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Russian jets probing NATO airspace and supersized war drills are spilling Kremlin military secrets and scaring European nations into stiffening their armed forces.

The alliance said by late October it intercepted more than 100 Russian planes this year, more than three times the number in 2013. A report by the European Leadership Network, a London security research group, termed the incidents a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles and narrowly avoided mid-air collisions.

Yet there are benefits for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Clearly, every time we come into contact with Russian forces and every time we see their tactics and how they deploy, we do learn about them, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, the 28-member NATOs top military commander, said in Tallinn on Nov. 19. They are just happening more often and occasionally, the size of the activities is larger.

A worsening standoff is pitting Europe and the U.S. against Russia over Ukraine in the biggest crisis since the Cold Wars end 25 years ago. Even German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier — a persistent proponent of dialog — said on Nov. 18 after shuttle diplomacy in Kiev and Moscow, that he sees little reason for optimism.

The rapid mobilization of 20,000 to 40,000 Russian troops at the Ukrainian border scared the hell out of NATO, Karl-Heinz Kamp, academic director at the German governments Federal Academy for Security Policy in Berlin, said by phone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. wants not to humiliate, but to subjugate Russia, in remarks at a Nov. 18 meeting of his Peoples Front party supporters in Moscow.

We had such brilliant politicians like Nikita Khrushchev, who hammered the desk with his shoe at the United Nations, Putin said in an Oct. 24 speech. And the whole world, primarily the United States, and NATO thought: this Nikita is best left alone, he might just go and fire a missile.

Monitoring drills and Russian aircraft flying along NATO or Finnish and Swedish airspace is yielding intelligence on command and control, communications and tactics, said Lukasz Kulesa, research director of the ELN in London and former deputy head of Polands National Security Bureau that advises the Polish president. Non-NATO members Finland and Sweden upgraded their alliance ties in September.

A Russian mission that sent planes on the same day to the Baltic, the North Sea and the Black Sea tells us what Russian capabilities have become, Kulesa said by phone. It gives us a much better understanding of Russian readiness and their ability to perform more complex deployments.

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Russia's War Games Spill Secrets, Stiffen NATO Resolve



GREAT FOR NATO Swedish military Skeldar UAV Helicopter
Another great idea from Saab for the swedish military and NATO members. The Saab Skeldar will provide excellent real time intelligence on the battlefield. Skeldar is a medium range VTOL (Vertical…

By: ArmedForcesUpdate

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GREAT FOR NATO Swedish military Skeldar UAV Helicopter – Video

A ship carrying 52 tons of oil in the Baltic Sea ran aground off Stockholms sprawling archipelago Wednesday morning and began leaking its cargo into the intricate network of islands and inlets, an online news agency reported.

The ships crew was working to transfer the oil from the container damaged by the grounding into an intact reservoir on the vessel, the Local English-language agency reported.

Neither the ships name nor country of registry were immediately reported.

Although 52 tons of oil is a relatively small cargo, equal to about 370 barrels, even a minor spill in the archipelago, which is a popular playground for boaters and campers in the area east of the Swedish capital, could inflict significant damage to the pristine environment.

The 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaskas Prince William Sound gushed more than 250,000 barrels into the sensitive aquatic environment, and the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago spilled 560,000 barrels.

“It is too early to know how much damage has been done in the area,” Jonny Aaberg from the Swedish Coast Guard told the Local.

Aaberg said high winds and waves were hampering the efforts to contain the spill.

Two environmental protection vessels were dispatched to the spill area after the coast guard received a distress signal around 5 a.m., the Local reported. Aerial surveillance of the accident site was also being conducted, the agency said.

Stockholms archipelago of 30,000 islands and peninsulas was in the news earlier this month when a mysterious vessel thought to be a Russian submarine was spotted in the area, triggering a massive sea and air hunt on a scale unseen since the Cold War ended. The search for an intruder was called off on Friday after authorities concluded the vessel had left Swedish waters.

