Monday, July 5, 2010

DTN News: Force Protection Meets With Potential Suppliers For Australia’s $1 Billion Vehicle

Defense News: DTN News: Force Protection Meets With Potential Suppliers For Australia’s $1 Billion Vehicle
Source: DTN News / Force Protection Europe Limited
(NSI News Source Info) LADSON, South Carolina/WARWICKSHIRE, U.K.- July 6, 2010: Force Protection has completed a series of discussions with potential suppliers across four states as it refines its Australian manufacturing plans for the $1 billion protected mobility vehicle contract.
The Australian Government in May announced that Force Protection was one of three Australian-based solutions to be given the opportunity to win the contract to manufacture up to 1300 next-generation protected mobility vehicles, under the ‘Land 121 Phase 4’ program.
Force Protection has again met with potential suppliers as well as State Government ministers and industry representatives in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Force Protection Chief Executive Officer, Michael Moody, said discussions with suppliers last year had opened up several manufacturing options for its Ocelot vehicle across the four states, and it was important to further progress these discussions now that the company had been short-listed for the Australian Government contract.
“The reception we have received from both suppliers and government representatives over the past couple of weeks has been extremely positive, and confirmed our view that we can build a world class vehicle utilising the best of Australian military and automotive manufacturing expertise and know-how,” Mr Moody said.
“We are committed to operating in Australia and we look forward to making further announcements about our plans.”
Force Protection was one of the companies recently down-selected by the UK Ministry of Defence to tender for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle Program – Demonstration, Production and Support Phases and has been awarded a contract by the UK MoD for the supply of two Ocelot light protected patrol vehicles for testing.
Its Ocelot vehicle has undergone significant development in conjunction with leading independent technology provider Ricardo to provide high levels of survivability together with exceptional cross country mobility, flexibility and value for money.
The Ocelot’s capabilities have already been proven by a sustained program of blast, ballistic, automotive and manoeuvrability tests conducted since 2009.
The Ocelot can be maintained and repaired quickly in the field to ensure maximum availability, while its unique modular design enables the vehicle to be reconfigured in theatre within two hours to meet a variety of different roles, such as patrol, fire support and protected logistics. Force Protection continues to test and refine the Ocelot vehicle, taking in to account the specific operational requirements for the Australian Defence Force.
About Force Protection, Inc.
Force Protection, Inc. is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of survivability solutions, including blast- and ballistic-protected wheeled vehicles currently deployed by the U.S. military and its allies to support armed forces and security personnel in conflict zones. The Company’s specialty vehicles, including the Buffalo, Cougar and related variants, are designed specifically for reconnaissance and urban operations and to protect their occupants from landmines, hostile fire, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs, commonly referred to as roadside bombs). The Company also develops, manufactures, tests, delivers and supports products and services aimed at further enhancing the survivability of users against additional threats. In addition, the Company provides long-term life cycle support services of its vehicles that involve development of technical data packages, supply of spares, field and depot maintenance activities, assignment of highly-skilled field service representatives, and advanced on and off-road driver and maintenance training programs. For more information on Force Protection and its products and services, visit
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations. These statements are based on beliefs and assumptions of Force Protection’s management, and on information currently available to management. These forward looking statements include, among other things the growth, demand and interest and demand for Force Protection’s vehicles, including the Ocelot vehicle; expectations for future contracts for the Ocelot the benefits; and suitability of the Ocelot; the rate at which the Company will be able to produce these vehicles; the ability to meet current and future requirements the Company’s execution of its business strategy and strategic transformation, including its opportunities to grow the business; and the Company’s expected financial and operating results, including its revenues, cash flow and gross margins, for future periods. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any of them publicly in light of new information or future events. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Examples of these factors include, but are not limited to, ability to effectively manage the risks in the Company’s business; the ability to develop new technologies and products and the acceptance of these technologies and products; the other risk factors and cautionary statements listed in the Company’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the risks set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 and as updated in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.

