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China’s manufacturing PMI falls to 11-month low

The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI for March fell to 49.2, compared with 50.7 in February, according to the survey by HSBC and financial data provider Markit, published on Tuesday. March figure slipped below the 50 level which separates expansion from contraction compared with the previous month when PMI climbed to its strongest level since July. READ MORE: China manufacturing PMI hits 4-month high in February but exports dive The weaker than expected Chinese PMI shows employment and prices are all softening in the manufacturing sector and suggests the 2014 fourth-quarter weakness in the world’s second largest economy is extending into the beginning of the new year. “The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI signaled a slight deterioration in the health of China’s manufacturing sector in March…

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​Aircraft-less carriers: No point in new Navy vessel if no jets supplied, MPs warn

The total cost of operating the aircraft carrier, which includes deploying additional ships to protect it and jets to launch from it, exceed Britain’s projected military spending, MPs warned. Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the government’s intention to bring HMS Prince of Wales into service at the NATO summit in Wales last September. At the time, Cameron said the second aircraft carrier would enable the UK to “always have one carrier available, 100 percent of the time.” The Royal Navy has operated one aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, since last July. …

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​Western ISIS adventurism, Israel behind Hamas – new Assange revelations

US has long wanted to bring Ukraine to West The United States has spent “a lot of time trying to bring Ukraine to the West,” the WikiLeaks founder said in an interview to Pagina/12, Argentinian newspaper on Monday. READ MORE: US to send more drones, Humvees to Ukraine “If it cannot be with a NATO membership, at least it becomes independent from Moscow’s sphere of influence, to reduce Russian industrial-military complex and its naval bases in Crimea.” READ MORE: Ukraine to participate in 11 NATO war games in 2015 Kiev first step closer to NATO was in December 2014, when President Petro Poroshenko signed a law canceling the Ukraine’ non-bloc status and promised to hold a national referendum on NATO accession in the next five to six years. In January, Kiev authorities announced that the Ukrainian army would take part in 11 international military drills in 2015 to bolster NATO standards in troops. …

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Boost NATO military presence in Eastern Europe – British MPs

A report from the Select Defense Committee said while measures had been agreed upon, more time and resources need to be committed to NATO forces to ensure they have the capacity to meet potential Russian threats. The report, “Re-thinking defense to meet new threats,” also acknowledged the UK faces considerable danger from states dominated by radical jihadist groups. The proposed “reassurance measures,” intended to make NATO allies feel safer, were accepted at the NATO summit in Wales and include positioning equipment in the Baltic States, continuous presence of NATO troops on training in the Baltic, and the re-establishment of large-scale military exercises. …

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$100bn NATO claim: Serbian NGOs seek compensation for 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia

A meeting of the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals and the Club of Generals and Admirals in Belgrade presented an initiative to hold 28-member NATO financially accountable for the damage that Yugoslavia sustained in the attacks. Serbian experts put the price tag of the devastation between $60 and $100 billion. Retired General Jovo Milanovic said that NATO’s military offensive, which was unsanctioned by the United Nations, represented “a violation of all norms of international law that caused enormous material damage to Yugoslavia and huge human casualties,” Tass quoted him as saying. …

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Falklands/Malvinas: UK sends more troops to islands amid ‘increased threat’ from Argentina

Argentina is feared to be increasing its military expenditure 33 years after the Falklands/Malvinas war, according to reports. Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be working on a deal to lease 12 long-range bombers to the Latin American country. Fallon told BBC Breakfast: “We have been reviewing our defense arrangements of the Falklands where there is obviously a continuing threat even 30 years after the Falklands war. I’m going to be announcing in parliament how we are going to beef up the defense of Falkland Islands – obviously I can’t go into details before I tell parliament.” Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Fallon was asked whether the threat to the islands had increased, following reports that Russia was planning to lease the bombers to Argentina. …

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Lee Kuan Yew – Political genius personified

In an era where rather inept political pygmies are struggling to ‘lead’ the Western world, Lee Kuan Yew deployed a simple mix of ingredients to deliver unprecedented prosperity to his citizens. Where too many other nations have failed to deliver through their ham-fisted, self-destructive, socialism, Lee Kuan Yew concentrated his efforts on economic growth – with incredible results. It wasn’t just an obsession with growing the economy per se, but a journey to national improvement with opportunity for all. …

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Conflict in Ukraine wipes out 25% of country’s economy

“We’ve lost a quarter of the Ukrainian economy. Hundreds of facilities were closed because of war…” Yatsenyuk said on Tuesday in a conference call to regional governors over budget fulfillment. At the same time the government managed to collect more in taxes than in the previous year, he added. Talking about Ukraine’s fiscal position, Yatsenyuk said the government had managed to accumulate almost $670 million in its single treasury account…

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