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Archive for the ‘Special Reports’ Category

Neil Armstrong’s Voice

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Neil Armstrong, who died on Saturday, at the age of eighty-two, was by all accounts a reticent man, yet he said many things on July 20, 1969, that have entered into the public consciousness—lingering in the minds of those who heard them on the radio and television, and living, for those born long after he first stepped out onto the surface of the moon that day, in a place of envy and awe. When the lunar module, named the Eagle, touched down, following moments of radio silence that terrified the folks back in mission control, he relayed: “Houston: Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Later, as he made his way out of the lunar module (or LM), he described his progress in banal terms that, because of where they were coming from and what they conveyed, rose to the level of magic: “I’m going to step off the LM now.” And then he issued what is among the most famous proclamations of the last century—a jubilant counterbalance to F.D.R.’s “Day of Infamy” speech and a capstone to J.F.K.’s declaration that “we choose to go to the moon”—a statement that Armstrong had composed and prepared just hours earlier, in between the more pressing business of operating space equipment, according to Armstrong’s biographer, James Hansen: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Theophyle

August 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania

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Geopolitical Journey, Part 3: Romania is republished with permission of STRATFOR.”

Editor’s note: This is the third installment in a series of special reports that Dr. Friedman will write over the next few weeks as he travels to Turkey,  Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. In this series, he will share his observations of the geopolitical imperatives in each country and conclude with reflections on his journey as a whole and options for the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

November 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification

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WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification is republished with permission of STRATFOR.”

By Scott Stewart

On Friday, Oct. 22, the organization known as WikiLeaks published a cache of 391,832 classified documents on its website. The documents are mostly field reports filed by U.S. military forces in Iraq from January 2004 to December 2009 (the months of May 2004 and March 2009 are missing). The bulk of the documents (379,565, or about 97 percent) were classified at the secret level, with 204 classified at the lower confidential level. The remaining 12,062 documents were either unclassified or bore no classification. Read the rest of this entry »

World’s Largest Companies / 2009-2010

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There are many different ways to value a company, each of which creates a very different ranking of the world’s largest companies.

For the Fortune Global 500 list, the ranking is based on revenues. According to the magazine, companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2010. It is not required that they be public companies, but they must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency in order to be considered for the list. Revenue figures for corporations include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and gross noninterest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income, but excludes deposits. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

October 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

A special report on the world economy

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How to grow

Without faster growth the rich world’s economies will be stuck. But what can be done to achieve it? Our economics team sets out the options.

WHAT will tomorrow’s historians see as the defining economic trend of the early 21st century? There are plenty of potential candidates, from the remaking of finance in the wake of the crash of 2008 to the explosion of sovereign debt. But the list will almost certainly be topped by the dramatic shift in global economic heft. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

October 11, 2010 at 9:51 am

CFR Papers: Veiled Truths (1)

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The Rise of Political Islam in the West / Part 1 from 4

By Marc Lynch

This spring, Tariq Ramadan arrived in the United States nearly six years after being denied a visa by the Bush administration. The U.S. government had previously refused Ramadan entry on the grounds that he had donated to a French charity with ties to Hamas. Then, last January, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Ramadan was welcome. His appearance in the United States seemed to manifest the White House’s changing rhetoric about the Muslim world. In June 2009, President Barack Obama spoke in Cairo of reaching out to Muslims with “mutual interest and mutual respect.” Figures such as Ramadan —  symbols of a nonviolent Islamism long shunned as enablers of extremism — may now represent a bridge across previously intractable divides. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

Ben-Yishai: Romania replaced Turkey

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Ron Ben-Yishai explains why Air Force helicopter pilots were training in Romania

By Ron Ben-Yishai

Training sessions far away from home are not unusual for Air Force members in general, and for helicopter pilots in particular. This time around, after a long flight of roughly 1,800 kilometers (about 1,100 miles,) they arrived at the Romanian Air Force’s flight and anti-aircraft school, according to local media.

But why did they go there? The threats faced by Israel, the need to intercept weapons smuggled from states located on the shores of the Red Sea, and other special operations require the Air Force to maintain long-range operational capabilities.

Such operations are sometimes carried out (and will likely be carried out in the future) on short notice, hundreds and thousands of kilometers away from Israel. Often, such operations are undertaken in areas new to pilots that are difficult to navigate through, are replete with threats (ranging from weather conditions to anti-aircraft missile batteries and hostile jets), and must be faced with no intelligence information. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm