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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a Carnegie Europe think tank event at the Bibliotheque Solvay in Brussels on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. In a farewell speech as NATO’s top civilian official, Rasmussen said the alliance finds itself on the front lines of a geopolitical division between “tolerance and fanaticism,” and “democracy and totalitarianism.” Rasmussen’s five-year term as NATO secretary general comes to a close at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)(The Associated Press)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks with the Associated Press during an interview at the Bibliotheque Solvay in Brussels on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. In a farewell speech as NATO’s top civilian official, Rasmussen said the alliance finds itself on the front lines of a geopolitical division between “tolerance and fanaticism,” and “democracy and totalitarianism.” Rasmussen’s five-year term as NATO secretary general comes to a close at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)(The Associated Press)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pauses before speaking during a Carnegie Europe think tank event at the Bibliotheque Solvay in Brussels on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. In a farewell speech as NATO’s top civilian official, Rasmussen said the alliance finds itself on the front lines of a geopolitical division between “tolerance and fanaticism,” and “democracy and totalitarianism.” Rasmussen’s five-year term as NATO secretary general comes to a close at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)(The Associated Press)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a Carnegie Europe think tank event at the Bibliotheque Solvay in Brussels on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014. In a farewell speech as NATO’s top civilian official, Rasmussen said the alliance finds itself on the front lines of a geopolitical division between “tolerance and fanaticism,” and “democracy and totalitarianism.” Rasmussen’s five-year term as NATO secretary general comes to a close at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)(The Associated Press)

BRUSSELS When Anders Fogh Rasmussen took over at NATO, the alliance was struggling to contain a growing insurgency in Afghanistan, and some predicted it would soon follow its Cold War foe, the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, into the dustbin of history.

Five years later, as Rasmussen wraps up his tenure as the 12th secretary general in NATO’s history, the U.S., Canada and their European allies are again squaring off against the Russians, and must confront a more diverse and bewildering array of threats to Western security than ever.

“We should be prepared to address all of them, whether it is a conventional threat against our territory, or what I would call hybrid warfare as we have seen in Ukraine a sophisticated Russian mix of conventional military operations and information and disinformation campaigns or terrorism as we see it in Iraq, or cyber-attacks or missile attacks,” Rasmussen told The Associated Press in a farewell interview.

“All this is part of today’s security environment and NATO must stand ready to protect our societies and our populations against all those threats,” said Rasmussen.

The 61-year-old Dane’s last day as the U.S.-led defense alliance’s top civilian official is Sept. 30. In one of his last official acts, he was scheduled to deliver a speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday.

On Rasmussen’s watch, NATO continued to wage what has been the longest and most extensive military operation in its 65-year history in Afghanistan, a campaign that is supposed to come to an end this December.

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NATO's outgoing chief says 'we cut fat, built muscle,' but leaves long to-do list

By JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) – When Anders Fogh Rasmussen took over at NATO, the alliance was struggling to contain a growing insurgency in Afghanistan, and some predicted it would soon follow its Cold War foe, the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, into the dustbin of history.

Five years later, as Rasmussen wraps up his tenure as the 12th secretary general in NATO’s history, the U.S., Canada and their European allies are again squaring off against the Russians, and must confront a more diverse and bewildering array of threats to Western security than ever.

“We should be prepared to address all of them, whether it is a conventional threat against our territory, or what I would call hybrid warfare as we have seen in Ukraine – a sophisticated Russian mix of conventional military operations and information and disinformation campaigns – or terrorism as we see it in Iraq, or cyber-attacks or missile attacks,” Rasmussen told The Associated Press in a farewell interview.

“All this is part of today’s security environment and NATO must stand ready to protect our societies and our populations against all those threats,” said Rasmussen.

The 61-year-old Dane’s last day as the U.S.-led defense alliance’s top civilian official is Sept. 30. In one of his last official acts, he was scheduled to deliver a speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday.