DTN News: US To Blame Iran For Afghanistan Failure

Defense News: DTN News: US To Blame Iran For Afghanistan Failure
Source: DTN News / Press TV
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - July 6, 2010: U.S. and British intelligence services are working on a fake video clip aimed at diverting blame for failures in Afghanistan to Iran, an informed U.S. military source says.
A source at the U.S. base in Bagram, told Press TV on condition of anonymity that the U.S. and British spies have employed renowned American film editors to produce the video.
The video consists of footage doctored in a way to show that Iran is providing weapons and military equipment to ""anti-government forces"" in the war-torn country.
The montage sequence will rely on false satellite imagery and radar images allegedly taken by spy drones.
This is while pressure is mounting on the U.S. over its failure in Afghanistan, amid rising causalities among foreign troops in the country.
June was the bloodiest month for the U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan since the beginning of invasion of the country in 2001, with a record 102 fatalities.
While the mounting civilian death toll continues to anger Kabul, it is widely believed that Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and other chief masterminds of the militancy are hiding in neighboring Pakistan.
In a controversial move, the Obama administration sacked the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal in June, for mocking his “clueless” civilian bosses.

DTN News: Iran Says Planes Denied Fuel In Germany, UK, UAE

Defense News: DTN News: Iran Says Planes Denied Fuel In Germany, UK, UAE
Source: DTN News / Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - July 6, 2010: An Iranian official said on Monday the country's aircraft had been denied fuel in Germany, Britain and the United Arab Emirates as a result of tighter US sanctions, but those countries did not confirm imposing any ban.
Pressure is mounting on Iran over its nuclear programme and the United States has stepped up its push to isolate Tehran economically. On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed into law far-reaching sanctions that aim to squeeze the Islamic Republic's fuel imports and deepen its international isolation.
"Since last week, our planes have been refused fuel at airports in Britain, Germany and UAE because of the sanctions imposed by America," Mehdi Aliyari, Secretary of the Iranian Airlines Union, told Iran's ISNA news agency.
The claim could not be independently confirmed and was met by scepticism. None of the three countries has announced any such ban, although officials could not rule out private firms refusing to fuel Iranian planes because of US measures.
A British government spokesman said it was unaware of any Iranian planes being denied fuel in Britain. The German transport ministry said there was no ban on refuelling Iranian aircraft, and an airport in the United Arab Emirates said it was honouring contracts to fill Iranian aircraft normally.
Gala Riani at IHS Global Insight said any measure targeting the provision of fuel to Iranian flights would seem a "very strict reading" of the new US sanctions law. She said it would not necessarily be the kind of measures the legislation, which is more directed at trade in fuel, aimed to achieve.
"I'd be cautious to jump to any conclusions," she said about the Iranian news agency report.
A spokeswoman for Abu Dhabi Airports (ADAC) in the UAE capital said: "We have contracts with Iranian passenger flights and continue to allow refuelling."
Fuel traders from three different international firms said they had heard of no ban on jet fuel sales to Iranian aircraft at UAE airports. Said one trader: "You can't allow a plane to land and then not let it buy fuel."
Germany's Transport Ministry said the refuelling of Iranian planes was not banned under EU or UN sanctions, nor was any such ban foreseeable. "There is no ban," a spokesman for the ministry said, adding that he could not comment on whether any individual providers were refusing to fuel Iranian aircraft.
Although the British authorities were not aware of any Iranian aircraft having been denied fuel, a government source said: "It is a commercial decision for companies to take how they respond to the US legislation."
The claim followed steps by the UAE this month to tighten its crucial role as a trading and financial lifeline for Iran. The UAE Central Bank asked financial institutions to freeze the accounts of 40 entities and an individual blacklisted by the UN for assisting Iran's nuclear or missile programmes.
The US action and other measures planned by the European Union go well beyond a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran approved on June 9.
Over the past weeks a number of countries and firms have cut back on their imports of Iranian crude oil. More companies have also stopped providing Iran with refined petroleum which Tehran needs to import to meet domestic demand.
Iran is the world's fifth-largest oil producer, but imports various oil products for lack of sufficient refining capacity.
The US measures, unlike the UN sanctions, target Iranian imports of refined products.
A State Department press officer in Washington was able to comment on Monday, a US holiday, on whether the new US sanctions barred firms abroad from refuelling Iranian air craft.
Western powers believe Iran is trying to build bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear programme. Tehran says the programme is only for electricity generation and medical purposes. Aliyari said that so far Iran Air, the national carrier, and Mahan Airlines had run into refuelling problems. "Refusing to provide fuel to Iranian passenger planes by these countries is a violation of international conventions," he added.
An Iranian lawmaker said his country would retaliate against countries denying fuel to its planes: "Iran will do the same to ships and planes of those countries that cause problems for us," ISNA quoted Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh as saying.

