7 May 2016   Leave a comment

If one needs fodder for nightmares, one need look no further than the report issued by the Global Challenges Foundation, “Global Catastrophic Risks, 2016”.   The report looks at the probabilities of events such as catastrophic climate change, nuclear war, natural pandemics, supervolcanoes, and every other way we define catastrophe.  The report outlines the steps that need to be taken by the global community to be prepared to react to such events–good advice, but unlikely to be heeded.

The US is planning a massive military drill, the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise, in the Arabian Gulf (the Iranians insist that that body of water is called the Persian Gulf), the Sea of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea.  The US 5th Fleet is involved as are over thirty countries, and the purpose is to assure safe passage through maritime choke points–over thirty percent of the world’s oil sails through the Strait of Hormoz.  Iran, however, believes that the US is actually conducting activities that are hostile to the regime and has threatened to close off the Straits in retaliation.  At its narrowest point, the Straits have a width of only 54 km.

Austria has indicated that it wishes to impose border controls at the Brenner Pass, a route that many refugees use to move from Italy to Austria.  There were large protests against the move on the Italian side as people indicated that they do not wish to see the open passage between countries in the Schengen Plan.  Italian police tried to control the protest, but Austrian police did not intervene.

Brenner Pass

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Posted May 7, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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