On Rasmussen’s watch, NATO continued to wage what has been the longest and most extensive military operation in its 65-year history in Afghanistan, a campaign that is supposed to come to an end this December.

“Rasmussen played a valuable role in helping convince NATO members to contribute additional forces to President Barack Obama’s surge strategy,” said Jorge Benitez, senior fellow for trans-Atlantic security at the Washington, D.C.-based Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. “This was a major accomplishment because the momentum had been for allies to decrease their commitments in Afghanistan.”

Rasmussen, a former center-right prime minister of Denmark, was also in charge when NATO provided air cover to the rebel militias that brought down Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

An important lesson he drew from that conflict and the ensuing chaos, Rasmussen told AP, was that the international community must get involved faster when a repressive regime is overthrown, in order to improve the chances for a desirable and stable outcome.

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NATO's outgoing chief: 'We cut fat, built muscle" – NBC40.net

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav

Discovery Communications and Liberty Global said Tuesday that they have closed the $930 million joint acquisition of U.K. TV production firm All3Media following regulatory clearance.

In May, Discovery and Liberty Global formed a joint venture “to preserve All3Medias creative autonomy while providing strategic guidance and investment to support its global growth.” John Malone controls Liberty Global and is a big shareholder in Discovery.

As widely expected, All3Media CEO Farah Ramzan Golant is stepping down. A global search for a new CEO will begin immediately, the new owners said. Jane Turton, currently COO, has been promoted to managing director of All3Media and will oversee the transition period. Neil Bright will continue in his role as CFO.

All3Media is considered Britain’s largest independent TV producer and distributor. The company’s shows include Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Undercover Boss, Skins, The White Queen, U.K. scripted reality hit The Only Way Is Essex and Cash Cab New York. Private equity firm Permira sold privately-held All3Media.

Read More U.K. Independent Producer All3Media Signs Five-Year Deal With EMI Music Publishing

The company was formed in 2003 by a group of former ITV executives and has acquired a portfolio of production outfits, including Company (The Village), Objective (Peep Show), Lime Pictures (The Only Way Is Essex), Optomen (Kitchen Nightmares) and One Potato, Two Potato (set up by Gordon Ramsay and Optomen).

All3Media is a production powerhouse, with a unique ability to attract, foster and retain some of the best creative minds in the business. For nearly 30 years, Discovery has invested in high-quality content and todays deal furthers that commitment, said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Discovery has a proven track record of nurturing creativity and building scale across the world. Working with our valued partner Liberty Global, we will focus on empowering All3Media to continue innovating and delivering even greater stand-out content to its clients and partners across the globe.

Said Mike Fries, CEO of Liberty Global, which has recently outlined its acquisitions strategy for content companies: The business, which produces content for some of our biggest markets in Europe, including the U.K., Germany and the Netherlands, is a natural fit for us and our strategy for content. Discovery is the perfect partner too, as they not only commission All3Media content already, but also share our ambition to create compelling, localized content for domestic markets. Together, we will seek to preserve All3Medias creative independence and support its management to further grow this strong creative business.

Read more Analyst Lauds Discovery’s ‘Grand European Strategy’ After Acquisitions

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Discovery, Liberty Global Complete Acquisition of U.K. Producer All3Media

Posted by Jennifer Schutz (@jschutz) 5 day(s) ago

Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine Forms Collaboration with National University Ireland Galway

ROCHESTER, Minn. The Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine and colleagues at the National University Ireland Galway have signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pave the way for joint clinical trials using regenerative therapies.

The MOU follows years of close collaboration with NUI Galways Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and will focus on adult stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering. Furthermore, the agreement facilitates ongoing student and staff exchange between Galway and the United States.

MEDIA CONTACT:Jennifer Schutz, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

Journalists: Sound bites withDr. Windebankare in the downloads.

Anthony Windebank, M.D., deputy director for Discovery, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Professor Timothy OBrien, director of the REMEDI, were among those present at the signing in Galway.

