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September 14 2013



Mila Teshaieva was educated and worked as an economist before turning her professional pass into documentary photography. Since that time her work took her around the world, resulting in the bodies of work as: the War aftermath in Georgia, HIV/AIDS in Ukraine, Asylum seekers in Germany, and other. In her personal work Mila is focusing on the combination of fragility and a power of an individual submerged in the changing societies. She has dedicated the past years to work extensively in the ex-Soviet republics.

Mila’s work has been commisioned and published by: Die Zeit, Alternatives Internationales, Outlook Magazine China, Time LightBox, New Times, Vokrug Sveta, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Zoi Environmental Network, Forbs Ukraine, Marie Claire Ukraine, many others.

She worked with NGOs and organizations as: Unicef, Swiss Development and Cooperation, IOM, International AIDS/HIV Alliance, SOS Children Village.

Mila is currently based in Berlin and represented by Laif Agentur, Cologne.

#caspienne #asie_centrale #photographie

July 28 2013

Vers un scandale RQ-4 EuroHawk en Allemagne ? En mai, le ministre de la défense allemand annule le…

Vers un scandale RQ-4 EuroHawk en Allemagne ?

En mai, le ministre de la défense allemand annule le programme de #drone de reconnaissance. Raison invoquée : difficulté d’obtenir la certification de l’engin due à la coexistence problématique entre avions et engins non pilotés…
(de fait, il ne devrait donc y avoir aucun drone dans l’espace européen ?…)

Germany axes Euro Hawk drone program | Defense News |

BERLIN — Germany has canceled a planned “Euro Hawk” drone program over fears that European authorities will not certify them, a defense ministry source said Tuesday after reported European safety concerns.

Germany had “no hope” of seeing the unmanned aircraft, part of a program that would have cost more than €1 billion (US $1.3 billion), approved for use, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has said it would certify the drones only to fly over unpopulated areas because of a lack of an anti-collision system to protect airliners, according to German press reports.

En juin, des documents révèle que le problème avait été identifié une bonne année auparavant (au moins début 2012), mais s’il a attendu pour annuler le programme, c’est parce que le poursuivre permettait d’économiser de l’argent…

German minister defends ditching of drone deal -

Mr de Maizière is one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s closest allies in the present centre-right government, and his resignation would be a severe blow for her Christian Democratic Union, facing a general election on September 22.
Until Wednesday, he had refused to answer opposition criticism that he had known about the problems with the Euro Hawk since early 2012, and should have cancelled the project much sooner.
Speaking behind closed doors to the Bundestag defence committee and budget committee, he said it would have been more expensive to cancel the project sooner, because the ISIS reconnaissance system could not have been properly tested. The government would now choose a new aircraft “platform” to carry the reconnaissance system.
“The Bundeswehr urgently needs the capacity for an airborne reconnaissance system” to monitor radio and radar signals, he added. “By the end of 2013, all suitable options will be investigated.” The money spent on developing the ISIS system would not be wasted, and unspent money in the Euro Hawk contract could be used to buy alternative aircraft.

La Süddeutsche Zeitung sort des documents pour montrer que de Maizières était au courant avant mai 2013 ; en mars 2013 et en décembre 2012.

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July 15 2013

Qatar Plans To Buy 118 German Leopard Tanks » Gulf Business

Qatar Plans To Buy 118 German Leopard Tanks » Gulf Business

Qatar aims to buy 118 more Leopard tanks from Germany before the soccer World Cup championships in 2022 for several billion euros, a German newspaper reported on Sunday.

It also plans to buy 16 tank howitzers, Bild am Sonntag reported citing government sources in Qatar.

The equipment is made by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Spokesmen were not immediately available for comment in Qatar or at Krauss-Maffei or Rheinmetall.

July 06 2013

NSA recruitment drive goes horribly wrong | World news |

NSA recruitment drive goes horribly wrong | World news |

On Tuesday, the National Security Agency called at the University of Wisconsin on a recruitment drive.

Attending the session was Madiha R Tahir, a journalist studying a language course at the university. She asked the squirming recruiters a few uncomfortable questions about the activities of NSA: which countries the agency considers to be “adversaries”, and if being a good liar is a qualification for getting a job at the NSA.

