A Pakistani official bemoaned India’s apparent progress on a new site capable of making uranium for advanced nuclear weapons, Reuters reports.
The high-level insider sounded alarm over a Friday finding that India is inching toward completion of a second uranium-enrichment facility at its Rare Materials Plant near Mysore. The possible gas-centrifuge site could annually generate fuel for five bombs following its launch, which may take place by next summer, IHS Jane’s security specialists said in a Friday analysis of satellite images and remarks by Indian government personnel.
India could also combine any additional uranium with plutonium from its current stockpile, potentially helping New Delhi to build a class of more powerful “thermonuclear” weapons, according to Reuters.
“This is something that India has been trying to develop for a long time,” said Tariq Azeem, a staffer for Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “We don’t want any nuclear race. That doesn’t bode well for either country.”
Azeem added that India’s reported work on the facility underlined its “established hegemony” as a nuclear power.
The potential clandestine site in southern India may become capable of generating roughly twice the amount of uranium fuel needed for the country’s future line of submarines, according to Reuters. Karl Dewey, proliferation editor at IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, said the additional production capacity would “most likely” support nuclear-arms activities, according to a statement by the research group.
According to former U.S. State Department official Mark Fitzpatrick, India’s reported expansion of the Mysore site’s uranium-refinement capacity would further bolster its “already far greater advantage over Pakistan in terms of nuclear-weapons production potential.”
“It also brings India closer to matching China, which is how most Indians would probably see it,” Fitzpatrick said.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."