Both the National University Ireland Galway and the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine have laboratories which are compliant with current good manufacturing practice (GMP) regulations as it applies to cell manufacturing, says Professor OBrien. This allows us to initiate joint trials of regenerative therapies that will produce identical cell products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency are making efforts to streamline and facilitate introduction of new therapies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Carrying out these approval processes and completing joint studies will facilitate more rapid introduction of new therapies for patients.

Pictured at the signing: Prof. Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway; Dr. Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway; Dr. Anthony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine; and Prof. Tim OBrien, Director of REMEDI NUI Galway.

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Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine Forms Collaboration with National University Ireland Galway

NEW YORK Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Barack Obamas climate change speech at the United Nations is what he didnt say.

Obama didnt promise $1 billion to help poor countries adapt to the dire effects of climate change, like France did. And he didnt offer any hints about how sharply greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in the years after 2020, like the European Union and several other countries did.

Instead, the president on Tuesday delivered a forceful but largely detail-free speech that sought to reassure the world about the United States commitment to reaching a global climate change agreement at crucial talks in Paris at the end of 2015, while leaving the specifics for later.

It was a good speech, but there was nothing revolutionary put forward, said Heather Coleman, climate change policy manager at Oxfam America.

Many groups fighting for a strong global agreement say revolutionary changes are needed if the planet has a chance of avoiding the most serious effects of climate change, such as widespread drought and substantial sea-level rise. While many environmentalists praised Obamas speech, others said theyre still waiting for more aggressive steps, like a concerted effort to wean the country off fossil fuels.

If the president really wants collective ambition, hes got to show a little more can-do spirit from the worlds leading economy, said Bill McKibben, who played a prominent role in Sundays massive climate march and is the co-founder of the environmental group 350.org. Todays boasts about his climate efforts ring hollow in the face of America passing Saudi Arabia and Russia as the worlds largest oil and gas producer. We hope that when next year comes and he proposes actual targets, theyll start to reverse the trend.

Its no accident that Obama didnt make big promises. After years of failed international climate change negotiations, the president and his aides are keenly aware of the pitfalls of over-promising, even though the administration has taken unprecedented measures at home to tackle climate change, including seeking the first-ever greenhouse gas limits on the nations power plants.

The Obama administration faces a series of complicated considerations as it prepares its post-2020 emissions target, including determining what is achievable and politically viable, and how best the U.S. can pressure other countries to take similar action.

Peter Ogden, director of international energy and climate policy at the Center for American Progress, said the U.S. could use the time before it announces its post-2020 target to pressure China and other major polluters to offer strong targets of their own.

I actually think that its smart to be a little patient, spend some time after it has decided its own target to work quietly with China and others to push for equally strong ones from them, he said.

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Obama offers few climate details

Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Monday that the brazen Russian invasion of his country has him proposing a new “Coalition of Freedom,” to defend democracy and Western values in a troubled world.

“It is about security for everyone,” said Klimkin, during an exclusive Fox News interview on the eve of world leaders gathering in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. “If someone in this interchangeable and intertwined world cannot feel secure, how can U.S. citizens here feel secure?”

He says that Ukraine is confrontinga threat any nation can face, adding “we need a network of security.” His proposed Coalition of Freedom would consist of “countries which are committed to freedom, to democratic values, where we are not talking about spheres of influence, but the values and real interests of democratic countries.”

Klimkin said he faults the world body for failing to confront what he called Russia’s invasion of Crimea, and eastern Ukraine. He also said that the West was effectively caught flat-footed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shocking territorial conquest of parts of his country.

“I believe that NATO, the U.S. and the European Union were not ready for such developments, which have taken place around Crimea and now in Donetsk and Luhansk. Now all of us clearly understand the depths of these events.”

Klimkin also is calling for “a fundamental change for the U.N.,” which has been impotent in the wake of the first European invasion of another country since Adolf Hitler tested British, French and American resolve with the Nazi invasions of the 1930′s.

