Another naval Oops!

Following yesterday’s news of Indonesian naval problems, it looks like India is having an even bigger one. We’ve covered the former Soviet Kiev class ‘heavy aviation cruiser’ (a.k.a. aircraft carrier) Admiral Gorshkov in these pages before.  Briefly, she was built as the Baku during the final years of the now-defunct Soviet Union;  renamed after Azerbaijan (in which the city of Baku is found) became independent;  then sold to India and renamed INS Vikramaditya.  We examined the ship’s convoluted history in some depth in Weekend Warships #2. After a long series of delays and problems during her conversion to a fully-fledged

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Europe stares into the economic abyss

We’ve spoken many times about Europe’s economic problems.  Frankly, I’d expected them to blow up into a terminal disaster for the Euro before now, but the powers that be over there have postponed the inevitable by printing money like there’s no tomorrow (clearly taking lessons from the Fed, I guess) and desperately trying to stick their fiscal fingers into the holes in the financial dikes that surround them. They’re running out of space and time.  Jeremy Warner highlights the core problem for Germany, Europe’s strongest economy. It’s plainly not going to matter … if a big trade and capital imbalance

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More on the Royal Norwegian Air Force centenary

A couple of days ago I put up a video clip about an air show held in Oslo, Norway, to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.  Reader Mark C. e-mailed me about it. I am an expat living in Oslo and the airshow was happening around my house all day. The waterfront is about two miles away and about 400 feet below us so we had a good vantage point. The French precision air team ended the day with a great display. The flickr link is some of the pictures I took of their performance off my

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The truth about inflation

We get conflicting messages about the reality of inflation from many sources.  The government would like to persuade us that it’s very mild indeed:  indeed, the ‘official’ measurement is currently “1.7 per cent before seasonal adjustment”.  The Federal Reserve has set an ‘inflation target’ of not more than 2% per year (although that would still lead to a doubling of prices in less than 40 years).  On the other hand, independent economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com points out: In 30 years as a private, consulting economist, I have noted a growing gap between government reporting of inflation, as measured by

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A gruelling race makes a comeback

A classic long-distance powerboat race is to be revived.  The Telegraph reports: It was one of the world’s most glamorous – and gruelling – races. From the south coast of England, a fleet of powerboats made their way 3,000 miles around to the Mediterranean and a finish line on the French Riviera. Run just once before, in 1972 – when Princess Margaret dropped the starting flag and Princess Grace of Monaco handed out the prizes – the event is being revived after a 40-year hiatus. The Cowes to Monte Carlo Powerboat Grand Prix is the longest and toughest race of

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