carrier task forces as it gains experience with carrier operations. Type 001 Liaoning Kin Cheung/AP China's Type 001 Liaoning, a refitted Soviet "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser," is the sister ship of Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. This vessel was officially commissioned into the PLAN in 2012, and it was declared combat ready in 2016, even though its primary purpose is to serve as a training platform. "For what the Liaoning is, I think it's pretty good at its job," Matthew … [Read more...] about China’s sea power is growing— here’s what their future carrier strike group may look like
How powerful is russia
Russia’s ally Syria shot down one of its planes on Tuesday, and it exposes how Russian President Vladimir Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own people or do much more than enforce the status quo. Russia has suffered a number of humiliating defeats in Syria while its economy has entered a downward spiral. Putin portrays himself as powerful, but he has failed to protect Russians time and time again. Russia grappled with a tragedy on Tuesday after its ally, Syria, mistakenly shot down one of its planes flying above the Mediterranean, and it shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own people. After Russia’s Il-20 went down on Tuesday, the Russian Defence Ministry quickly blamed Israel for the downing of the jet by a Syrian missile. Israel had attacked Syria with low flying jets evading and jamming radar during a prolonged missiles trike. Syria missile defences, unable to get a fix on the Israeli fighters, instead spotted … [Read more...] about The loss of a Russian plane in Syria reveals how Putin is strangely powerless to protect his own troops
MOSCOW — When 52-year old accountant Marina Grigoryeva was laid off this year, she figured that at least she would be eligible for a state pension in three years' time. But measures announced by President Vladimir Putin last week mean that Grigoryeva, who has been looking for a job for over six months, will have to wait eight years instead.A planned hike in the retirement age yanks away the safety net for millions of Russians in their 50s, core Putin supporters who struggle to hold down a job, let alone find a new one, and have come to rely on pensions as a meagre but secure source of income at a time of economic uncertainty."You can't get by on the benefits at all," said Grigoryeva, who has worked for the Moscow City Telephone Network for nearly 30 years. She is entitled to 5,000 rubles ($73) a month in unemployment benefits, which is half what the government says is the minimum subsistence level. And it's only a tenth of the average salary in Moscow, where she lives. Putin had … [Read more...] about Grey power: Could Russia’s pensioners be the downfall of Vladimir Putin?
O’Rourke sees a common thread of populism across Islamic extremism, Donald Trump’s rise in American politics, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Vladimir Putin’s reign in Russia, and even what the Chinese government is attempting in growing that nation’s middle class. He also looks back on a career covering politics around the world and struggles to see a more important inflection point outside of the Wall coming down. A self-described libertarian conservative, O’Rourke’s writing on society, war, politics, and economics has been entertaining fans for decades. His books include New York Times bestsellers Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance, as well as Holidays in Hell and Don’t Vote: It Just Encourages The Bastards. Last year he released Thrown Under the Omnibus, a collection of some of his published journalism and commentary. O’Rourke is in Australia for a speaking tour with the Centre for Independent Studies. … [Read more...] about P.J. O’Rourke on how the rise of Trump and global populism may prove as important as the fall of the Berlin Wall
A lot has changed since 2013, when the editors of The Onion got an angry email from Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen. Back then, Cohen was an executive vice president at the Trump Organization, and his client was just a TV mogul, still years away from announcing his first serious presidential bid. Story Continued Below Cohen was fuming over a satirical article published under Trump’s name with the headline, “When You're Feeling Low, Just Remember I'll Be Dead In About 15 Or 20 Years.” On Trump’s behalf, Cohen demanded that The Onion immediately remove the article and apologize. “This commentary goes way beyond defamation and, if not immediately removed, I will take all actions necessary to ensure your actions do not go without consequence,” Cohen wrote, according to a copy of the email provided to POLITICO. “Guide yourself accordingly.” Five years later, Trump is in the White House, Cohen is under federal investigation and the … [Read more...] about How Trump changed everything for The Onion