Follow @cjwilliamslat for the latest international news 24/7

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Ship runs aground near Stockholm, spilling oil among pristine islands

Sweden’s recent obsessive search for a Russian submarine is an amusing story indeed. The Swedes could not see where the signal was coming from: it could be a Russian, a Dutch submarine or even divers. The performance has its director, though – NATO. Pravda.Ru interviewed the head of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Konstantin Sivkov about the situation in the Stockholm Archipelago.

“As long as they have been looking for a strange object so persistently, it appears that there are serious reasons for that. Could it be our submarine indeed?”

“Technically, it could be anything. Technically, a Russian submarine may find itself both in the fjords of Sweden, and elsewhere in the world ocean. But practically, this is impossible. It goes about “Triton” submarine. This is a midget submarine designed for solving tasks in the vicinity of bases. To be used in remote areas, it should be transported on board a surface ship, as a rule, because its range and the time of autonomous work is not large.

“The duration of a typical anti-submarine search operation that NATO forces conduct makes up from three to five days. If they have not found anything there during this time, they are not likely to find anything then. The area of the possible location of the alleged submarine was small. Some reports said that it was discovered visually, other sources said that it was detected by radio-electronic equipment. The primary location of the submarine was indicated with high accuracy. If the sub was there indeed, it would be found within hours after the detection of an electronic signal.

Sweden has anti-submarine aircraft equipped with powerful sonar equipment and radio-acoustic buoys that can detect such a submarine. Therefore, if it was not found then it means that it was not there. Compare it with the recent detection of a state-of-the-art American submarine, Virginia tyoe, that was found in Russian territorial waters near Novaya Zemlya. Everything was very quickly established, proven and appropriate measures were taken.

All the talk about the Russian submarine in Swedish waters is based on NATO’s intention to feverishly sculpt an enemy from Russia, to justify its existence. The attempt to create an enemy in the form of international terrorism has led to nothing.

No one believes that. Therefore, one should model a more real and more visible image of an enemy. The myth of existence of a Russian submarine in the area was intended to create an idea of Russia’s highly aggressive behavior. This will allow the military to require additional funding, whereas political hawks will seek Sweden’s entry into NATO.”

“Are reconnaissance missions of submarines to territorial waters of other countries a common occurrence?”

“Of course, they are. The Americans do that regularly. Soviet and Russian submarines do that too, certainly. Yet, why would Russian submarines get into the territorial waters of neutral Sweden? There are more dangerous opponents.”

“The Voice of Sweden said one could install special sensors in those fjords to record information and then use the fjords to shelter Russian submarines in an event of emergency. Could it be possible?”

Continued here:
NATO troops to march into Russia as peacekeepers?

Russia spy plane intercepted in NATO airspace

Brussels (AFP) – NATO fighter jets intercepted a Russian spy plane over the Baltic Sea after it breached Estonian airspace, the alliance said Wednesday in the latest of such incidents amid tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.

The Ilyushin IL-20 “intelligence collection aircraft”, which took off from the Russian Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad on Tuesday, was first intercepted by Danish F-16 jets when it approached Denmark, NATO said in a statement.

It then flew north towards non-NATO member Sweden which also sent jets to intercept the plane.

Nearly four hours later the plane flew towards NATO member Estonia and was detected in Estonian airspace “for a period of less than one minute, which represented an incursion of about 600 metres (yards) into NATO airspace,” it said.

Portuguese F-16s spotted the Russian propeller plane and escorted it out of NATO airspace, the alliance said.

The Ukraine crisis has produced the worst east-west tension since the end of the Cold War.

NATO has stepped up its Baltic air patrols due to what it says is a surge in intercepts of Russian warplanes near Polish and Baltic airspace since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March.

The Swedish Navy meanwhile has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week, although it said Wednesday it was pulling back some of its ships.

Excerpt from:
Russia spy plane intercepted in NATO airspace

World

Jets scrambled: an F-16 fighter jet takes off from the military airbase in Europe. Photo: AFP

Brussels: NATO and Swedish fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian intelligence-gathering plane that briefly entered Estonian airspace on Tuesday, the alliance said on Wednesday.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry called the Russian ambassador to the ministry and gave him a protest note over the incursion, the Estonian defence forces said.

