US-Soldaten in Afghanistan



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"The New Target That Enables Ransomware Hackers to Paralyze Dozens of Towns and Businesses at Once"

Renee Dudley erklärt, mit welchen Methoden es Hackern in den vergangenen Monaten immer wieder gelungen sei, amerikanische Software-Dienstleister anzugreifen und US-Gemeinden um Lösegeld zu erpressen. "While many MSPs [managed service providers] offer reliable support and data storage, others have proven inexperienced or understaffed, unable to defend their own computer systems or help clients salvage files. As a result, cybercriminals profit by infiltrating dozens of businesses or public agencies with a single attack, while the beleaguered MSPs and their incapacitated clients squabble over who should pay the ransom or recovery costs. Cost savings are the chief appeal of MSPs. It’s often cheaper and more convenient for towns and small businesses with limited technical needs to rely on an MSP rather than hire full-time IT employees. But those benefits are sometimes illusory. This year, attacks on MSPs have paralyzed thousands of small businesses and public agencies."

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"The U.S. Considered Declaring Russia a State Sponsor of Terror, Then Dropped It"

Nach dem Giftanschlag auf den russischen Ex-Spion Skripal in England habe das US-Außenministerium kurzzeitig erwogen, Russland auf die Liste der staatlichen Terrorunterstützer zu setzen, berichtet Sebastian Rotella. Der Plan sei allerdings schnell aufgegeben worden. "The State Department’s reluctance to impose the terror designation was not a product of Trump administration sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. officials say. Rather, it reflected an ambivalent and at times contradictory policy toward Russia on terrorism issues that stretches back more than a dozen years, American intelligence officials and foreign-policy experts said. Even as Washington has grown more concerned about an array of Russian security threats, it has continued to seek Moscow’s cooperation in combating terrorism. Although the approach has yielded few victories against the Islamist militants that the two countries vowed to fight after 9/11, advocates of the policy argue that it has been one of the few areas of common ground in which cooperation remains possible during a period of increasing confrontation."

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"U.S. Identifies ISIS Planner in Attacks on Europe"

Amerikanische und europäische Ermittler haben Sebastian Rotella zufolge mehrere ranghohe Planer der Terroranschläge des "Islamischen Staates" in Europa identifiziert. "The State Department sanction targeted a Moroccan-born suspect named Abdelilah Himich, who grew up in France and fought in the French Foreign Legion in Afghanistan before traveling to Syria and joining the Islamic State, according to court files and counterterror officials. (...) In addition to Himich, French and Belgian police have identified another suspected ISIS leader – a shadowy figure in Syria who directed the Paris plotters last year using encrypted communications and the alias Abu Ahmad. (...) Himich, meanwhile, had disciplinary troubles with the Islamic State this spring, according to French officials. French intelligence has learned that ISIS removed him from his command post in April and temporarily jailed him for some type of misconduct, according to the French counterterror official. But French and U.S. intelligence officials still consider him alive and dangerous."

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"Revenge of the Forgotten Class"

Alec MacGillis hat Anhänger Donald Trumps beim Wahlkampf in Ohio begleitet und einen Eindruck von den Ursachen der überraschenden Wahlergebnisse in den Bundesstaaten des sogenannten "Rust Belts" erhalten. Besonders eindrucksvoll ist sein Gespräch mit Tracie St. Martin, einer 54-jährigen Arbeiterin, die aufgrund ihres persönlichen und beruflichen Hintergrunds eigentlich eine "maßgeschneiderte" Clinton-Anhängerin sein sollte: "Her explanation for this was halting but vehement, spoken with pauses and in bursts. She was disappointed in Obama after having voted for him. 'I don’t like the Obama persona, his public appearance and demeanor,' she said. 'I wanted people like me to be cared about. People don’t realize there’s nothing without a blue-collar worker.' She regretted that she did not have a deeper grasp of public affairs. 'No one that’s voting knows all the facts,' she said. 'It’s a shame. They keep us so fucking busy and poor that we don’t have the time.' When she addressed Clinton herself, it was in a stream that seemed to refer to, but not explicitly name, several of the charges thrown against Clinton by that point in time (...) 'To have lives be sacrificed because of corporate greed and warmongering, it’s too much for me — and I realize I don’t have all the facts — that there’s just too much sidestepping on her. I don’t trust her. (...) 'That’s why I like Trump,' she continued. 'He’s not perfect. He’s a human being. We all make mistakes. We can all change our mind. We get educated, but once you have the knowledge, you still have to go with your gut.' (...) at Tracie St. Martin’s working-class precinct in Miamisburg, where Obama had managed to get 43 percent in 2012, Clinton’s support plunged to 26 percent, giving Trump a margin of 293 votes just in that one precinct, triple Romney’s margin four years earlier."