DTN News: Airbus Showcases The A400M, A380 And A330 Freighter At Farnborough

Defense News: DTN News: Airbus Showcases The A400M, A380 And A330 Freighter At Farnborough
* Full range of civil and military aircraft on display
Source: DTN News / EADS
(NSI News Source Info) BLAGNAC, France - July 6, 2010: Airbus, the world’s number one aircraft manufacturer by annual civil aircraft deliveries, will have two industry leading edge aircraft participating in flying displays at the 2010 Farnborough International Airshow (19-25th July)
The world’s most modern and eco-efficient passenger aircraft in service today, the A380, will fly every day whilst the A400M will demonstrate its versatility and manoeuvrability from Monday to Thursday.
Both aircraft will be on static display alongside Airbus’ newest aircraft, the A330 freighter which will enter service later this summer, and the C295 twin-turboprop military transport aircraft. On Saturday July 24th, the smallest member of the Airbus Family range, an A318 will also be on static display
The Airbus Press Conference, followed by an Airbus Military briefing will take place on Monday July 19th at 11:00 in the Cody Room at the airshow Media Centre. Media are welcome to visit the EADS Press Chalet located at Row C, 24-26. Notice of any announcements during the week will be posted in the Media centre as well as the EADS Press Chalet.
During the week, visitors can see Airbus’ range of aircraft products in Hall 4 (stand G12). The stand will feature a 1:20 scale cut away section model of the A350 XWB and also an A350 XWB surround vision cinema. There will also be interactive tools highlighting the entire range of Airbus products including the freighter Family.
On the military side, there will be a 1:25 scale model of the world’s preferred refuelling aircraft, the A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport), and an actual size A400M fuselage section with videos showing the aircraft’s operational capabilities. Furthermore, a multimedia surface demonstrates the deployment capabilities of the entire Airbus Military aircraft family, which also includes the Light an Medium C212, the CN235 and the C295.
The Airbus tent next to the static displays will also host an exhibit of photographs taken by school children to highlight the United Nation’s International Year of Biodiversity, which Airbus is supporting.
Information about the show will be updated daily and available on the Airbus corporate website,
Contacts for the media:
Stefan Schaffrath
Head of Media Relations
Tel.: +33 5.61 93 42 99
Fax: +33 5.61 93 38 36
Barbara Kracht
Media Relations Airbus Military
Airbus Military
Tel.: +34 91.5 85 77 88
Fax: +34 91.5 85 72 64

DTN News: Turkey May Cut Diplomatic Ties With Israel - Turkish FM

Defense News: DTN News: Turkey May Cut Diplomatic Ties With Israel - Turkish FM
Source: DTN News / Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) ANKARA, Turkey - July 5, 2010: Turkey has said it may break diplomatic relations with Israel because of Tel Aviv's refusal to apologize for its deadly attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian convoy, Turkey's Hurriyet daily said.
"The Israelis have three options: they will either apologize or acknowledge an international-impartial inquiry and its conclusion. Otherwise, our diplomatic ties will be cut off," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the paper on Sunday.
The statement comes a week after Davutoglu and Israeli Trade Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer discussed the attack on the Freedom Flotilla during a "secret meeting" in Brussels, with Davutoglu repeating Ankara's call for Tel Aviv to apologize for the attack.
Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish vessel in neutral waters off the Gaza coast, killing 9 people and inuring dozens. Eight of those killed were Turks. The ninth person killed was a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent. Following the raid, large-scale anti-Israeli protests took place in Istanbul and Ankara, with Turkey recalling its ambassador from Tel Aviv and closing its airspace for Israeli military planes.
"We showed them an exit. If they apologize as a result of their own investigation's conclusion, that would be fine for us. But of course we first have to see this," Davutoglu said.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would neither apologize nor pay compensation to the relatives of the victims.
In such a case, Davutoglu told Hurriyet, ties between the two countries "will never be repaired" and the "process of isolation will continue."
Israel began an investigation of the attack on the Freedom Flotilla in late June. The country has rejected numerous calls to set up an international inquiry into the raid, but has invited Northern Irish Nobel Prize laureate David Trimble and the former Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Forces, Ken Watkin, to monitor the Israeli investigation committee's activities.
The Israeli military have also been ordered to conduct separate probes into the raid.

