Turkey crosses “red line,” gets booted from F-35 partnership

Turkey crosses “red line,” gets booted from F-35 partnership

Enlarge / Turkey’s planned purchase of F-35A Joint Strike Fighters has been vetoed in the wake of the Turkish purchase of Russian anti-air defenses. (credit: US Air Force)

Today, the White House officially announced that Turkey would not be allowed to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The US government had warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that his government’s purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia would be incompatible with NATO systems and would trigger an exclusion of Turkey from the F-35 program. Turkey was a financial contributor to the F-35 development program and already had pilots in the US in training to fly the aircraft; those pilots were kicked off US training bases in June.

US and NATO partners are concerned that the S-400 systems, supported by Russian technicians, will essentially amount to an intelligence collection system for Russia on NATO aircraft and military operations. But

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Italian police raid of neo-fascist militants finds air-to-air missile

Italian police raid of neo-fascist militants finds air-to-air missile

Enlarge / Hmm, what’s this doing there? (credit: Italian General Investigations and Special Operations Division (DIGOS))

A neo-Nazi group in northern Italy had sent members to fight alongside Russia-backed separatists in the Donbass region of Ukraine. Apparently, the group brought some things back from their adventures—including a French-made air-to-air missile that somehow found its way from Qatar into the home of a neo-fascist extremist.

The missile and an assortment of other weapons were discovered in the latest of a series of raids by Italian federal police from the General Investigations and Special Operations Division (DIGOS). The raids are part of an ongoing investigation into the Forza Nuova political party and Rebel Firm extremist groups that had fought in the Donbass region.

Other raids had turned up pro-Nazi and pro-fascist propaganda and relics alongside caches of knives and other illegal weapons—including brass knuckles, and a baseball bat inscribed with the

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There’s a slight problem with Russia’s proposed Federation spacecraft

There’s a slight problem with Russia’s proposed Federation spacecraft

Enlarge / A mock-up of the next-generation manned spacecraft Federation (Federatsia, Federatsiya) at the offices of Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation in 2017. (credit: Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images)

It has been more than half a century since Russia developed its last new spacecraft for carrying humans into orbit—the venerable Soyuz capsule, which still flies both Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts into orbit today. However, over the last decade, the Russian space program has been designing and developing a new vehicle, named Federation.

Like NASA’s own Orion spacecraft, the Federation capsule has been beset by delays and cost overruns for more than a decade’s worth of development. But when it flies, possibly as early as 2022 aboard a Soyuz-5 rocket for a test flight, Federation would be the rare human vehicle designed to fly beyond low-Earth orbit.

However, Russian sources are reporting a problem with the vehicle’s launch escape system.

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Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid

Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid

Enlarge / Zapadnaya in the Moscow region. (credit: Vladimir Fedorenko / Владимир Федоренко)

The Kremlin on Monday warned that reported US digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid could trigger a “cyberwar” between the two countries.

The warning came two days after The New York Times reported that the US Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military’s offensive and defensive operations in the online world, was aggressively stepping up its targeting of Russia’s grid. Saturday’s report said the command had taken steps to place “potentially crippling malware inside the Russian system at a depth and with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before.” In some cases, the NYT reported, Pentagon and intelligence officials have been hesitant to brief President Trump in detail about the activities out of concern he might countermand the operations or discuss them with foreign officials. Last year, Trump gave the

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Putin signs “Internet sovereignty” bill that expands censorship

Putin signs “Internet sovereignty” bill that expands censorship

Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on April 27, 2019, in Beijing. (credit: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial “Internet sovereignty” bill that strengthens the government’s control over the Russian Internet.

Back in March, we reported on Putin signing two other bills that gave the Russian government the power to punish people for the online publication of fake news and insults to public officials. The latest bill focuses lower on the technology stack.

The New America Foundation published a detailed analysis of the bill back in February:

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