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"U.S. Identifies Key Player in ISIS Attacks on Europe"

Sebastian Rotella berichtet über neue Erkenntnisse bei den Ermittlungen zu den Terroranschlägen in Paris und Brüssel. "Almost a year after Islamic State terrorists killed 130 people in Paris, U.S. intelligence agencies have identified one of the suspected masterminds of that plot and a follow-up attack in Brussels. U.S. counterterror officials said the man, who goes by the name Abu Sulaiyman al Fransi (Abu Sulaiyman, the Frenchman) is a 26-year old Moroccan who once served in Afghanistan as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion. He did prison time for drug running before going to Syria in 2014 and joining ISIS, according to U.S. officials and French court documents. His real name is Abdelilah Himich, according to U.S. counterterror officials."

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"How Europe Left Itself Open to Terrorism"

Die diesjährigen Terroranschläge in Frankreich und Belgien hätten Schwächen bei der Grenzsicherung und beim Informationsaustausch zwischen europäischen Sicherheitsbehörden aufgedeckt, die bis heute nicht behoben seien, schreibt Sebastian Rotella. "In unusually candid interviews in recent months, present and former European counterterror officials acknowledged that ISIS exploited a litany of longtime security weaknesses that remain largely unaddressed. The vulnerabilities, they said, arise from core contradictions in the European Union, where internal borders have been abolished for travel and commerce but impede police and intelligence work. 'The flaws in the European system are multiple,' said Jean-Louis Bruguiere of France, who was a top counterterror judge for two decades. He said the Paris and Brussels attacks 'should never have happened.' 'I don’t know what we are waiting for,' Bruguiere said. 'Do we have to wait for hundreds of deaths?'"

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"What’s Really at Stake in the Apple Encryption Debate"

Im juristischen Streit zwischen Apple und dem FBI um die Entschlüsselung des iPhones eines Terroristen geht es Julia Angwin zufolge um die grundsätzliche Frage, wie sehr Tech-Unternehmen den Behörden bei der Überwachung ihrer Kunden helfen sollten. "In effect, the FBI is asking for Apple to write software that will provide something the government has sought without success for more than a decade: A 'backdoor' that cracks the increasingly sophisticated encryption on consumers’ phones. The government has previously attempted to create its own 'golden key' that could unlock every device. That effort collapsed in the face of fierce objections across the political spectrum. Now, the government is pushing a private company – Apple – to create a key. What’s at stake in this clash of titans, therefore, is a much larger issue: How far should tech companies go to help the government conduct surveillance of their users."

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"The U.S. Spent a Half Billion on Mining in Afghanistan With 'Limited Progress'"

Trotz der Investition von insgesamt fast 500 Millionen US-Dollar in den vergangenen fünf Jahren stehe ein weiteres US-Programm zum Wiederaufbau Afghanistans vor dem Scheitern, berichtet Megan McCloskey. Eine Task Force des Pentagon habe einem neuen Untersuchungsbericht zufolge vergeblich versucht, die für die Zukunft des Landes wichtige Bergbauwirtschaft in Gang zu bringen. "The controversial Pentagon task force in charge of much of the effort, the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, spent $215 million on 11 extractive programs, but 'after operating in Afghanistan for 5 years, TFBSO left with nearly all of its extractive projects incomplete,' SIGAR found. Three of the programs technically met objectives, but one of those is of questionable value at best. (...) In today’s report, SIGAR highlighted that the task force spent $46.5 million to try to convince companies to agree to develop the resources, but not one ended up signing a contract. About $122 million worth of task force programs had mixed results, SIGAR said."

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"The Making of a Narco-Terrorist"

ProPublica bedient sich der Form des Comics, um anhand von fünf Beispielen zu demonstrieren, wie die US-Antidrogenbehörde DEA Drogenvergehen gezielt mit angeblichen Terrorplänen in Verbindung bringt, um die Verdächtigen als Terroristen präsentieren und verurteilen zu können. "Five criminals in far-flung parts of the world, five D.E.A. sting operations, five dubious links between drugs and terror. The characters are different but the story remains the same. Authorities said each case demonstrated alliances between terrorists and drug traffickers, but most of the alleged links fell apart in court. Here’s how narco-terrorism cases are made."

