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Jun 23, 2020

Image Shows Russian Submarine Appearing To Break International Treaty

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, geopolitics, treaties

A Russian submarine passed through Turkey on Tuesday, in an apparent breach of the longstanding Montreux Convention, which prohibits submarines from moving between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. If the move goes unchecked it could change the balance of power in the region, making Russia more powerful in the Mediterranean.

The submarine was photographed by Yörük Işık, a highly respected ship spotter who lives in Istanbul. There is no mistaking that this is a Kilo Class submarine. Only Russia operates this type of submarine in the Black Sea. Romania also has a sole example on its lists but that hasn’t been active in decades so it cannot be that.

More specifically, the submarine is likely to be the Project 636.3 boat Rostov-on-Don, heading to take up duty in Syria. Russian state media reported on April 27 that the sub would be dispatched on a “deployment in distant waters” to the Mediterranean. Analysis of open-source intelligence suggests that she put to sea briefly after the announcement but then returned to her base on April 29. This was likely to start a pre-deployment COVID-19 isolation. She then participated in the Victory Day parade in Sevastopol, Crimea. She did not actually head south toward the Mediterranean until now.

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Jun 9, 2020

Russia will open nuclear disarmament talks with US

Posted by in categories: nuclear weapons, treaties

But Moscow warns against insisting on including China in New Start negotiations.

Jun 9, 2020

Imagining safety zones: Implications and open questions

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, law, policy, space travel, treaties

In May, NASA announced its intent to “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space” referred to as the Artemis Accords.[1,2] The Accords were released initially as draft principles, to be developed and implemented through a series of bilateral agreements with international partners.

The Accords offer the possibility to advance practical implementations of long-held principles in the Outer Space Treaty (OST). They raise a rich set of policy questions as we begin to take the law into new levels of resolution. This bold pursuit of uncharted territories is to be applauded, and yet, there is also the risk of diverging from 53 years of international law.

One the ten principles is focused on Deconfliction of Activities, with “safety zones” named as a specific mechanism of implementation:

Jun 6, 2020

From Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to the first mission to Mars

Posted by in categories: alien life, chemistry, geopolitics, habitats, physics, robotics/AI, sustainability, treaties

Pleased to have been the guest on this most recent episode of Javier Ideami’s Beyond podcast. We discuss everything from #spaceexploration to #astrobiology!


In this episode, we travel from Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage to the first mission to Mars with Bruce Dorminey. Bruce is a science journalist and author who primarily covers aerospace, astronomy and astrophysics. He is a regular contributor to Astronomy magazine and since 2012, he has written a regular tech column for Forbes magazine. He is also a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Writer of “Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System”, he was a 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA) as well as a founding team member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Science Communication Focus Group.

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May 29, 2020

Nuclear watchdog says any US test would be ‘grave challenge to peace’

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, treaties

Lassina Zerbo, head of body monitoring test ban treaty, responds to White House discussions about potential first US test for 28 years.

Julian Borger in Washington.

Apr 24, 2020

The Vatican: Human Progress and High Tech Healthcare Innovation

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, media & arts, treaties

Ira Pastor, ideaXme life sciences ambassador, interviews Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.

IdeaXme does not advocate for or support any religion in favour of another.

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Mar 29, 2020

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Troubles Remain Unaddressed Amid a Global Pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, geopolitics, health, military, treaties

It is vital that would-be bombmakers be disabused of any notion that they could evade tough international sanctions. We need a country-neutral, reasonably predictable, more-or-less automatic sanction regime that puts all countries on notice, even friends of the powerful.

By Victor Gilinsky Henry Sokolski

Just as we’ve had to discard business-as-usual thinking to deal with the current worldwide health emergency; it’s time to get serious about the spread of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have the immediacy of the coronavirus, but it will last a lot longer and is no less threatening. In particular, we need to fortify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which is fifty years old this year and badly needs fixing. The April 2020 Review Conference will likely be postponed, which provides time to develop something more than the usual charade of incremental proposals that nibble at the problem.

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Feb 10, 2020

A Plea to Save the Last Nuclear Arms Treaty

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, treaties

Two former diplomats, from Russia and America, call for extending the nuclear arms limitation pact called New START, to make the world more secure.

Jan 30, 2020

‘Absolutely Horrific’: Trump Preparing to Roll Back Restrictions on US Military Use of Landmines

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, military, policy, treaties

President Donald Trump is reportedly preparing to roll back established constraints on the U.S. military’s ability to use landmines overseas despite the weapons’ long history of killing and maiming civilians around the world.

More than 160 nations have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Treaty, which prohibits the stockpiling, production, and use of landmines. The United States is one of just 32 U.N. member states that have not ratified the treaty.


“Trump’s policy rollback is a step toward the past, like many of his other decisions, and sends exactly the wrong message to those working to rid the world of the scourge of landmines.”

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Jan 8, 2020

Ringing the Alarm on Killer Robots

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, robotics/AI, treaties

Major military powers are racing to embrace weapons that select and fire on targets without meaningful human control. This is raising the specter of immoral, unaccountable, largely uncontrollable weapon systems – killer robots. It is also driving fears of widespread proliferation and arms races leading to global and regional instability.

There is increasing recognition that it’s time to ring the alarm on these weapons systems. This month in Paris, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a new international treaty to ban killer robots, stating that “machines that have the power and discretion to kill without human intervention are politically unacceptable and morally despicable.”

Yet at last week’s meeting of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) at the UN in Geneva, states made no progress towards launching negotiations on a treaty to ban or restrict such fully autonomous weapons. Instead, they agreed to spend the next two years developing a “normative and operational framework” to address concerns raised by such weapons systems.

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