“If you see the whole inflow of mercenaries, money, weapons and heavy weapons into Ukraine, and it’s all coming across the Ukraine-Russian border, if you see the presence of Russian troops and Russian heavy weaponry on our territory, it is an act of aggression.”

Despite Russia’s occupation of his country, Klimkin says Ukraine has “the solidarity of the Western world.”

Supporters of Ukraine in Congress are also going beyond siding with Kiev in its fight against Moscow by seeking to provide military arms the country’s forces need to face the Russian backed rebels.

President Obama has so far decided to only send non-lethal supplies to the Ukrainian military. The administration is reportedly concerned that weapons shipments would only embolden Putin even further.

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Ukraine's FM calling for 'Coalition of Freedom'

Sep 212014

Bitcoin (COIN, OTCQB:BTCS) prices are down $25 today, and over $70 on the week. Coinbase is currently showing a bid-ask spread of $400.29-$401.90. The Alibaba IPO is viewed as a possible culprit – Bitcoin Magazine observes volume at both major Chinese and European exchanges is well above daily averages, leading it to think investors are unloading Bitcoin positions to buy into Alibaba. Quant trader Raffael Danielli isn’t buying the theory. “Selling your Bitcoins yesterday (and during the night) will only put USD into your Bitcoin exchange account. From there you have to still transfer it to your stock broker which usually takes a couple of days.” Though the list of high-profile Bitcoin supporters has kept growing in recent months, Bitcoin prices are now down ~40% from their June highs, and ~65% from all-time highs set last fall. Share this with a colleague

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Bitcoin prices fall towards $400



“Europe, forget U.S. interests! NATO expansion poor policy,” blasts MEP Permuy
Video ID: 20140916-017 SOT, Javier Couso Permuy, Member of European Parliament (in Spanish): “I've been rather struck by the belligerent tone of some comment…

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"Europe, forget U.S. interests! NATO expansion poor policy," blasts MEP Permuy – Video

Plans for a major rewriting of international tax rules unveiled on Tuesday could eliminate structures that have allowed companies like Google and Amazon to shave billions of dollars off their tax bills.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development announced a series of measures that, if implemented by members, could stop companies from employing many commonly used practices to shift profits into tax havens.

According to Reuters, corporate tax avoidance has become a hot political topic following media coverage and parliamentary investigations into the arrangements many big companies use to cut their tax bills.

Amazon and Google say they pay all the taxes they should. Analysts say competitive pressures force companies to seek to minimise all costs, including tax.

Last year, the Group of 20 leading economies asked the OECD to develop an action plan to tackle the problem.

Big United States technology companies could be those most affected by the OECDs plans but others could also be impacted including pharmaceuticals and branded consumer goods, as well as many European companies.

The draft proposals announced have been agreed by all G20 members and OECD members, which include most major industrialised countries, the OECD said in a statement.

But the measures form part of a larger (tax) base erosion and profit shifting programmme that will conclude next year. Only then will countries look at enshrining the results of the programme in law.

For more than 50 years, the OECDs work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits. The fear was that this would hamper trade and limit global growth.

Over the years, the OECD has formulated a standardised model tax treaty which allows countries to split taxation rights and avoid double taxation, partly by providing reliefs from measures intended to stop tax avoidance, like withholding taxes.

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Plans unveiled to crack corporate tax avoidance

September 17, 2014

Plansfor a major rewriting of international tax rules unveiled onTuesday could eliminate structures that have allowed companies likeGoogle Inc and Amazon.com Inc to shave billions of dollars offtheir tax bills. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment (OECD) announced a series of measures that, ifimplemented by members, could stop companies from employing manycommonly-used practices to shift profits into tax havens.

Corporate tax avoidance has become a hot political topic following media coverage and parliamentary investigations into the arrangements many big companies use to cut their tax bills. Amazon and Google say they pay all the taxes they should. Analysts say competitive pressures force companies to seek to minimise all costs, including tax.

Last year, the Group of 20 leading economies asked the OECD to develop an action plan to tackle the problem. Big US technology companies could be those most affected by the OECD’s plans but others could also be impacted including pharmaceuticals and branded consumer goods, as well as many European companies.