She has posted a recording of the session on Soundcloud, which you can hear above, and posted a rough transcript on her blog, The Mob and the Multitude. Here are some highlights.

The session begins ...

Tahir: “Do you consider Germany and the countries that the NSA has been spying upon to be adversaries, or are you, right now, not speaking the truth?”

Recruiter 1: “You can define adversary as 'enemy' and, clearly, Germany is not our enemy. But would we have foreign national interests from an intelligence perspective on what's going on across the globe? Yeah, we do.”

Tahir: “So by 'adversaries', you actually mean anybody and everybody. There is nobody, then, by your definition that is not an adversary. Is that correct?”

Recruiter 1: “That is not correct.”

Recruiter 2: “… for us, our business is apolitical, OK? We do not generate the intelligence requirements. They are levied on us ... We might use the word 'target'.”

Tahir: “I'm just surprised that for language analysts, you're incredibly imprecise with your language. And it just doesn't seem to be clear.”

Later ...

Tahir: “... this is a recruiting session and you are telling us things that aren't true. And we also know that the NSA took down brochures and factsheets after the Snowden revelations because those factsheets also had severe inaccuracies and untruths in them, right? So how are we supposed to believe what you're saying?”

Even later ...

Tahir: “I think the question here is do you actually think about the ramifications of the work that you do, which is deeply problematic, or do you just dress up in costumes and get drunk?” [A reference to an earlier comment the recruiter made about NSA employees working hard and going to the bar to do karaoke.]

Recruiter 2: “... reporting the info in the right context is so important because the consequences of bad political decisions by our policymakers is something we all suffer from.”

Unnamed female student: “And people suffer from the misinformation that you pass along so you should take responsibility as well.”

Later still ...

Male student: “General Alexander [head of the NSA] also lied in front of Congress.”

Recruiter 1: “I don't believe that he did.”

Male student: “Probably because access to the Guardian is restricted on the Department of Defence's computers. I am sure they don't encourage people like you to actually think about these things. Thank God for a man like Edward Snowden who your organisation is now part of a manhunt trying to track down, trying to put him in a little hole somewhere for the rest of his life. Thank God they exist.”

And finally ...

Recruiter 2: “This job isn't for everybody, you know ...”

Tahir: “So is this job for liars? Is this what you're saying? Because, clearly, you're not able to give us forthright answers. I mean, given the way the NSA has behaved, given the fact that we've been lied to as Americans, given the fact that factsheets have been pulled down because they clearly had untruths in them, given the fact that Clapper and Alexander lied to Congress – is that a qualification for being in the NSA? Do you have to be a good liar?”

Recruiter 1: I don't believe the NSA is telling complete lies. And I do believe that you know, I mean people can, you can read a lot of different things that are, um, portrayed as fact and that doesn't make them fact just because they're in newspapers."

Unnamed female student: “Or intelligence reports.”

Recruiter 1: “That's not really our purpose here today and I think if you're not interested in that ... there are people here who are probably interested in a language career.”

July 04 2013

July 01 2013

Hypocrisy all around and why industrial espionage is not comparable to mass surveillance :

Hypocrisy all around and why industrial espionage is not comparable to mass surveillance:

While I happily keep giving the #USA the bashing they deserve about mass #surveillance of citizens, you won't hear me cast the first stone about industrial #espionage – for well-known reasons.

While direct evidence of my own country's industrial espionage activities rarely surfaces, we sometimes hear echoes of what goes on under the tables – take for example the testimony of Orbital High-Technology Bremen (#OHB) CEO, Berry #Smutny to the US Embassy in Berlin ( on 2009-11-20:

Smutny frankly said “#France is the evil empire stealing technology and #Germany knows this”, but Germany´s decentralized government is not willing to do much about it. Going on at length of his despise of the French, Smutny said French IPR espionage is so bad that the total damage done to the German economy is greater the that inflicted by China or Russia.

Sure, this quote being in the context of sales by OHB to the US government, it is likely to be biased toward exaggeration – but such open expression of defiance from very close allies of France is nevertheless a strong hint that righteous outrage from French sources about industrial espionage is laughably hypocritical.