Fighters from Denmark as well as Portuguese F-16s from NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics took off after radar detected an unidentified aircraft flying close to NATO airspace in the Baltic Sea, NATO said.

The plane was identified as a Russian IL-20 intelligence-gathering aircraft that had taken off from Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, heading towards Denmark.

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The Russian aircraft was first intercepted by Danish F-16s and later, as it headed further north, by fighters from Sweden, which is not a NATO member.

The Russian aircraft turned south again, entering Estonian airspace for less than one minute, a NATO statement said.

Portuguese F-16s, which had been scrambled from their base in Lithuania, escorted the Russian plane away from NATO airspace.

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NATO, Swedish fighters scrambled to intercept Russian intelligence-gathering plane

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO and Swedish fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian intelligence-gathering plane that briefly entered Estonian airspace on Tuesday, the alliance said on Wednesday. The Estonian Foreign Ministry called the Russian ambassador to the ministry and gave him a protest note over the incursion, the Estonian defense forces said. Fighters from Denmark as well as …

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NATO, Swedish fighters scrambled to intercept Russian plane

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Editor’s note: James Stavridis is dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and former supreme allied commander at NATO. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author

(CNN) — Recent developments off the coast of Sweden raise many questions, and we do not as yet have answers.

Last week, Swedish media reported that the country’s military was searching for an underwater vessel, possibly a Russian submarine, after an emergency radio transmission allegedly made in Russian (although Russia has denied it has any vessels in Swedish waters).

James Stavridis

Now, as the Swedish Navy continues to search for the unidentified undersea vessel that may have penetrated the country’s territorial waters, it’s worth keeping in mind some key facts to help place the issue in perspective.

For a start, anti-submarine warfare is complex and very difficult to execute properly. Especially in the close confines of territorial waters, the advantages tend to accrue to the submarine. The rocky floor of an inland sea like the Baltic can mask acoustic signatures that give watching ships, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft the ability to track and identify a subsurface contact.

Second, this is happening against the backdrop of the Swedish Navy and Air Force having suffered significant budget cuts over the past decades. As a general proposition, the Swedes have a capable and professional force. But since the end of the Cold War, they have not invested heavily in anti-submarine warfare capability.

They are not alone in this regard — many of the other European nations have likewise cut back in this area given a sense that anti-submarine warfare was something they would have needed against the USSR during the Cold War but less so during pre-Ukrainian crisis days with Russia.

And although Sweden is not a NATO member, meaning this operation is a national effort, it is a very strong partner to NATO and has been involved deeply in positive ways in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Libya and other operations. Yet the fact remains that there is no treaty obligation on the part of NATO to be involved. If the Swedes ask for help, it is likely that NATO would respond, but to date they have not done so.

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Opinion: NATO should aid in Swedish search

October 22, 2014 – 10:00 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – NATO scrambled fighter jets twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing, the Associated Press reports.

Lt. Col. Robert Gericke said the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace and had not violated the territory of alliance members.

Two Canadian F-18 Hornet jets were scrambled from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Monday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft, which they shadowed for some 15 minutes, NATO said.

“Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base,” a NATO statement said.

Earlier, the Latvian military tweeted that NATO F-16 jets were dispatched on Tuesday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Gericke confirmed that NATO jets had also intercepted a Russian aircraft that day, but could not immediately provide more details.

NATO, which has 16 fighter jets in the region monitoring Baltic airspace, said it regularly launches jets to identify “unknown or potentially hostile aircraft” in the proximity of national airspace.

There were two similar incidents in the region on Oct 7 and Sept 11, but on neither occasion did the Russian aircraft constitute a threat to NATO forces, the alliance said.

In the past five days, the Swedish Navy has been combing the Stockholm archipelago for signs of a foreign submarine that officials suspect entered its territorial waters illegally. It hasn’t officially linked Russia to the suspected intrusion.

