Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 31Mar11.

Gadhafi Push Tests Allies
Libya: Illusions and Delusions of War
Power-Sharing Not the Answer for Libya
Libyan opposition set to launch TV channel from Qatar
The myth of tribal Libya
Rebels’ ‘Vision Statement’ Has Familiar Ring
Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis press demand for president’s ouster, condemn factory blast
Saleh makes new offer to protesters
Syrian President blames unrest on ‘conspiracy’
Protests in Syrian city Latakia after Assad speech
Turkey sees Kurdish threat in Syria unrest
Analysis: Sound of a dictator preparing for a long battle
Bahraini FM accuses Hezbollah of training Shi’ite protester
Bahrain’s Shiite opposition leader demands Saudi-led troops leave Gulf island
Bahrain detains leading blogger
Egypt adopts interim constitution
Egypt’s transitional constitution keeps references to Sharia
Egypt’s military will hold presidential elections at the latest in November
Egyptian FM: We’ll Turn Over A New Leaf With Iran, Hizbullah
Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt Invites Copts To Join Its New Political Party
Egypt Opposition Divided over New Political Parties Law
Egypt likely to face more difficult relations with Israel, U.S.
Iraq blames al-Qaeda for attack
Turkey Balances Its Ties With West and Islamic World in Libya Operation
Turkish PM Erdogan Visits Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Sistani, KRG
Gaza’s Islamic Jihad militant group says Israeli airstrike kills 1 fighter
Palestinians to Arab leaders: Stop blaming us for unrest
Israeli PM warns of Arab unrest resulting in theocratic regimes
UN chief chastises Israel at ‘crucial time’ in peace process
Understanding the third terror war
Al Qaida: Arab revolts herald ‘great leap forward’
Al-Qaeda Mag: We Heart The Mideast Revolts
Overriding desire for democracy tops agenda in Arab youth survey
Pro-Ouattara forces seize Ivory Coast capital
Pope sends envoy to Ivory Coast to encourage peaceful solution to violence
Nigeria to increase police and army presence ahead of elections which begin Saturday
Namibia declares floods emergency
Ethiopia to defy Egypt and build huge dam
South African counterterrorism police arrest white supremacist, seize weapons, ammunition
Pakistan bike bombing kills seven
Japan mulls covering Fukushima reactors to prevent fallout
Leadership vacuum at Japanese utility as radiation levels rise outside leaking nuclear plant
China Builds Higher Fences Over Fears Of Instability In North Korea
Arab revolt keeps China on its toes
China has a blueprint for social order
North Koreans wrap up talks with former US officials in Germany on nuclear issues
Assessment of Burma’s earthquake slow to emerge
3 al-Qaida-linked militants killed in clash with troops in southern Philippines
Islamist Website Threatens Britain’s Royal Wedding, Promising ‘Nightmare’ If Demands Are Not Met
UK authorities are investigating how fake bomb was smuggled aboard cargo flight to Turkey
Medvedev in ‘blow to Putin ally’
Germany’s Dangerous Foreign Policy Course
Dutch court rules hate speech case against anti-Islam lawmaker should continue
Kosovo court orders president to step down, says his election violated the constitution
Guatemala ‘drug lord’ captured
Canadian police arrest man linked to Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab
Top State Department official Steinberg leaves, replaced by Middle East expert
U.S. to seek new term on U.N. human rights panel
Critics: U.S. lacks overall strategy at Mexico border

CIA Director Leon Panetta To Be The Next Secretary Of Defense?
Marine dead, 3 hurt in Hawaii helo crash
UK Government Denies Pilot Shortage for Libya No-Fly Zone
Philippines seen as model for counterinsurgency

At least 300,000 people killed in disasters in 2010

Lawmakers Near Deal on Spending
Many experts agree: Government shutdown likely
Some House Republicans seek DoD budget boost
Senate vote may end Obama’s climate change ambitions
Amid rising gas prices, Obama to outline plans to make US less dependent on foreign oil
Is it Time to Use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?
Agency to continue rejecting green-card applications from same-sex couples
States Rely Too Much on High Earners
Arizona governor signs law to ban on abortions based on race or sex of fetus or race of parent

80 Ethiopian Jews reported wounded, 80 arrested at demonstration over lack of citizenship
Third Church Attacked as Pakistani Extremists Declare War Over Florida Koran Burning
Pakistan Fails To Protect Its Muslim Reformers and Christians From Radical Muslims
Iran: A House Church is invaded by plain clothes security agents and 10 members are arrested
Police In India Arrest 14 For Illegal Conversion To Christianity
Ultraconservative Muslim sect clashes with villagers in Egypt
Muslims in Egypt Demand Release of Alleged Convert to Islam
Christians reject Malaysia gov’t offer to resolve dispute over seized Bibles
Malaysia nixes serial numbers
Prospects Dim for Religious Freedom in Nepal
Hindu temple attacked in Australia
Transgendered clergy gaining greater acceptance in UK

  Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 23Mar11.

