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Showing posts from October 30, 2013

ADEX 2013: Boeing waits on reissued FX-III capability requirements before deciding on way forward

Boeing is waiting on the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) to re-issue its requirements of capabilities (RoC) document before deciding on how it is to proceed with the stalled FX-III fighter competition, a company official told IHS Jane's on 29 October.

Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) in South Korea, Howard Berry, FX-III campaign director said that the RoC will tell Boeing exactly what the RoKAF is looking for in terms of low observability (stealth), internal weapons carriage, programme status, and the like.

Once these factors are known, Berry said it will become clear if Korea is looking squarely at procuring the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), or if the RoKAF will restart the FX-III bidding process with the F-15 Advanced/Silent Eagle and Eurofighter Typhoon also.

"It is a pivotal moment as the government task force team [set up to look into the FX-III competition] is to report its findings in the comin…

Militants likely to target political rallies in run-up to 2014 Indian election


At least six people were killed in a co-ordinated improvised explosive device (IED) attack on an opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rally yesterday (27 October) in Patna, Bihar.

Five IEDs detonated at the rally venue, Gandhi Maidan, while another two exploded at the nearby Patna Junction railway station over a three-hour period. No group has claimed responsibility, but police have said that a suspect arrested after the attack could be a member of the homegrown group Indian Mujahedeen (IM). The attack does fit the group's capability level and modus operandi - low-intensity IEDs in public spaces. Moreover, Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general election, attended the high-profile rally. Modi, who has been serving as chief minister of Gujarat since 2001, was criticised for his leadership during the 2002 Gujarat riots, in which around 800 Muslims were killed.

The attack in Patna is significant for several reasons. Firstly, if it w…

Naomi Klein: How Science is Telling Us All To Revolt

Waste land: large-scale irrigation strips nutrients from the soil, scars the landscape and could alter climactic conditions beyond repair. Image: Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto/ Flowers, London, Pivot Irrigation #11 High Plains, Texas Panhandle, USA (2011)

Is our relentless quest for economic growth killing the planet? Climate scientists have seen the data – and they are coming to some incendiary conclusions.

By Naomi Klein

October 29, 2013 - "New Statesman" -- In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

But it was Werner’s…

Ignored Reality Is Going To Wipe Out the Human Race

By Paul Craig Roberts

October 29, 2013  - To inform people is hard slugging. Everything is lined up against the public being informed, or the policymakers for that matter. News is contaminated by its service to special interests and hidden agendas. Many scientists or their employers are dependent on federal money. Even psychologists and anthropologists were roped into the government’s torture and occupation programs. Economists tell lies for corporations and Wall Street. Plant and soil scientists tell lies for agribusiness and Monsanto. Truth tellers are slandered and persecuted. However, persistence can eventually win out. In the long-run, truth sometimes emerges. But not always. And not always in time.

I have been trying to inform the American people, economists, and policymakers for more than a decade about the adverse impacts of jobs offshoring on the US economy. The word has eventually gotten out. Last week I was contacted by 8th grade students competing for their school in CSPAN’…

NSA Stores Data to Target Any Citizen at Any Time - Greenwald

October 29, 2013 - "RT" -- The current revelations on the NSA’s spying are just the tip of the iceberg and affect “almost every country in the world,” said Glenn Greenwald. He stressed the NSA stores data for “as long as it can,” so they can target a citizen whenever they want.

Glenn Greenwald, the man behind the reports on the NSA global spy program, spoke to El Mundo journalist German Aranda and stressed that the US espionage activities went much further than just Europe.

"There are a lot of countries, and journalists in a lot of different countries, who have been asking for stories and to work on documents for a long time," Greenwald said. He added that he was working as fast as possible to “make sure that all of these documents get reported in every single country there are documents for, which is most countries in the world.”

Shedding light on the NSA’s motives in compiling metadata on citizens, he said the spy organization’s main aim was to store the informat…

Southern Africa's Resource Hunt

A competition is developing among several southern African nations to bring minerals produced in Africa's landlocked regions to ports along the coastline. The prize for the competing nations is Katanga province, a mineral-rich region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia's Copperbelt province. Katanga produces 580,000 metric tons of copper per year and about 60,000 metric tons of cobalt per year. Zambia produces about 675,000 metric tons of copper per year. Together they account for 7 percent of the world's copper production and roughly half the world's cobalt.

Currently most of Katanga's mineral exports pass through South Africa and Tanzania, though efforts are underway to redirect some of this traffic to Angola and Namibia. Mineral producers would prefer to transport their wares by rail, which is much cheaper than road transport. But with its vast rain forests, central Africa's geography is ill suited for the requisite infrastructure. There are a…

Indonesia's Political Future


As Indonesia's election-season politics heat up, so too are a host of geopolitical challenges to the past 10 years of relative stability. The elections come at a crucial turning point for Indonesia as it faces an economic correction brought on by its need for structural reforms, China's slowdown, Europe's ongoing crisis and the phasing out of U.S. monetary stimulus. Hence in the short and medium term, the country faces a tough transition. However, it does not face a repeat of the near disintegration that afflicted it upon the collapse of former President Suharto's New Order regime in 1998. On the contrary, Indonesia has a chance to benefit from the monumental changes in China and rising U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.


Indonesian elections are never simple. The immediate aftermath of the 2009 elections saw twin suicide bombings at the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta by the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah. Though the Indonesian gov…

Mongolia, China: A State Visit and Encouraging Signs for Investors


On Oct. 26, less than a month after Mongolia's parliament voted to scrap a foreign investment law designed to prevent Chinese state-owned enterprises from gaining footholds in strategic sectors, Mongolian Prime Minister Norovyn Altankhuyag completed a four-day state visit to China. Throughout his visit, Altankhuyag reassured Chinese investors and political leaders that Mongolia, a darling-turned-pariah for investors in emerging markets, welcomed the friendship and business of its southern neighbor.

Nonetheless, as China's leaders are well aware, Mongolia can be a fickle business partner. With interests in Mongolian resources that are both strategic and economic, Beijing knows that no shift in the tone of Chinese-Mongolian relations is likely to be a permanent one. Still, the recent scrapping of the investment law and Altankhuyag's visit could signal a change in Mongolia's attitude toward investment from China.


Altankhuyag's visit, which included stop…

China: The Jinshui Bridge Incident and the Real Threat to the Regime

Grievances over systemic injustice, not terrorism, remain the greatest threat to the Chinese government. Speculation continued to swirl in China on Tuesday about the incident Monday in which a sport-utility vehicle drove through crowds of people at the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square, crashed into a guardrail on the Jinshui Bridge and burst into flames under the iconic portrait of Chairman Mao at the entrance of the Forbidden City. Today, Chinese police published a statement, pursuant to an unspecified "major case," seeking information about two residents with ethnic Uighur names from the restive Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in northwestern China. Investigators are searching for eight suspects and treating the case as a suicide attack, according to the South China Morning Post and Reuters.

The incident may appear to have been an unsophisticated suicide attack by Uighurs, but questions remain about the profile and motives of the attackers. Several witnesses said th…