DTN News: Pakistan Army Finds Taliban Tough To Root Out

Defense News: DTN News: Pakistan Army Finds Taliban Tough To Root Out
Source: DTN News / The New York Times By JANE PERLEZ and ERIC SCHMITT, Pir Zubair Shah contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.
(NSI News Source Info) RAZMAK, Pakistan - July 5, 2010: On an operating table at a makeshift trauma center at this military base in North Waziristan, a Pakistani soldier lay anesthetized, blood-soaked bandages applied in the field just an hour earlier a testament to a near-fatal wound.
A Pakistani Frontier Corps soldier in South Waziristan, where the army is fighting militants.
The bullet through his neck from aTaliban militant had narrowly missed an artery, and after some minor surgery, the army medics declared the patient, Sepoy Aziz, out of danger.
In an offensive nearly two years old, the Pakistani Army has been fighting Taliban militants in the nation’s tribal areas and beyond, and like the United States across the border in Afghanistan, it is finding counterinsurgency warfare tougher, and more costly, than anticipated.
Months after declaring victory on several important fronts, including in South Waziristan and the Swat Valley, the army has been forced to reopen campaigns after militants seeped back in. True victory remains elusive. Soldiers like Sepoy Aziz — a sepoy is the rough equivalent of a private — are killed and wounded almost daily.
Much like the challenge facing American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, an absence of Pakistani civilian authority has made it nearly impossible to consolidate military gains. While eliminating some Pakistani Taliban insurgents, the long campaign has dispersed many other fighters, forcing the Pakistani Army in effect to chase them from one part of the tribal areas to another.
As the campaign drags on, the Pakistani military relies more and more on American-supplied F-16 fighter jets and Cobra helicopter gunships to bomb militants in areas of treacherous terrain, increasing civilian casualties, according to reporters and Pakistani officials in the tribal areas.
Many of the Pakistani Taliban fighters organize and rest here in North Waziristan under the protection of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Afghan Taliban leader who runs a network of several thousand fighters of his own.
Allied with the Taliban and backed by Al Qaeda, the Haqqani group makes up a significant part of the insurgency in Afghanistan, too, and American officials have pressed the Pakistani Army for an offensive against them. But for now the brunt of the effort against Al Qaeda and the Haqqani fighters is borne by American drone strikes launched withPakistan’s acquiescence.
The Pakistani Army says it is too overwhelmed tamping down the Taliban on other fronts in the tribal areas to take on a full-blown campaign in North Waziristan. There is truth to the Pakistani concern about being overstretched, American officials said.
But there are also deep suspicions that Pakistan’s military and intelligence service use Mr. Haqqani’s force to exert influence in Afghanistan, and keep India at bay.
The Pakistani Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has even offered to help broker a deal between the Haqqani group and the Afghan government as part of an Afghanistan peace settlement, according to Pakistani and American officials.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 troops have been killed in the last two years fighting the Pakistani Taliban, the military says. In South Waziristan, Taliban fighters operating in groups of 4 to 15 regularly hit Pakistani soldiers, army officers said. The Taliban use classic guerrilla tactics — sniper fire, roadside bombs, ambushes — and their innate knowledge of the terrain to great advantage, they said.
“The terrorists have been raised here; they can find their way around blind,” said Maj. Shahzad Saleem, as small gunfire sounded around the hills near Nawazkot where Sepoy Aziz was shot.
More than 120,000 farmers, shopkeepers, women and children who were ordered to leave South Waziristan at the start of the offensive were expected to be back home by now. But the lands here remain devoid of any residents, and the fruit trees laden with summer apricots are untouched.
The civilians will be allowed back in stages, starting in about two weeks, and their return will be carried out under the guidance of the army, said Lt. Gen. Asif Yasin Malik, the commander of the army’s 11th Corps.
In other parts of the tribal areas to the north, and in the adjacent Swat Valley, which was reclaimed by the army from the Taliban last summer, the Pakistani Army faces similar problems.
Two parts of the tribal region that Pakistani Army commanders had said were secure, Bajaur and Mohmand, have come under renewed attacks from the militants in the past month.
The Taliban resurfaced in Bajaur, warning the few residents who had returned not to challenge them. In Mohmand, a border post was taken over by the Taliban after 60 Pakistani soldiers of the Frontier Corps ran out of ammunition — and nerve, according to a senior army commander — when several hundred militants operating from Afghanistan attacked.
The army has made the most gains in Swat, where bazaars are bustling and some tourist hotels have reopened. But few schools have been rebuilt, and residents complain of slow compensation for reconstruction of ruined homes. Taliban fighters have singled out for assassination key tribal leaders involved in negotiations in Swat for a more permanent political settlement.
A “peaceful heaven” mural at a Taliban hideout was said to be used to educate suicide bombers.
Civilian casualties have become harder to ignore. In April, the head of the army, General Kayani, in a rare statement of apology, acknowledged that more than 70 tribesmen had been killed after what he said were inadvertent aerial strikes against a house in Khyber belonging to a tribal elder loyal to the government.
A senior Pakistani military official said, “There have been no reports of large numbers of civilians who have become casualties.”
The Pakistani Army opened what it thought would be its final front against the Taliban in March when it deployed five army battalions backed by F-16 jets in an offensive in Orakzai, a part of the tribal areas that became a refuge for Taliban displaced by the campaign in South Waziristan. It has also become a critical staging ground for the Taliban and other militants groups to penetrate the adjacent Punjab Province.
In June, General Kayani visited Orakzai and congratulated the troops at what was reported as a victory ceremony. But since then Pakistani fighter jets, attack helicopters and artillery have continued to bomb Orakzai, causing civilian casualties in villages close to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, formerly the North-West Frontier Province, according to local residents. “You can hear bombardments day and night from our house,” a prominent landowner in Hangu said.
According to the account of the landowner, who declined to be identified because of fear of repercussions from the military, seven women and children were killed in May during an air attack on the village of Shahu Khel.
“There had been firing between the militants and the army and the next day three helicopters were shelling the village,” the landowner said. “There was constant bombardment at about 4 p.m.” The bodies of three women and seven children were taken to the Civil Hospital in Hangu, he said.
According to reports that appeared in Pakistan’s leading English-language newspaper, Dawn, 226 civilians have been killed in the fighting and aerial bombardment in Orakzai since the campaign started in late March.
The United States is satisfied that Pakistan is using the American warplanes and helicopters in an appropriate manner, an American military spokesman said. Washington was pleased that General Kayani apologized for the deaths in Khyber, the spokesman said.
“In our view the Pakistani Air Force continues to make a concerted effort to minimize collateral damage and fully understand the impact these kinds of incidents can ultimately have on their counterinsurgency efforts,” he said.
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DTN News: Russia's Medvedev Oversees Naval Phase Of Vostok-2010 Military Drills

