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Showing posts from January 28, 2013


WEEKLY UPDATE JANUARY 28, 2013 Uncertainty and complacencyYesterday The New York Times published an editorial criticising UK Prime Minister David Cameron for the speech he gave last week on the future of the UK-EU relationship. The basic argument is that the United Kingdom will find it hard to renegotiate the terms of EU membership and that Cameron's referendum pledge "presages four or five years of costly uncertainty for potential investors". The first part of this criticism has merit. The United Kingdom's European partners may indeed resist any effort at renegotiation. However, the second part of the criticism is more open to question.There is no doubt that Cameron made a big gamble with this speech. His goal is to silence eurosceptics within his Conservative Party without shedding votes to the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Cameron also hopes to keep the Liberal Democrats inside the coalition while at the same time catching Labour leader Ed Miliband wrong-footed. Hi…
January 28, 2013 - In a recent interview with the London Telegraph, Bill Gates has now claimed that his Foundation's massive push for vaccination is not just an exercise in philanthropy but that it is, in fact, "God's work."

Gates, who, according to the Telegraph, is worth an estimated $65 billion, is now dedicating his life to the "eradication of poliomyelitis," or, at least he is dedicating himself to the vaccination program allegedly aimed at achieving these ends.

As reported by the Telegraph, "My wife and I had a long dialogue about how we were going to take the wealth that we're lucky enough to have and give it back in a way that's most impactful to the world," he says. "Both of us worked at Microsoft and saw that if you take innovation and smart people, the ability to measure what's working, that you can pull together some pretty dramatic things. "We're focused on the help of the poorest in the world, which really d…

Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force

The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation’s ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials.

The move, requested by the head of the Defense Department’s Cyber Command, is part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force. The command, made up of about 900 personnel, will expand to include 4,900 troops and civilians.

Details of the plan have not been finalized, but the decision to expand the Cyber Command was made by senior Pentagon officials late last year in recognition of a growing threat in cyberspace, said officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the expansion has not been formally announced. The gravity of that threat, they said, has been highlighted by a string …

Egypt's Morsi declares 'state of emergency'

Egyptian president declares state of emergency in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez, scenes of major protests in recent days.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has declared a 30-day state of emergency and a night-time curfew in three cities along the Suez Canal that have seen deadly clashes in recent days.

In a televised address late on Sunday, Morsi said the emergency measures in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez would take effect on Monday from 9:00pm local time (19:00 GMT) to 6:00am (04:00 GMT), warning that more action would be taken to stem the latest eruption of violence across much of the country.

"I have said I am against any emergency measures but I have said that if I must stop bloodshed and protect the people then I will act," Morsi said.

He also called for dialogue with top politicians starting on Monday to resolve the situation.

Deadly clashes across the country between protesters and police have killed at least 48 people since Friday, when Egyptians commemorated the two-year …

USMC developing new mortar for Expeditionary Fire Support System

The US Marine Corps (USMC) is moving forward with plans to increase the range and accuracy of its 120 mm Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) by developing a new mortar round. 1340094The USMC's ITV, also known as the Light Strike Vehicle, can also be used beyond the EFSS mission profile. It is shown here providing security and over-watch during a training exercise. (US Marine Corps) The Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM), to be used with the EFSS' M327 rifled towed mortar, is being developed as an extended-range precision-guided round that could provide accuracy of within at least 20 m at ranges around 17 km. Contracts for PERM's 24-month engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase were awarded to Raytheon teamed with Israel Military Industries, as well as to ATK teamed with EFSS' lead contractor General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS). Raytheon announced its contract on 22 January 2013 and ATK revealed its contract on 13 Decembe…