In addition, industrial espionage should be kept in perspective : it is not even comparable to mass surveillance – let's not dilute the evil of mass surveillance by amalgamating it with industrial espionage ! While corporate actors are strong enough to thrive on their own in a state of information warfare, citizens are not – they need political diligence toward a strong framework of laws and regulations consistent with human rights and ensuring adequate protection of the rights to privacy and freedom of expression:

June 30 2013

The Collaboration — Ben Urwand | Harvard University Press

The Collaboration — Ben Urwand | Harvard University Press

To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler's ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany's persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time—a “collaboration” (Zusammenarbeit) that drew in a cast of characters ranging from notorious German political leaders such as Goebbels to Hollywood icons such as Louis B. Mayer.

At the center of Urwand's story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of All Quiet on the Western Front, which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios—many of which were headed by Jews—began dealing with his representatives directly.

Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood—and American—history.

June 28 2013

24/7 Wall St. » Blog Archive Countries Spending the Most on the Military «

24/7 Wall St. » Blog Archive Countries Spending the Most on the Military «

For the first time since 1998, global military spending is down. This coincides with a major decline in U.S. spending, which fell by more than $40 billion between 2011 and 2012. Even with this decline, however, the United States still had a military budget four times larger than China, the next biggest spender.


24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries that spend the most on their military in 2012, based on SIPRI's measure of military spending in more than 130 nations. We also reviewed SIPRI data on military exports and imports, as well as military expenditure as a percentage of GDP. From, we reviewed statistics on military size and strength, based on the most recent available data. We also considered GDP and GDP growth figures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

10. Brazil
> Military expenditure: $36.8 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 1.5%
> One-year spending change: -0.5%
> Total exports: $14.1 million (24th highest)
> Total imports: $212 million (24th highest)

Brazil spent roughly $36.8 billion on its military in 2012, higher than all but nine other countries. Military spending has fallen in Brazil since 2010, when the government spent $38.1 billion. Despite being among the top 10 in military spending, the country is barely among the top half in terms of the spending as a percentage of GDP, which was just 1.5% in 2012. In addition to the more than 371,000 people in Brazil who were actively serving in 2011, there were more than 1.3 million Brazilians serving in the active reserves, more than all but five other countries.

9. India
> Military expenditure: $48.3 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 2.5%
> One-year spending change: -2.8%
> Total exports: $1.8 million (32nd highest)
> Total imports: $2.0 billion (the highest)

Military spending in India comprised 2.5% of the country's GDP in 2012, higher than most other countries. However, this has declined every year since 2009, when India spent 2.9% of its GDP on military affairs. Between 2011 and 2012, India's military budget declined by 3%. As of 2011, India had more than 1.3 million active military members, more than any other country except for China and the United States. In addition, India had 1.7 million active reserve members, more than any country except for North Korea and South Korea. India has been the biggest arms importer worldwide in recent years, as it has been upgrading its largely Soviet-era weapons.

8. Germany
> Military expenditure: $48.6 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 1.4%
> One-year spending change: 0.9%
> Total exports: $486 million (6th highest)
>Total imports: $126 million (33rd highest)

Germany spent more than $48.6 billion on its military in 2012, or 1.4% of the country's GDP. This was in line with the 1.3% of GDP it spent back in 2011 but still lower than the majority of countries measured. Germany exported $486 million worth of arms in 2012, higher than all but five other countries. In 2012, Germany announced the largest cuts to its military since the end of World War II. The government intends to scale back or close 100 of its 400 bases and cut the number of soldiers by 15,000 to 185,000. Germany expects to implement the cuts through 2017 at the latest.

7. Saudi Arabia
> Military expenditure: $54.2 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 8.9%
> One-year spending change: 11.7%
> Total exports: n/a
> Total imports: $261 million (16th highest)

Saudi Arabia's military budget comprised 8.9% of the country's GDP in 2012, higher than any other country. However, this was down from 11% of GDP in 2009 and 10% of GDP in 2010. Military spending in 2012 has increased by nearly $10 billion since 2008, reaching more than $54.2 billion last year. Between 2011 and 2012 alone, military spending increased by 12%, higher than most other countries in the world. Solmirano pointed out that oil revenue in Saudi Arabia has allowed the country to spend heavily on the military in recent years. As of 2012, Saudi Arabia produced more than 11.1 million barrels of oil a day, more than any other country.