No water, food or power – and still the rebels resist regime’s attacks
Who’s In Charge? Germans Pull Forces Out Of NATO As Libyan Coalition Falls Apart
Sarkozy opposes Nato taking control of Libya operation
Arab League to reiterate backing for Libya no-fly zone
Attacks to focus more on Libyan ground troops
Libya ground forces ‘not ruled out’
NATO to enforce Libya arms embargo
China calls for immediate cease-fire, end of airstrikes in Libya
Libya, The West and Democracy
Partition: Dividing Libya in two may be rebels’ best hope
India’s Pointless Abstention
Yemeni president given emergency powers
Defiant Yemen President warns ‘mutinous’ military of long, bloody civil war
Yemeni President Salah’s Family Decides He Should Leave; Report: U.S., U.K., Saudi Arabia Discussing Post-Salah Era
Yemen: The forbidden has occurred
Yemen May Be the Next Regime to Fall
Yemen on the brink of a breakdown
With Yemen crumbling, US sees fragile counterterrorism ally fading, and few good options ahead
Syrian forces kill 6 in mosque attack, protests continue
Report: Syria importing Hezbollah to quash protests
Syrians have broken the fear barrier
Syrian: Damned if We Do and Damned if We Don’t
Syrian Opposition Website: Jordan’s King Must Not Cooperate With Syrian Regime
Mourners call for revenge at funeral of Bahraini woman killed in unrest
Bahrain Relies on Old Playbook in Crackdown
Kuwait Sends Aid Ships To Bahrain; Shi’ite Clerics Attempt To Mediate
Iranian Website: Bahrainis Must Form Their Own Hizbullah To Fight Saudi Arabia
In Bahrain, Saudis Play Into Iran’s Hands
Saudi Arabia to hold municipal elections next month after two-year delay
Western Diplomats: Iran Again Violates Arms Embargo
Back to the Drawing Board on Iran
‘Turkey finds weapons on Iran cargo plane, arrests crew’
Police officer killed in demonstration in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region
Egypt’s Interior Ministry building set on fire as police protesters demand better wages
Early Egyptian elections could damage democracy
Post-Mubarak Egypt raising gas prices for Israel
There Is A Small War Starting Along Gaza Border
Gazans Hope to Join the ‘Arab Spring’
Arab Water Ministers Confirm A Strategy For Water Security
Saudi Emir: We Must Form United Gulf Army
Arab League states: a recent history of protests
War Stalks Revolution In Middle East
In the Mideast, U.S. policy is still driven by realism
America’s descent into strategic dementia
Islamists post bounty for killing US pastor over Quran burning
“Zionists use heavy metal music to corrupt Muslims, take over the world”
The Tragic Fate of ‘Muslim Moderates’
Ivory Coast’s recognized president asks UN to use ‘legitimate force’ to protect civilians
Somali Gov’t Claims ‘Remarkable’ Gains In Mogadishu Fighting; 7 Killed In Latest Violence
Benin opposition leader rejects election result and claims presidency
Uprisings to be replicated in sub-Saharan Africa, predicts Hague
Karzai names Nato pullout areas
Taliban’s assassination campaign against officials, security forces impedes civilian progress
Security Council strongly backs UN to lead international civilian efforts in Afghanistan
Russia supports NATO success in Afghanistan – defense minister
Is China Backing India’s Insurgents?
Kyrgyzstan Open to Military Cooperation with the US and Russia
Activist says overthrown Middle East governments have triggered Chinese crackdown on Uighurs
China’s Nimble Libya Pullout
Why Doesn’t China Want Dalai Lama to Resign?
Japanese official says fuel storage pool at troubled nuclear plant is at or near boiling point
Japan fears food contamination as battle to cool nuclear plant continues
Strong quakes jolt Japan’s tsunami-hit northeast
Why the US and China Woo Mongolia
Philippine defense official says amount of military funds lost to corruption is staggering
Kenyans: Why ‘feed’ a car?
Putin denies split with Medvedev over Libya
Russia to double oil supply to quake-hit Japan in 2011 – Sechin
Portugal braces for minority government’s collapse amid discord over austerity debt crisis
Chavez enacts decree allowing pro-government militias to receive weapons from military
Canadian opposition to vote against budget unless changes made, likely triggering election
Welcome to the Era of the Obama “Smart War”

NATO: Better in Theory than In Practice
The Iranian Navy’s Historic Mediterranean Deployment: Timing Is Everything
The Bear, the Abacus and Impossible Defense Computations

Are Reusable Shopping Bags Environmentally Friendly?

