October 1, 2014

By Jack Caravelli

China and Iran last month conducted their first joint naval exercise, a pointed reminder of each nation’s intent to increase military cooperation. The exercise, held over four days in territorial and international waters around strategically important southern Iran, involved a Chinese frigate and a guided-missile destroyer, which first docked at the Iranian port Bandar Abbas. Several Iranian warships joined them later in the exercise.

Naval Exercise Shows Growing Chinese-Iranian Military Ties
Iran's shows off its naval troops in a parade last week on the anniversarfy of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Iran is increasing its military ties to China. (Behrouz Mehri/Getty Images)
‘Legal’ Marijuana Sales Push Cash Out of Legitimate Economy
August 26, 2014
The federal government is in such a fog over how to deal with legalized marijuana in 23 U.S. states that mom and pop pot-shop owners might be wondering what the feds are smoking.
ISIS Aims to Reestablish Islamic Caliphate on Global Scale
August 25, 2014
Once an offshoot of al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has morphed into something approaching the size and influence of a nation unto itself, with the goal of reestablishing a caliphate, the traditional seat of power in Islam where non-Muslims face submission or death.
The ISIS controls huge swathes of Syria and Iraq.It has $2 billion in pilfered assets and oil output generating $3 million a day.
NATO Adrift as Russia, Islamic Terrorism Tops Summit Agenda
August 25, 2014
Next week’s NATO summit will be dominated by the crises in Ukraine and Iraq, but it is unclear that the 28 member-nations will reach a consensus on critical security risks. The United States remains NATO’s most influential member but in recent years has exercised little leadership, resulting in an alliance adrift.
Global Real Estate a Better Deal Than Government Bonds
August 25, 2014
Special Economic Analysis
by Peter Warburton, PhD

These days most investments earn very little income: the interest rate on bank deposits is paltry and the yield from 10-year U.S. government bonds has fallen back to 2.4 percent, after surging ahead last year. The search for yield has intensified as retirees and many others look to derive more income from their savings without putting their capital at risk. While government bonds are traditionally a safe asset, this description may no longer be valid because of the artificial demand that has been created by the U.S. Federal Reserve. In this world of shrinking yields, real estate investments have begun to look extremely attractive.

New Protests Open Old Political Wounds in Pakistan
August 22, 2014
Pakistan is veering toward another political crisis as thousands of protesters call for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while two leading opposition leaders accuse Sharif of rigging last year’s election that brought him back to power. Pakistan’s troubled political history is replete with similar crises, as the civilian leadership has sparred routinely with the military over who will control the government.
For British Defense Industry, Trade Trumps Principles
August 22, 2014
Heard in London
by Jeremy Bradshaw

Relations between London and Moscow may be strained over Ukraine, but that hasn’t stopped the British defense industry from selling more than $200 million in arms to Russia, a new parliamentary report on arms exports revealed.
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