The draft proposals announced have been agreed by all G20 members and OECD members, which include most major industrialised countries, the OECD said in a statement. But the measures form part of a larger ‘(tax) base erosion and profit shifting’ programme that will conclude next year. Only then will countries look at enshrining the results of the programme in law.

For more than 50 years, the OECD’s work on international taxation has been focused on ensuring companies are not taxed twice on the same profits. The fear was that this would hamper trade and limit global growth. Over the years, the OECD has formulated a standardised model tax treaty which allows countries to split taxation rights and avoid double taxation, partly by providing reliefs from measures intended to stop tax avoidance, like withholding taxes.

But companies have been using such treaties to ensure profits are not taxed anywhere. For example, search giant Google takes advantage of tax treaties to channel more than $8 billion in untaxed profits out of Europe and Asia each year and into a subsidiary that is tax resident in Bermuda, which has no income tax. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said changes to tax rules that increased its tax bill would hit innovation. The OECD’s proposals would make amendments to its model treaty so that cross-border transactions would not benefit from the reliefs in tax treaties if a principal reason for engaging in the transactions was to avoid tax.

“We are putting an end to double non-taxation,” OECD head of tax Pascal Saint-Amans said in a call with journalists. The think tank, which also advises members on economic policy, also wants curbs on how much profit companies can report in centralised inter-company lending and purchasing arms, which are often based in tax havens. Where such subsidiaries generate large profits on the back of intra-company trade, the OECD said the profits should be shared across the group.

This could hit UK telecoms provider Vodafone Group Plc , which has a Luxembourg subsidiary that buys telephone equipment for the group. Vodafone Procurement Company’s 200 staff generated profits of over 400 million euros (518.52 million US dollar) last year, making it one of the group’s smallest but most profitable divisions. An unusual Luxembourg tax rule allowed the subsidiary to pay no tax on that profit.

Vodafone said businesses across Europe already benefited from savings achieved by the Luxembourg operation and that it did not expect a significant impact on its business from the OECD measures. The OECD has also proposed changes in the rules on tax residence that allow US tech giants to generate billions of dollars in sales in many countries but not have those revenues assessed for tax by those countries’ tax authorities.

Originally posted here:
New global plans unveiled to crack down on corporate tax avoidance | Business Recorder



After the Summit: General Philip M. Breedlove on NATO'S Path Forward
Please join the Atlantic Council's Commanders Series on September 15th, 2014 at 11a.m. for a conversation with General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander, US European…

By: AtlanticCouncil

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After the Summit: General Philip M. Breedlove on NATO’S Path Forward – Video

North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO),military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty (also called the Washington Treaty) of April 4, 1949, which sought to create a counterweight to Soviet armies stationed in central and eastern Europe after World War II. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Joining the original signatories were Greece and Turkey (1952); West Germany (1955; from 1990 as Germany); Spain (1982); the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland (1999); Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia (2004); and Albania and Croatia (2009). France withdrew from the integrated military command of NATO in 1966 but remained a member of the organization; it resumed its position in NATOs military command in 2009.

The heart of NATO is expressed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which the signatory members agree that

an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

NATO invoked Article 5 for the first time in 2001, after terrorist attacks organized by exiled Saudi Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden destroyed the World Trade Center in New York City and part of the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing some 3,000 people.

Article 6 defines the geographic scope of the treaty as covering an armed attack on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America. Other articles commit the allies to strengthening their democratic institutions, to building their collective military capability, to consulting each other, and to remaining open to inviting other European states to join.

After World War II in 1945, western Europe was economically exhausted and militarily weak (the western Allies had rapidly and drastically reduced their armies at the end of the war), and newly powerful communist parties had arisen in France and Italy. By contrast, the Soviet Union had emerged from the war with its armies dominating all the states of central and eastern Europe, and by 1948 communists under Moscows sponsorship had consolidated their control of the governments of those countries and suppressed all noncommunist political activity. What became known as the Iron Curtain, a term popularized by Winston Churchill, had descended over central and eastern Europe. Further, wartime cooperation between the western Allies and the Soviets had completely broken down. Each side was organizing its own sector of occupied Germany, so that two German states would emerge, a democratic one in the west and a communist one in the east.