Oil rising again; gasoline prices flat, but experts say they should keep climbing this spring
Oil markets and Arab unrest: The price of fear
Breaks in the Supply Chain: Disaster in Japan Sends Ripples through the Global Economy
UK Inflation ‘expected to hit 28-month high’
IMF Plan Sees Role in Crises

Capitol Hill falls silent as Libya war rages
Libyan bombing ‘unconstitutional’, Republicans warn Obama
Why Obama’s Not Open on His Real Reason for War
A Rorschach Presidency Won’t Work
U.S. Approaching Insolvency, Fix To Be ‘Painful’
Public Asleep as Budget Crisis Mounts
U.S. to Issue More Gulf Drilling Permits
9/11 Military Case Has Stalled as White House Pushes For Civilian Trials
American anger at BBC World Service Trust’s bid for US funding
U.S. demanding gay rights support at U.N. body
Big Labor’s Plan to Break the Financial System
Census: Detroit population falls 25 percent in past decade, losing more than 237,000 people

Religion & Culture
Christians in prison, beaten in Saudi Arabia
Nepal Christians protest to demand the government provide burial grounds
Beijing’s fear of faith
Failed Bomb Blasts in Jos Nigeria as Genocide of Christians Continues
Malaysia: Bibles Still Restricted
Catholic Church says Cuban government to release last 2 political prisoners held since 2003
S.D. governor signs 3-day wait for abortion into law
‘Extinction threat’ to religion
Buddhism is the new opium of the people
Why Are We Letting Our Daughters Dress Like Prostitutes?

  Maritime Strategy News

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 02Mar09.

Mullen on Iran: Nuke weapon capability exists

The top U.S. military official said Sunday that Iran has sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon, declaring it would be a “very, very bad outcome” should Tehran move forward with a bomb.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, offered the assessment when questioned in a broadcast interview about a recent report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog on the state of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which can create nuclear fuel and may be sufficiently advanced to produce the core of warheads.

Mullen was asked if Iran now had enough fissile material to make a bomb. He responded, “We think they do, quite frankly. And Iran having a nuclear weapon I’ve believed for a long time is a very, very bad outcome for the region and for the world.”

State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said Sunday that it was not possible say how much fissile material Iran has accumulated.

Mullen, Gates confident in pullout process

The top U.S. uniformed military official says he’s comfortable with the president’s decision on a troop pullout timetable from Iraq.

And Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he thinks it is “fairly remote” that conditions in Iraq will change enough to alter significantly President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” Adm. Mike Mullen says he was able to offer his best military advice to President Barack Obama. The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman is reluctant to talk about “winning and losing” in Iraq. But he says the conditions are in place for the Baghdad government to successfully take control of the country.

Mullen says Obama listened extensively to the American military leadership and U.S. commanders in Iraq before announcing last week that the combat mission would end on Aug. 31, 2010.

JCS Chairman: North Korea watched closely

The U.S. is watching North Korea even more closely these days because of reports the North plans to test-fire a long-range missile.

The top U.S. military official says it’s an area of great concern. Adm. Mike Mullen says he would hope that North Korea would not be “provocative.”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman notes that the North has launched missiles before. He says neither he nor Defense Secretary Robert Gates has made a recommendation about what to do if there is a launch. Mullen says any recommendations and policy decisions will come based on the timing and what the North does.

Read the rest of this entry »

  Naval News Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 10Jun08.

Navy helicopter in aid mission apparently shot at

A U.S. helicopter on a humanitarian mission in the Philippines apparently was shot at, prompting the Navy to temporarily halt the mission, a defense official said Monday.

An MH-60 helicopter operating from USNS Mercy hospital ship had gone to pick up 11 passengers about 50 miles inland, and two bullet holes were found when the aircraft returned to the ship with the passengers.

