Vladimir Putin as Mad Max and the Impending Oil Disaster

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The US withdrawal of all remaining diplomatic personnel from its embassy in Caracas means the real geostrategy show is about to start. For months now US policymakers have been on the rhetorical, economic, subversive interference offensive against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. But the reasons for the Trump administration’s aggressive stance against Venezuela are never cited. Here is a primer for the coming proxy war in Venezuela. Читать далее

Shiny one, you are! Shimmering green beetle discovered on an Indonesian island is named Yoda after the pointy eared Jedi master from Star Wars

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A green, shiny beetle that is smaller than a fingernail has been discovered on an Indonesian island and named ‘Yoda’ due to its uncanny likeness to the diminutive Star Wars Jedi master.

Trigonopterus yoda is one of more than 100 new species of insect discovered and formally names in the thriving rainforest.

Meanwhile, a group of three species were named after Asterix, Obelix and Idefix — the main characters in the French comics series The Adventures of Asterix.

Naturally, Trigonopterus obelix is larger and more roundish than his two ‘friends’.

Other curious names include T. artemis and T. satyrus, named after two Greek mythological characters: Artemis, the goddess of hunting and nature and Satyr, a male nature spirit inhabiting remote localities.

Three others have been named after the famous scientists Charles Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, and DNA pioneers, Francis Crick and James Watson.

The small stature of the beetles made identification difficult.

Distinguishing the animals apart and knowing whether a new species had been discovered or not included DNA sequencing.

Coming up with novel names for such a large number was almost as taxing as finding them.

In 2016 a weevil discovered by members of the same team in Papua New Guinea was given the name of Star Wars’ Chewbacca.

This was in reference to the insect’s characteristically dense scales reminiscent of Chewie’s hairiness.

They are among 103 new species of the creepy crawlies that have been found in the remote rainforests of Sulawesi.

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They are all members of a tiny family of weevils known as Trigonopterus — measuring just a few millimetres long.

Only a single member had been identified on the idyllic paradise since 1885 but the island is renowned for its enigmatic fauna.

This includes the deer-pig (babirusa) and the midget buffalo. But small insects have remained largely unexplored.

Lead author Dr Alexander Riedel, of the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe, Germany, said: ‘We had found hundreds of species on the neighboring islands of New Guinea, Borneo and Java — why should Sulawesi with its lush habitats remain an empty space?’

The island is covered by lowland rainforests, although much of this has been cleared.

The researchers, whose findings are published in the journal ZooKeys, say there may be more of beetles needing to be discovered and named.

Raden Pramesa Narakusumo, curator of beetles at the Indonesian Research Centre for Biology, said: ‘Our survey is not yet complete and possibly we have just scratched the surface.

‘Sulawesi is geologically complex and many areas have never been searched for these small beetles.’

Does the Covert Militarization of Japan Serve its National Interests Well

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According to Japan’s ministry of defense, Tokyo has recently adopted a set of guidelines aimed at strengthening its national defense potential over the course of next decade. It is estimated that over the period of the next five years, Japan will have to spend on its armed forces some 238 billion dollars to successfully implement this plan, информирует «Тихоокеанская Россия», ТоРосс. Читать далее

Regional airline plans direct flights to Pole of Cold in Yakutia

Polar Airlines may begin serving flights to the Tomtor settlement in Yakutia’s Oymyakon Region. Commercial flights to the Pole of Cold, which is very popular among Russian and foreign tourists, may begin in March, the company’s press service said on Monday. Читать далее

Gazprom Looks To Attract $14B For Russia’s Biggest Gas Processing Plant

Gazprom is in discussions with banks as it looks to attract in 2020 project financing of US$14 billion for the construction of its Amur gas processing plant, which will be Russia’s largest and the second-largest in the world, Gazprom manager Alexander Ivannikov, who is responsible for the company’s financial and economic policy, told Russian media on Monday. Читать далее

Yevgeny Primakov named Support Vessel of the Year

Yevgeny Primakov, an icebreaking standby vessel owned and operated by Sovcomflot, has been awarded the 2019 Support Vessel of the Year by Offshore Support Journal, an international trade publication. The official award ceremony was held in London on 6 February, Sovcomflot says in a press release. Читать далее

Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port handled 4.54 million of cargo in 2018

In 2018, Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port (Vladmorrybport OJSC) handled 4.54 million of cargo (+14%, year-on-year), says the stevedoring company. The growth was registered in all key segments of transshipment: containers – 182,574 TEUs (+16.3%), fish — 330,000 tonnes (+21.4%), metal scrap — 440,700 (+8.5%). Читать далее

Bogies ordered for Sakhalin gauge conversion

Transmashholding’s Tver plant has been awarded a contract to supply 138 broad gauge bogies to Sakhalin to facilitate the regauging of passenger rolling stock. This forms part of the programme to convert the island’s rail network from 1 067 mm narrow gauge to the 1 520 mm broad gauge used on the Russian mainland. Читать далее