6. Japan
> Military expenditure: $59.2 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 1.0%
> One-year spending change: -0.6%
> Total exports: n/a
> Total imports: $6 million (78th highest)

Although just five nations spent more on their military in 2012 in absolute terms, in relative terms — as a percentage of GDP — more than 100 nations spent more than Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe began pushing for a stronger military after winning the office at the end of 2012. Abe's plans to boost military spending may be limited by the country's massive debt concerns. The IMF estimates Japan's gross debt at nearly 238% of GDP in 2012, proportionally more than any other country. Despite these concerns, Japan recently increased military spending for the first time in 11 years. Although Japan's constitution prohibits initiating military action, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently has argued that the country should be permitted to join U.N.-sanctioned military actions.

5. United Kingdom
> Military expenditure: $59.8 billion
> Expenditure as % of GDP: 2.5%
> One-year spending change: -0.8%
> Total exports: $351 million (10th highest)
> Total imports: $254 million (17th highest)

Military spending in the United Kingdom fell for the second straight year in 2012. This was likely due, in part, to a slow GDP growth of less than 1% for the second straight year and a decline in government spending as a percentage of GDP for the third straight year. Early this year, the United Kingdom cut 5,000 troops from its armed forces as part of the nation's broad austerity measures. The U.K. spent just 2.5% of GDP on the military in 2012 and exported just over $350 million in weapons. By contrast, 25 years earlier, the nation spent 4.0% of its annual GDP on its military and exported $2.5 billion worth of arms.

Also Read: The Most Dangerous Cities in America

4. France
> Military expenditure: $62.6 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 2.3%
> One-year spending change: -0.3%
> Total exports: $272 million (11th highest)
> Total imports: $87 million (38th highest)

France's military budget of $62.6 billion in 2012 was higher than any other country in the European Union. However, this has declined every year since 2009, when military spending reached more than $69.4 billion. The military cuts are not over. In April, France announced it would freeze military spending, with an expected budget of roughly $235 billion for the next six years. By 2019, France is expected to reduce its armed forces headcount by 34,000, or nearly 10% of its current force. As of 2011, France had more active military members than all other countries in the EU at 362,485.

3. Russia
> Military expenditure: $90.6 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 4.4%
> One-year spending change: 15.7%
> Total exports: $3.8 billion (2nd highest)
> Total imports: $8.2 million (74th highest)

Russia's military budget has grown significantly in the past several years. In 2008, Russia spent just under $68 billion, or 3.7% of GDP. By 2012, the military budget had grown to more than $90.6 billion, or 4.4% of GDP. The largest increase in spending came between 2011 and 2012, when the budget was increased by 16%. Russia has been in the process of upgrading its weapons over the past several years, working to replace aging submarines, assault ships and ballistic missiles. Russia was the second-largest exporter of weapons in 2012, shipping out more than $3.8 billion in arms. Russia has more self-propelled guns and Corvette missiles than any other country.

2. China
> Military expenditure: $157.6 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 2.0%
> One-year spending change: 7.8%
> Total exports: $443 million (8th highest)
> Total imports: $872 million (4th highest)

China increased its annual military expenditure from $107 billion in 2008 to more than $157 billion in 2012. Despite this spending increase, military expenditure as a percentage of GDP has remained relatively stable at around 2%. China has had one of the world's fastest growing economies in recent years, even with GDP growth slowing to 7.8% in 2012. Currently, China is embroiled in a tense dispute with Japan over the resource-rich Diaoyu islands (called the Senkaku islands in Japan). China also historically has had tense relations with Taiwan, which it still considers to be a breakaway province.

1. United States
> Military expenditure: $668.8 billion
> Expenditure as pct. of GDP: 4.4%
> One-year spending change: -6.0%
> Total exports: $6.2 billion (the highest)
> Total imports: $670 million (6th highest)

The United States spends more on the military than any other country by a wide margin. The country's military budget accounts for roughly 40% of all military spending in the world, according to SIPRI. However, military spending has declined since 2010, when it hit more than $720 billion. Much of the drop has been due to reduced presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States is by far the largest arms exporter in the world — in 2012 the United States exported more than $6.2 billion worth of arms, more than $2.4 billion more than the second-largest exporter, Russia. Earlier in June, the White House announced it was arming Syrian opposition against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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