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"The Narco-terror Trap"

Die amerikanische Anti-Drogenbehörde DEA hat davor gewarnt, dass der internationale Drogenhandel zunehmend zur Finanzierung von Terroranschlägen genutzt werde. Ginger Thompson ist in ihrer aufwendig recherchierten Reportage der Frage nachgegangen, ob dieser Zusammenhang in dieser Form tatsächlich besteht und welche Rolle die DEA und der amerikanische "Krieg gegen Drogen" bei der Aufdeckung vermeintlicher Fälle spielen. "In a number of regions, most notably Colombia and Afghanistan, there is convincing evidence that terrorists have worked with drug traffikers. But a close examination of the cases that the DEA has pursued reveals a disturbing number that resemble that of the Malians. When these cases were prosecuted, the only links between drug traffiking and terrorism entered into evidence were provided by the DEA, using agents or informants who were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to lure the targets into staged narco­terrorism conspiracies."

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"What You Need to Know About the Latest Drone Revelations"

Eric Umansky hat sich in einem Podcast mit zwei Autoren des "Intercept"-Berichts der vergangenen Woche über den geheimen Drohnenkrieg der USA unterhalten. Im begleitenden Text fasst Umansky die wichtigsten Informationen des Gesprächs noch einmal kompakt zusammen. "One study by a Pentagon think tank found that drone strikes in Afghanistan were actually far more likely to kill civilians than conventional airstrikes. Part of the explanation for that is the 'soda straw effect,' which refers to the fact that drones’ cameras can actually give a quite limited view of what’s happening on the ground."

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"The Roots, Rhetoric and Remedies of Europe’s Migrant Crisis Explained"

In diesem Podcast von ProPublica diskutieren Pia Dangelmayer und Sebastian Rotella über Ursachen und mögliche Antworten auf die aktuelle Flüchtlingskrise in Europa. "This week’s podcast features two ProPublicans with unique insights: Pia Dangelmayer, an Arthur F. Burns fellow from Germany working in our newsroom for the summer, and ProPublica senior reporter Sebastian Rotella, who has spent more than 25 years covering border and migration issues in both Europe and North America. Here they discuss the causes of the refugee crisis, the European Union’s challenges in developing short- and long-term solutions, and how the situation is bringing out the worst and the best of people in a divided Europe."

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"A Trail of Evidence Leading to AT&T’s Partnership with the NSA"

ProPublica hat einen begleitenden Artikel zur Aufdeckung der engen Zusammenarbeit der NSA mit AT&T veröffentlicht, in dem die Autoren interessante Hintergründe ihrer Recherchearbeit erläutern. "By following breadcrumbs we found throughout the trove of documents released by Snowden, we were able to prove that a program called Fairview was the cover term for the agency’s partnership with AT&T. We also found evidence that Verizon participates in the agency’s smaller Stormbrew program."

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"NSA Spying Relies on AT&T’s 'Extreme Willingness to Help'"

Neuen NSA-Dokumenten Edward Snowdens zufolge hat der amerikanische Telekommunikationskonzern AT&T in den vergangenen Jahren besonders eng mit der NSA kooperiert. Der Geheimdienst habe dadurch Zugriff auf einen beträchtlichen Teil des amerikanischen Internetverkehrs erhalten. "While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as 'highly collaborative,' while another lauded the company’s 'extreme willingness to help.' (...) It is not clear if the programs still operate in the same way today. Since the Snowden revelations set off a global debate over surveillance two years ago, some Silicon Valley technology companies have expressed anger at what they characterize as N.S.A. intrusions and have rolled out new encryption to thwart them."

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"New Snowden Documents Reveal Secret Memos Expanding Spying"

Neu veröffentlichten NSA-Dokumenten Edward Snowdens zufolge hat die US-Regierung die Überwachung der ausländischen Kommunikation von US-Bürgern ausgeweitet, um frühzeitig Hinweise auf mögliche Hackerangriffe zu entdecken. "Government officials defended the NSA’s monitoring of suspected hackers as necessary to shield Americans from the increasingly aggressive activities of foreign governments. But critics say it raises difficult trade-offs that should be subject to public debate. (...) It is not clear what standards the agency is using to select targets. It can be hard to know for sure who is behind a particular intrusion — a foreign government or a criminal gang — and the NSA is supposed to focus on foreign intelligence, not law enforcement. (...) The effort is the latest known expansion of the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, which allows the government to intercept Americans’ cross-border communications if the target is a foreigner abroad."