The Finnish military says that Russian military aircraft have violated the small Nordic country’s airspace five times this year, and the Environment Institute said Russian military ships had twice intercepted one of its research vessels in international waters.

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NATO says Russian military aircraft intercepted over Baltic Sea

NATO scrambled fighter jets to intercept Russian aircraft in the proximity of allied airspace over the Baltic Sea on two separate occasions this week, the organization confirmed Tuesday. The incidents occurred amid concern that the Russian military has increased activity in the region in recent days.

Two Canadian F-18 Hornet fighters intercepted a Russian surveillance plane on Monday, the Associated Press reports. The NATO aircraft followed the surveillance plane for about 15 minutes and determined that it didn’t constitute a threat to allied forces.Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base [in Lithuania], NATO said in a statement. The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace throughout the encounter and never crossed into sovereign territory, Lt. Col. Robert Gericke said.

In a separate incident, the Latvian military said that NATO fighter jets were deployed on Tuesday to intercept a Russian surveillance aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea. Gericke confirmed the incident, but additional details on the encounter weren’t immediately available.NATO said Tuesday that it regularly scrambles fighter jets to assess potential threats to the airspace of member nations. The alliance maintains a force of 16 fighter jets to defend the Baltic region.

The interception of the Russian surveillance plane occurred just days after Sweden released a photo of what was believed to be a foreign submarine operating less than 30 miles from the countrys capital in Stockholm, Reuters reported. Three separate sightings confirmed the presence of a submerged vessel.

The Swedish military began its hunt for the vessel after it intercepted a radio transmission in Russian on an emergency frequency, sources told local newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. However, the Russian Defense Ministry has denied involvement in the incident.

Russian Navy ships and submarines are fulfilling their duties in the world ocean waters in accordance with the plan, a defense ministry official said, according to Interfax news agency. There are no extraordinary, let alone emergency, situations involving Russian warships.

Coupled with its actions in Ukraine, Russias increased military activity over the Baltic Sea has led to increased tensions between Moscow and NATO. Finnish military officials claim that Russia has violated Finlands airspace five times in 2014, while NATO has intercepted Russian aircraft on at least two other occasions since September.

Russia is modernizing its military equipment and testing it, but there are also more military exercises, former Swedish defense minister Karin Enstrm told Newsweek. Its a sign of Russia increasing its military capabilities, both when it comes to equipment and fighting abilities. These developments in combination with the war in Ukraine are very serious and alarming. Ukraine is impacting on our part of the world very negatively.

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Russian Military Activity Increasing? NATO Intercepts Surveillance Aircrafts Over Baltic Sea

NATOscrambled fighterjetstwice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing.

Lt.-Col. Robert Gericke said the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace and had not violated the territory of alliance members.

Two Canadian CF-18 Hornetjetswere scrambled from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Monday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft, which they shadowed for some 15 minutes, NATOsaid.

“Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base,” aNATOstatement said.

Earlier, the Latvian military tweeted thatNATOF-16jetswere dispatched on Tuesday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Gericke confirmed thatNATOjets had also intercepted a Russian aircraft that day, but could not immediately provide more details.

NATO, which has 16 fighterjetsin the region monitoring Baltic airspace, said it regularly launchesjetsto identify “unknown or potentially hostile aircraft” in the proximity of national airspace.

There were two similar incidents in the region on Oct. 7 and Sept. 11, but on neither occasion did the Russian aircraft constitute a threat toNATOforces, the alliance said.

In the past five days, the Swedish navy has been combing the Stockholm archipelago for signs of a foreign submarine that officials suspect entered its territorial waters illegally. It hasn’t officially linked Russia to the suspected intrusion.

The Finnish military says that Russian military aircraft have violated the small Nordic country’s airspace five times this year, and the Environment Institute said Russian military ships had twice intercepted one of its research vessels in international waters.

On Sept. 5, an Estonian security service officer was detained on the Russian border Estonia and Russia disagree on which side of it and is still in custody in Moscow.

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NATO scrambles Canadian fighter jets: reports of increased Russian military activity

NATO scrambled fighter jets including two Canadian F-18s twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing.

Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Gericke said the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace and had not violated the territory of alliance members.

Two Canadian F-18 Hornet jets were scrambled from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Monday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft, which they shadowed for some 15 minutes, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said.

Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base, a NATO statement said.

Earlier, the Latvian military tweeted that NATO F-16 jets were dispatched on Tuesday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft over the Baltic Sea. Gericke confirmed that NATO jets had also intercepted a Russian aircraft that day, but could not immediately provide more details.

NATO, which has 16 fighter jets in the region monitoring Baltic airspace, said it regularly launches jets to identify unknown or potentially hostile aircraft in the proximity of national airspace.

There were two similar incidents in the region on Oct. 7 and Sept. 11, but on neither occasion did the Russian aircraft constitute a threat to NATO forces, the alliance said.

In the past five days, the Swedish Navy has been combing the Stockholm archipelago for signs of a foreign submarine that officials suspect entered its territorial waters illegally. It hasnt officially linked Russia to the suspected intrusion.

The Finnish military says that Russian military aircraft have violated the small Nordic countrys airspace five times this year, and the Environment Institute said Russian military ships had twice intercepted one of its research vessels in international waters.

On Sept. 5 an Estonian security service officer was detained on the Russian border Estonia and Russia disagree on which side of it and is still in custody in Moscow.

See original here:
NATO jets intercept Russian fighters twice in two days over Baltic



Rick Falkvinge doesnt want to stand here in 20 years, saying Bitcoin was once legal
Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, draws parallels between the way the legacy financial industry treats bitcoin, the church treated the printing press and the copyright industry…

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Rick Falkvinge doesnt want to stand here in 20 years, saying Bitcoin was once legal – Video



Civilization V: Swedish Space Race #40 – Freedom-Haters
Welcome to Civilization V! As Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, I'm going to try to lead the people of Sweden to the stars with a Science Victory. It's a standard size map, on the Prince…

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Civilization V: Swedish Space Race #40 – Freedom-Haters – Video



EB37 Thomas Spaas Sin Jones: Is Bitcoin subject to VAT? (European consumer goods tax)
Thomas Spaas, director of the Belgian Bitcoin Association and an international tax lawyer in Antwerp, and our regulatory affairs correspondent Sin Jones, join us to discuss a Swedish court…

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EB37 Thomas Spaas & Sin Jones: Is Bitcoin subject to VAT? (European consumer goods tax) – Video

Looking to cram this weekend for the upcoming Coachella festival? The below records by artists playing at the annual festival, which begins April 11, are worthy of pre-festival focus:

The Knife, Shaking the Habitual (Rabid Records)

Swedish avant-pop duo the Knife have been releasing records for 15 years, confounding expectations, drawing followers, crafting a strange, visually impressive project of which music is the most prominent of many disciplines. Their videos are a trip, and their performances are legendary. Their most recent album, Shaking the Habitual, came out in 2013 and landed on many best-of-the-year lists. If you missed it, catch up quick.

COACHELLA 2014: 10 rising acts you should know now

A strange, oddly affecting record with skewed rhythms, extended ambient meditations and epic workouts, and the curious singing of lead vocalist Karin Dreijer Andersson and brother-producer-backing vocalist Olof Dreijer, Shaking is a tough first (and second, and third) listen. But after adjusting to their musical dialect, the work blossoms.

Future Islands, Singles (4AD)

Last year I had dinner with an operative at 4AD Records who enthusiastically said that the tastemaking indie had just signed Baltimore synthpop trio Future Islands. Before then, the band had teetered on the brink. Charismatic vocalist Samuel T. Herring had other creative opportunities but resolved to fully commit to Future Islands. Id long been a fan of the bands thrilling live shows, so the 4AD signing was a good portent, one that has paid off with their breakout album sparked by a great performance of Seasons (Waiting for You) on Late Show With David Letterman.

INTERACTIVE: Discover songs of L.A.