In 1948 the United States launched the Marshall Plan, which infused massive amounts of economic aid to the countries of western and southern Europe on the condition that they cooperate with each other and engage in joint planning to hasten their mutual recovery. As for military recovery, under the Brussels Treaty of 1948, the United Kingdom, France, and the Low CountriesBelgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourgconcluded a collective-defense agreement called the Western European Union. It was soon recognized, however, that a more formidable alliance would be required to provide an adequate military counterweight to the Soviets.

By this time Britain, Canada, and the United States had already engaged in secret exploratory talks on security arrangements that would serve as an alternative to the United Nations (UN), which was becoming paralyzed by the rapidly emerging Cold War. In March 1948, following a virtual communist coup dtat in Czechoslovakia in February, the three governments began discussions on a multilateral collective-defense scheme that would enhance Western security and promote democratic values. These discussions were eventually joined by France, the Low Countries, and Norway and in April 1949 resulted in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Spurred by the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the United States took steps to demonstrate that it would resist any Soviet military expansion or pressures in Europe. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the leader of the Allied forces in western Europe in World War II, was named Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) by the North Atlantic Council (NATOs governing body) in December 1950. He was followed as SACEUR by a succession of American generals.

The North Atlantic Council, which was established soon after the treaty came into effect, is composed of ministerial representatives of the member states, who meet at least twice a year. At other times the council, chaired by the NATO secretary-general, remains in permanent session at the ambassadorial level. Just as the position of SACEUR has always been held by an American, the secretary-generalship has always been held by a European.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — Encyclopedia …

The thriving San Francisco-based Bitcoin exchange and payments processor has bitten off an ambitious first step into the European market. Here's how.

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Coinbase Goes Global, Launches Bitcoin Services in 13 European Countries



15 Years of Hubble Telescope
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is one of the biggest scientific projects of all time. To mark the 15th anniversary on 24 April 2005, the European Space …

By: Adeline felix

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15 Years of Hubble Telescope – Video

Coinbase, one of the most popular digital wallet providers, is expanding to 13 European countries by allowing those with authorized European bank accounts to buy and sell Bitcoins in exchange for euros.

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DealBook: Coinbase Extends Bitcoin Access to International Customers

By John-Thor Dahlburg

The Associated Press

Published: September 10, 2014 (Issue # 1828)

Three NATO ships taking part in the multinational Sea Breeze 2014 military exercise, which started on Monday in the Black Sea. Photo: NATO

NEWPORT, Wales NATOs creation of a rapid-reaction spearhead force to protect Eastern Europe from Russian bullying reflects a cool-eyed calculation that Vladimir Putin and his generals wont risk head-to-head confrontation with the U.S. and its nuclear-capable Western European allies.

The new force will be small, with just a few thousand troops, but its a powerful message from major powers that theyre willing to follow through on NATOs eastward expansion with their own metal and blood.

Why would this be enough? said Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw, NATOs deputy supreme European commander. Well, precisely because in becoming embroiled in a conflict with capable combat forces from across the alliance, a potential aggressor recognizes that they are taking on the whole of NATO and all that implies.

I dont think that anyone believes that Russia wants a strategic conflict with NATO, the British army general said. Anybody would be insane to wish that.

The force was ordered into life on Sept. 5 by President Barack Obama and other NATO leaders at a summit meeting in Wales to deter Putin and make NATOs most vulnerable members, such as Poland, Romania and the Baltic republics, feel safer from Russias million-strong armed forces in light of Moscows military involvement in Ukraine.

Ukraine is not a NATO member and not directly under its defense umbrella, but three other former Soviet republics have joined the alliance since the end of the Cold War, as well as the former Soviet satellite states of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia (formerly one country), Romania and Bulgaria.