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"Reporting on the NSA Before It Was Cool"

Nicole Collins Bronzan hat sich in diesem Audiopodcast mit Patrick Radden Keefe von der Zeitschrift The New Yorker unterhalten, der lange vor Edward Snowden über die Überwachungsprogramme der NSA berichtet habe. "As a reporter who covered the National Security Agency before the Edward Snowden documents brought it to the mainstream, Patrick Radden Keefe of The New Yorker says it would be easy to feel jealous of the journalists breaking those stories now. 'But I’ve sort of moved on,' Keefe says, 'and I watch those stories with great interest.'"

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"Here’s One Way to Land on the NSA’s Watch List"

Julia Angwin und Mike Tigas haben nach der Enthüllung der NSA-Überwachung von Tor-Nutzern weiter recherchiert und berichten, dass im Jahr 2011 offenbar bereits der Download der Software zur Nutzung des anonymen Netzwerks ausgereicht habe, um auf die Überwachsungsliste des Geheimdienstes zu gelangen. "(...) we did a little sleuthing, and found that the NSA's targeting list corresponds with the list of directory servers used by Tor between December 2010 and February 2012 – including two servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tor users connect to the directory servers when they first launch the Tor service. That means that if you downloaded Tor during 2011, the NSA may have scooped up your computer's IP address and flagged you for further monitoring. (...) It's not clear if, or how extensively, the NSA spied on the users of Tor and other privacy services. After the news, one of Tor's original developers, Roger Dingledine, reassured users that they most likely remained anonymous while using the service: 'Tor is designed to be robust to somebody watching traffic at one point in the network – even a directory authority.' It is more likely that users could have been spied on when they were not using Tor."

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"Podcast: Mapping the NSA’s Spying"

Eric Umansky hat sich mit Julia Angwin in einem Podcast über die NSA-Überwachungsprogramme unterhalten. "While accuracy is limited by the dearth of information about the secret programs, 'what you see is that, actually, most of what the NSA is doing is their job, which is foreign surveillance,' Angwin says. But there are a lot of bulk programs that end up capturing U.S. data. Congress appears poised to limit some of that — the phone metadata collection in particular — but there is a need for balance in reforms. 'To be fair to the NSA, they have a difficult task, right?' Angwin says. 'They’re supposed to do only foreign surveillance, but they’re working in a world where digital communications bounce all over the world.'"

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"The NSA Revelations All in One Chart"

ProPublica hat die bislang enthüllten Überwachungsprogramme der NSA in einer interaktiven Grafik aufbereitet. "This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some – particularly those that are both domestic and broad-sweeping – are more controversial. Just as with the New York Magazine approval matrix that served as our inspiration, the placement of each program is based on judgments and is approximate."

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"House Adopts Amendment to Bar NSA From Meddling With Encryption Standards"

Das US-Repräsentantenhaus hat ein Gesetz verabschiedet, das der NSA verbieten würde, Sicherheitsstandards im Internet gezielt zu unterminieren. "The move follows reporting last year by ProPublica, the Guardian, and the New York Times on the NSA's efforts to weaken encryption, including by influencing the development of standards by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The stories were based on documents provided by Edward Snowden. The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and similar to one he advanced last month, bars the NSA from using appropriation funds to consult with NIST in a way that undermines security standards."

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"The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It"

Der Heartbleed-Bug habe verdeutlicht, dass die internationale Internetsicherheit von der US-Regierung bisher wie ein "Wikipedia-artiges Freiwilligenprojekt" betrieben werde, schreibt Julia Angwin. Während Nachrichtendienste wie die NSA jährlich über 50 Milliarden US-Dollar erhielten, seien die vier zuständigen Programmierer der betroffenen OpenSSL-Software auf jährliche Spenden in Höhe von 2.000 US-Dollar angewiesen. "Is it any wonder that this Heartbleed bug slipped through the cracks? Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher who saved the Internet from a similarly fundamental flaw back in 2008, says that Heartbleed shows that it's time to get 'serious about figuring out what software has become Critical Infrastructure to the global economy, and dedicating genuine resources to supporting that code.' The Obama Administration has said it is doing just that with its national cybersecurity initiative, which establishes guidelines for strengthening the defense of our technological infrastructure — but it does not provide funding for the implementation of those guidelines."