Despite its name, Singles isnt a greatest hits collection at least yet. But among its 10 tracks are a few that pack as much potential as Seasons. The best, Back in the Tall Grass and closer A Dream of You and Me, contain a similar channeling of emotion, one whose lyrics are as confident and borderline cheesy as the glorious Ive been waiting on you! refrain of Seasons.

Motrhead, Aftershock (UDR)

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Coachella 2014: Essential tracks from Motorhead, Knife, Future Islands

By Bryonie Carolan

For the Post

The islands around Prague are still too ravaged by the aftermath of the floods, but that doesn’t mean the long-running United Islands festival will be a washout. The festival – celebrating its 10th anniversary and now with the elongated name United Islands by esk spoitelna – has landed at Ladronka.

Some 195 artists are set to perform across two days on seven open-air stages, including a jazz stage at Portheimka. The jazz stage was originally set for the bar Jazz Dock but had to be moved since the bar, actually built on a dock, suffered damage and is closed for repairs.

United Islands by esk spoitelna When: June 21-22; Fri. 3-10 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Where: Ladronka, Prague 6; Portheimka, Prague 5 Tickets: Free

The most anticipated artist was the headliner, long kept a secret: Aloe Blacc, the American soul-pop singer behind the international hit song “I Need a Dollar,” will play Saturday, June 22, at 8:45 p.m. on the main stage. This will be his first show in the Czech Republic. His music can be described as a catchy mix of mainstream pop and blues, with Latin and jazz influences.

Elsewhere, UK-based indie pop band Citizens! will also play Saturday on the main stage at 5:45 p.m. The band’s light and melodious pop rock is produced by Alex Kapranos, lead singer of popular Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand.

The festival is also celebrating what would have been the 80th birthday of Vclav Havel’s first wife, Olga Havlov, a prominent Czech dissident who committed her life to fostering a civic society. The Plastic People of the Universe, which has long roots in the underground culture scene of 1970s Czechoslovakia, will play on the Garage Stage Friday, June 21, at 7 p.m. There will also be theater performances and a collection of photographs related to Havlov life and legacy.

Other notable performers Friday include: Acollective from Israel, Princess Chelsea from New Zealand, Aly Keita and Kareyce Fotso from Mali and Cameroon, and Prago Union from the Czech Republic. Worthwhile performers to see Saturday are Swedish band Slagsmlsklubben, We Were Evergreen from France and John Primer from the United States. Each night after the open-air day events have finished, DJs and after-parties will continue at local clubs.

A program of the whole weekend’s events can be found on Unitedislands.cz.

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Preview: United Islands by Česká spořitelna



Stockholm Internet Forum Promotes Freedom and Openness
This week the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is hosting the Stockholm Internet Foru…

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Stockholm Internet Forum Promotes Freedom and Openness – Video

May 232013

By Malou Mangahas, PCIJ

STOCKHOLM, Sweden Freedom for all, and all stakeholders speaking out with equal voice, on how to govern the Internet. Internet Freedom. Internet for Freedom.

These issues drive the two-day Stockholm Internet Forum 2013 (SIF13) that opens today, May 22 in this country that ranks top in the world for leveraging the potentials of the Internet, according to the latest Web Index.

The forum focuses on two themes Internet Freedom and Security, and Internet Freedom and Development. Policymakers, netizens, techies, activists, and business and civil society representatives from 93 countries are participants.

(The PCIJ is attending the conference on invitation of the forum organizers, namely, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, .Se or The Internet Infrastructure Foundation of Sweden, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency or SIDA.)

At the reception for delegates on Tuesday, Fadi Chehade, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), called the Internet a free gift for all the people. It would thus be wrong for any one party, organization, or government to propose to control or govern it by itself, he said.

While some countries like the United States have played a big part in developing it, Chehade notes that even the US acknowledges that there is need everywhere for this great resource.

No one organization, no one country, no one government, no one, period, can control the Internet, he said. And we must respect it and govern it like that.

However, across nations and regions of the world, he noted that some parties have done a pretty miserable job of managing the Internet.

The conundrum that confronts governments, civil society, academia, and business is precisely how to manage this resources that spans the planet and crosses borders.

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The Internet and freedom for all



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