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NATO Creates Spearhead Force to Deter Russia

Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA), said it may make investments to reap greater benefits from its minority stake in ITV, the U.K.s biggest commercial broadcaster, and has no current plans to increase that holding.

Liberty Global, the international cable company controlled by billionaire John Malone, will seek other U.K. takeovers if they are suitable, Chief Strategy Officer Jim Ryan said today at a Royal Television Society conference in London. Its important we get access to local content, he said.

Malones company, which owns cable operators from Hungary to the U.K., has been expanding into TV production and programs to drive growth as the number of cable acquisition opportunities in Europe dwindles.

Liberty Global bought a 6.4 percent stake in ITV, which has top-rated shows such as Downton Abbey and rights to European Champions League soccer coverage, from Rupert Murdochs British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc for 481 million pounds ($775 million) in July. In May, Liberty Global teamed up with Discovery Communications Inc. to buy Permira Advisers LLPs television producer All3Media, in a deal valuing the company at 550 million pounds.

Good-quality content will be increasingly hard to come by because of consolidation in the industry, Ryan said today.

ITV shares fell 0.5 percent to 217.3 pence at 2:59 p.m. in London, paring the advance to 12 percent this year and giving the company a market value of about 8.7 billion pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Valpuesta in London at rvalpuesta@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net Robert Valpuesta, John Bowker

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Liberty Global Looks for U.K. Deals to Enhance ITV Stake Value



Faroe Islands vs. Finland Live Stream (: European Championship Qualifying) 7 September 2014
HD LIVE STREAM ===^^=== http://goo.gl/gwxHbw LOW QUALITY LIVE STREAM ===^^=== http://goo.gl/gwxHbw GOALS HIGHLIGHTS ===^^=== http://goo.gl/gwxHbw Watch FINLAND vs FAROE ISLANDS Live Streaming…

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Faroe Islands vs. Finland Live Stream (: European Championship Qualifying) 7 September 2014 – Video

BRUSSELS, Sept. 8 (UPI) — NATO leaders are aiming to strengthen alliance capabilities amid Russian aggression in the Ukraine and growing threats elsewhere that threaten Europe.

First, leaders of the 28 member countries meeting in Wales last week resolved to maintain a continuous air, land, and sea presence in Eastern Europe — including the Baltics — on a rotational basis given Russian machinations in the region.

They also agreed to create a rapid response force.

“This spearhead will include several thousand land troops ready to deploy within a few days with air, sea and Special Forces support,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The force plan includes a command-and-control presence, reception facilities and pre-positioned equipment.

“This is a demonstration of our solidarity and resolve,” Fogh Rasmussen said. “In these turbulent times, NATO must be prepared to undertake the full range of missions and to defend allies against the full range of threats.”

The demonstration of resolve comes amid months of tension in Europe over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and action by pro-Russian insurrectionists — reportedly with active Russian involvement — to take other parts of the Ukraine, which was once part of the Soviet empire. The belligerence from Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to European and American protests — and actions such as sanctions against Russia — has done nothing to dampen fears of a return to Cold War footing, not to mention fears for the future of territorial integrity in Baltic countries.

Canada, Germany, Portugal, Britain and others perform rotational air patrols in the region as a message to Moscow.

NATO leaders also agreed to put their money where their mouth is by reversing years of declining defense spending by member states.

NATO said the allies will focus their military budgets over the next 10 years to meet the “existing NATO guideline of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense and with a view to meeting NATO capability priorities.”

Excerpt from:
NATO trumpets 'resolve' against threats

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Scotland would have to reapply for membership of both the European Union and NATO if Scots vote to leave the United Kingdom in a referendum this month, officials said on Monday. With 10 days to go to a referendum on Scottish independence, a poll published on Sunday showed for the first time this year that supporters of independence took the lead over people …

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Independent Scotland would have to reapply to EU, NATO, officials say



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