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"Timeline: The Tortured History of the Senate’s Torture Report"

Nach dem Beschluss des US-Senats, den seit Jahren unter Verschluss gehaltenen Untersuchungsbericht über das geheime Gefängnis- und Folterprogramm der CIA zum Teil zu veröffentlichen, hat Kara Brandeisky eine Zeitleiste der langen Geschichte des Berichts erstellt. "Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify the executive summary of its report about the CIA's detainee program. It’s been more than five years since the committee announced its review, a period marked by CIA pushback (and potential snooping), indecisiveness from the White House, and objections from committee Republicans. And it will be still more time before the public can actually read a word of the report."

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"You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi."

Verteidiger der NSA-Überwachung weisen immer wieder darauf, dass der US-Geheimdienst nicht den Inhalt, sondern "nur" die Metadaten der überwachten Kommunikationsströme sammle und auswerte. Julia Angwin demonstriert anhand von handgezeichneten Stasi-Skizzen, dass diese Methode auch vom DDR-Geheimdienst angewendet worden sei. "While researching my book Dragnet Nation, I obtained the above hand drawn social network graph and other files from the Stasi Archive in Berlin, where German citizens can see files kept about them and media can access some files, with the names of the people who were monitored removed. (...) the Stasi files are an important reminder of what a repressive regime can do with so little information."

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"FAQ About NSA’s Interest in Angry Birds and Other 'Leaky Apps'"

Julia Angwin und Jeff Larson haben ein informatives FAQ zur jüngsten Meldung über die NSA-Überwachung von Smartphone-Apps zusammengestellt. "Many people don’t realize that when they use a smartphone app – to play a game or listen to music – the app may transmit information back to the app maker and may contain tracking technology placed by advertisers. (...) By using the phone’s identifier, advertisers can often monitor the user’s behavior in multiple apps and when the user browses the Web from their smartphone. Advertisers can tie the information together in a dossier that can include a user’s location, income and preferences such as sexual orientation and political leanings."

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"Spy Agencies Probe Angry Birds and Other Apps for Personal Data"

ProPublica, die New York Times und der Guardian mit ihrem gemeinsamen Exklusivbericht über die NSA-Überwachung von Smartphone-Apps wie Angry Birds. "The scale and the specifics of the data haul are not clear. The documents show that the N.S.A. and the British agency routinely obtain information from certain apps, particularly some of those introduced earliest to cellphones. With some newer apps, including Angry Birds, the agencies have a similar capability, the documents show, but they do not make explicit whether the spies have put that into practice. Some personal data, developed in profiles by advertising companies, could be particularly sensitive: A secret 2012 British intelligence document says that spies can scrub smartphone apps that contain details like a user’s 'political alignment' and sexual orientation."

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"Four Questionable Claims Obama Has Made on NSA Surveillance"

Kara Brandeisky wirft US-Präsident Obama vor, auf die NSA-Enthüllungen Edward Snowdens mit Argumenten reagiert zu haben, die sich bei näherer Betrachtung als unwahr herausgestellt hätten. "Since the first disclosures based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Obama has offered his own defenses of the programs. But not all of the president’s claims have stood up to scrutiny. Here are some of the misleading assertions he has made. 1. There have been no abuses. (...) 2. At least 50 terrorist threats have been averted. (...) 3. The NSA does not do any domestic spying. (...) 4. Snowden failed to take advantage of whistleblower protections."

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"No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Get Your Digital Data"

Theodoric Meyer und Peter Maass erläutern die zahlreichen Möglichkeiten, die der US-Regierung bei der Sammlung der digitalen Daten von US-Bürgern offen stehen. "The government isn't allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI to the Internal Revenue Service, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena that doesn’t require showing probable cause of a crime. And recent revelations about classified National Security Agency surveillance programs show that the government is regularly sweeping up data on Americans’ telephone calls and has the capability to access emails, files, online chats and other data — all under secret oversight by a special federal court."

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Informationsportal Krieg und Frieden

Wo gibt es Kriege und Gewaltkonflikte? Und wo herrscht am längsten Frieden? Welches Land gibt am meisten für Rüstung aus? liefert wichtige Daten und Fakten zu Krieg und Frieden.

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Innerstaatliche Konflikte

Vom Kosovo nach Kolumbien, von Somalia nach Süd-Thailand: Weltweit schwelen über 280 politische Konflikte. Und immer wieder droht die Lage gewaltsam zu eskalieren.

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Kaum ein Thema wird so intensiv und kontrovers diskutiert wie die Globalisierung. "Zahlen und Fakten" liefert Grafiken, Texte und Tabellen zu einem der wichtigsten und vielschichtigsten Prozesse der Gegenwart.

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