Defense News: DTN News: Russia's Medvedev Oversees Naval Phase Of Vostok-2010 Military Drills
* Vostok 2010 Operation and Strategic Training
Source: DTN News / Ria Novosti
(NSI News Source Info) PYOTR VELIKY MISSILE CRUISER, - July 5, 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is overseeing on Sunday the naval phase of Russia's Vostok 2010 military drills in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East on board the heavy nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Veliky.
The drills began on June 29 in Russia's Far East training areas and involved some 10,000 troops and around 1,000 items of military hardware. The first phase of the drills ended on Saturday. The second, naval phase will see the involvement of several times more service personnel and military equipment. The exercises continue until July 8.
Apart from the Pyotr Veliky cruiser of the Russian Northern Fleet, the drills also involve the Guards guided missile cruiser Moskva of the Black Sea Fleet.
As many as 12,500 troops took part in last year's intermediate drills, while the previous large-scale Vostok 2008 drills involved more than 8,000 troops.
Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, earlier said this year's strategic drills would include the firing of live ammunition, simulated airborne assaults and amphibious assault landings.
As part of the drills, the Armed Forces will practice the deployment of additional troops in Siberia and the Far East to reinforce the existing military contingent in the region in case of a military conflict.
Makarov stressed that the Vostok 2010 drills were not aimed against any country.
"This not directed against any specific country or military-political bloc. It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of the [Russian] state in the Far East," he said.
Russia holds Vostok strategic command-and-staff drills every two years.

