Li Zhaoxing, spokesman for the Fifth Plenary Session of the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) gives a press conference in the Great Hall of the People, ahead of the session’s opening in Beijing on March 4. China said Sunday it plans to raise its defense budget by 11.2 percent to 670 billion yuan ($106.4 billion) in 2012.

China to boost defence budget by 11.2% for 2012: NPC spokesman|index|chinadaily.com.cn

The collective strength of the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is of ever increasing importance to the strength of the global economy. Whilst mature economies across the globe grapple with towering budget deficits, anaemic growth and rising unemployment, the BRICs are expanding rapidly, lifting people out of poverty and driving the global economy.

The BRIC economies: propping up the global economy

Thoward a third mandate?

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin continued to restore order in the area of defense. On Wednesday, while participating in the Government Hour in the Duma, he promised to pursue the corrupt defense officials as he would accomplices of the enemy against the state. He promised domestic producers to abandon procurement of foreign equipment.

Russia’s defense industry to attract private capital – English pravda.ru

“Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the accomplishments and future efforts of the men and women of U.S. Africa Command. During the past year, we worked closely with U.S. Government agencies and many international partners to address emerging and ongoing threats to security and stability in Africa. Our operations, exercises, and security cooperation programs continue to support U.S. policy objectives in Africa, strengthen partnerships and reduce threats to America, Americans, and American interests emanating from Africa.”

US Africa Command: Statement of General Carter Ham Before House Armed Services Committee

Novartis is under renewed pressure from the international aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF – Doctors Without Borders) to drop its legal challenge against India’s patent laws. As shareholders of the Swiss major met in Basel, MSF called on them to urge the company to drop its case against the Indian government. The latter relates to Novartis’ challenge to an Indian patent law, notably Section 3(d), which states that a modification of a known chemical composition is non-patentable.

Article Novartis again urged to drop India patent lawsuit