“The holes appear to be an entry and exit point from a single bullet,” said Cmdr. Jeff A. Davis, a Navy spokesman.

It is unclear if the bullet struck while the passengers were on the helicopter, he said. There were no injuries and the aircraft’s commander was unaware of any bullet striking the aircraft during the flight, Davis said.

The Mercy is anchored in Cotabatu, conducting Pacific Partnership 08, a humanitarian civic assistance mission between nations — and with non-governmental organizations — to provide medical, dental, construction and other services ashore and afloat.

5 Countries Agree to Talk Over the Arctic

Diplomats from the five countries bordering the Arctic Ocean adopted a declaration on Wednesday aimed at defusing tensions over the likelihood that global warming will open northern waters to shipping, energy extraction and other activities.

The agreement, reached after a daylong meeting in Ilulissat, Greenland, said the United States, Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark saw no need for new accords on Arctic matters and would use existing international laws like the Law of the Sea Treaty to resolve disputes. Greenland belongs to Denmark.

The countries also agreed to work more cooperatively to limit environmental risks attending more Arctic shipping and commerce and to coordinate potential rescue operations given the rising number of tourists heading north as sea ice increasingly retreats in the summer.

The meeting capped a frenetic year of Arctic activity as countries vied to demonstrate their polar hegemony with a mix of rhetoric, military maneuvers and, in the case of Russia, a submarine voyage to the seabed at the North Pole.

Fuel prices halt 3 French naval missions

The French navy canceled three summer missions Monday because of soaring fuel prices _ including a counternarcotics exercise off the United States.

The ripple effects of spiraling fuel prices are also being felt in Spain, where truckers and fishermen are striking in protest.

“All of our missions are important, but we had to cut those that were least crucial,” said navy spokesman Pascal Subtil.

The most significant of the canceled missions involves a training exercise off the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The French ship De Grasse was slated to sail alongside U.S. vessels in an exercise to train for preventing drug-trafficking.

Fuel Prices Hobbling Canadian Navy

A 50 percent rise in fuel costs kept many of Canada’s 34 naval vessels at port in 2007, the Sun Media group reported from Montreal Monday.

Under the Access to Information Act, the news group learned from defense documents the ships spent an average of 81 days at sea last year at a cost of more than $51 million. That’s a jump from $34.1 million in 2006, the report said.

A member of the Bloc Quebecois opposition party, Claude Bachand, told the agency the navy was facing another relatively dry year.

“The (fuel) bill will certainly rise by another 25 percent this year,” Bachand said. “Fuel consumption varies according to cruising speed and weather conditions, but in a visit on the frigate HMCS Winnipeg I was told it costs $25,000 in gas per day.”

HMS Defenceless: Two destroyers sail minus missiles to save cash

Two Royal Navy destroyers have been sent to sea virtually defenceless against air attack after their guided missiles were removed to save money.

The Sea Dart missiles, which have a range of 40 miles, used to protect HMS Exeter and HMS Southampton against enemy planes and missiles.

Now 4.5inch guns give them their main protection. At least half a dozen sailors – who operated the surface-to-air missiles – have been transferred to other ships because their roles became defunct.

Nine Nigerian navy members killed in fresh attack

Nine Nigerian navy members were killed and four civilians injured Tuesday in a second attack in as many days on a security vessel in the volatile oil-rich south, a military spokesman said.

“Another supply vessel working for Addax Petroleum, the Seacor Macor, was attacked early this morning,” Lieutenant Colonel Musa Sagir told AFP, adding: “Nine navy personnel were killed and four civilians injured.”

He said the incident happened at Addax’s Anthan oilfield near the High Island rig.

A spokesman for Addax Petroleum Nigeria could not immediately confirm the attack.

Tuesday’s attack came a day after a member of the Nigerian navy was killed and four other Nigerian seamen injured when gunmen travelling in two speedboats attacked an Addax security vessel some 40 kilometres from the Nigerian coast.

Baltic Sea Naval Exercises Underway

Russian military officials say a huge international naval exercise was under way Monday in the Baltic Sea, involving 35 vessels from 13 countries.

Called Baltops 2008 (short for Baltic Operations 2008), the effort was launched after a pre-exercise meeting in the Polish port city of Gdynia, Itar-Tass reported, saying Russia is represented by the Kaliningrad and the Neustrashimy.

The first phase of the exercise includes anti-submarine ship support and the use of helicopters in tracking submarines, the news agency said.

In addition to Russia, other nations taking part in the naval exercises include the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

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