DTN News: Tensions Flare Again As Israel Proposes To Expand Settlements

Defense News: DTN News: Tensions Flare Again As Israel Proposes To Expand Settlements

Jerusalem's settlements

Source: DTN News /
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - July 5, 2010:

IT SOUNDS straightforward enough. In the words of Stephan Miller, spokesman for Jerusalem city: “Once any construction project in the city of Jerusalem has completed the permit process…it can begin construction, irrelevant of race, religion, creed and gender.” But there is the rub. Race, religion, creed and sometimes even gender are supremely relevant if the Holy City, a complex web of separate Jewish and Arab districts, is ever to be divided peaceably into the capitals of two states, Israel and Palestine.

A series of Jewish settlement-projects inside Arab districts of East Jerusalem threaten to exacerbate tensions in the city. But the mayor, Nir Barkat, seems determined to push them forward regardless. The prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, due to meet President Barack Obama in Washington on July 6th, has been embarrassed by Jerusalem’s building plans before. But his attempts to stop or at least defer them are sporadic. His critics say they are half-hearted, too, because ideologically the prime minister sympathises with the settlers. Indeed, Mr Netanyahu’s aides point out that, though subscribing since last year to the “two-state solution”, he has never accepted that Jerusalem need be divided, or that part of it should be the Palestinians’ capital.

Mr Miller was referring to the old Shepherd’s Hotel in the Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, a long-empty building that a Jewish-American developer has bought and proposes to turn into apartments for Jewish settlers. Work began at the site this week, under the protection of armed civilian guards. Another Jewish building project in the same district requires the eviction of 28 Palestinian families, many of whom have been living there for more than 50 years. Israeli Jews and local Palestinians now protest there, relatively peacefully, each week.

However, bullet-marked walls and damaged cars attested this week to the much less peaceful activity around another chain of Jewish settlement-sites, deep within the steep, winding lanes of the Arab district of Silwan which sprawls beneath the Old City walls to the south. Palestinian residents described how on June 27th police charged through Silwan’s narrow thoroughfares firing tear-gas grenades through windows and doors, choking people inside their homes. They produced the spent canisters as evidence. Much more seriously, they exhibited cartridge cases of live ammunition, claiming that the civilian employees of private-guard companies fired in the air in response to stone-throwing by Palestinian youths.

In the nights that followed, police raided the district and carted off teenagers, some as young as 12, on suspicion of stone-throwing. Sucking ice-creams in the hot, dusty alleys in the morning, the youngsters looked no worse for their night inside, though some said they were slapped and all asserted proudly that they were shouted at and threatened by the policemen.

Staying put in Silwan

The trouble-spots that sparked this week’s violence are a 12-flat settler apartment block called Beit Yonatan, which the Israeli Supreme Court has ordered evacuated and sealed off because it was built illegally, and, nearby, a Palestinian apartment block that was once a synagogue. Jewish settlers are demanding that the Palestinian families leave, as the building is owned by Jews. Uri Ariel, a Knesset member, says if the police do not oust the families he will do so himself on July 4th. Police units are deploying around the district in preparation for what threatens to be another violent Sunday.

Silwan is also the site of a large and controversial building plan adopted last week by the municipality’s planning committee. Mr Barkat proposes a $50m park-and-tourism complex for the valley of Silwan. It would be called the King’s Garden, and would extend from a popular archaeological site known as the City of David, opposite the Old City walls, to form a national park in honour of the biblical king.

The project will mean demolishing 22 Palestinian homes, built illegally over the past two decades, and moving the residents to new homes nearby. In an effort, so far unsuccessful, to win local consent, the mayor is offering retroactive building licences for another 60-odd homes in the area, also built illegally. But local people are not tempted. They say the illegal building is the result of decades of Israeli refusals to grant building licences to Palestinians. And they do not wish to celebrate King David’s life and legend. The mayor holds out to them the prospect of a better, greener life in Silwan; but they see his scheme as yet more “Judaisation” of the Holy City.

DTN News: McCain Slams US Withdrawal Date From Afghanistan

Defense News:DTN News: McCain Slams US Withdrawal Date From Afghanistan
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - July 5, 2010: US Senator John McCain Sunday slammed the July 2011 target for beginning to pull US troops out of Afghanistan, saying setting a firm date for withdrawal would raise questions about US commitment there.

US Senator John McCain Sunday slammed the July 2011 target for beginning to pull US troops out of Afghanistan

"I'm concerned about the perception of our friends and our enemies as well as the people in Afghanistan, as to the depth of our commitment," McCain told ABC news in an interview from Kabul.

The Republican lawmaker and former prisoner of war said the policy of announcing a planned draw down date was a "bad idea," and that the United States should only leave Afghanistan when the country is stable enough to maintain a strong government.

"I'm all for dates of withdrawal, but that's after the strategy succeeds, not before. That's a dramatic difference," he said.

Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States, Said Jawad, agreed on CNN. He said any deadline must be "based on the reality on the ground," to send a clear message that "NATO and Afghans are there to finish the job."

"If we had a fully functioning system in Afghanistan, there would be no need for the rest of the world to be there. It will take some time," he said. "The threat of terrorism is still imminent."

McCain warned that the Taliban would fill any vacuum left by departing US troops.

"I know enough about warfare," he said. "I know enough about what strategy and tactics are about."

"If you tell the enemy that you're leaving on a date certain, unequivocally, then that enemy will wait until you leave," he said.

DTN News: Japan Revises Its Role In The China Market

Defense News: DTN News: Japan Revises Its Role In The China Market
Source: DTN News / Financial Times
(NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - July 5, 2010:
For more than two decades, much of the work of the Shanghai office of Japan’s Osaka Prefecture was helping small Japanese parts suppliers join the shift of manufacturing capacity from their high-cost homeland to far cheaper China.

Japan tapping into Chinese growthThese days staff spend more time helping small to medium enterprises make contact with Chinese customers so they can make up for a dearth of Japanese domestic demand, says office chief representative Katsuaki Tanaka.

“In the past, China was called the world’s workshop – now it’s the world’s market,” Mr Tanaka says. “And (Japanese) companies of all types want to operate in this market.”

Shifting demands on Mr Tanaka’s time are part of a historic broadening and deepening of the economic relationship between East Asia’s pre-eminent powers.

Even the most cautious Japanese companies are keenly aware of China’s potential as a source of sales, a message highlighted by Beijing’s success in mustering its financial resources to shrug off the effects of the global economic slowdown. The growing sophistication of Chinese manufacturing and the maturity of Japanese-invested operations means industrial supply chains are ever more tightly enmeshed. China is no longer just a cheap place to do final assembly of Japanese products for shipment elsewhere.

“Previously, parts and intermediate products came in and finished goods were exported to Japan but now the flow goes both ways,” says Yasuo Onishi, president of the Shanghai office of the Japan External Trade Organisation.

China looks likely to surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest economy in market dollar terms this year. Chinese per capita incomes remain low but plenty of urban consumers are able to sample high-value goods and services.

Japanese businesses from restaurants and resorts, to pharmaceuticals providers and sake brewers look to tap into Chinese growth. New investment in Shanghai is mostly in the service sector, says Mr Onishi.

Japan’s advanced environmental technology means it could well play a central role in China’s efforts to cut pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

But while China replaced the US as Japan’s biggest export market last year, Japanese groups face problems. Companies from Japan operating in China are keen to expand but the proportion mak ing a profit there has fallen in the past 50 years to just above 50 per cent in 2009, says a Jetro survey. Japanese businesses in China appear vulnerable to labour unrest and their technological edge could be eroded by Beijing’s demands that they share secrets with local partners.

Still, the rise of cash-rich Chinese companies eager to expand abroad has created another role for Osaka Prefecture’s Shanghai office. “We are trying to get Chinese enterprises to invest in Osaka,” notes Mr Tanaka.

DTN News: U.S., Poland Sign New Missile Defence Pact

Defense News: DTN News: U.S., Poland Sign New Missile Defence Pact
Source: DTN News / CBC News
(NSI News Source Info) KRAKOW, Poland - July 5, 2010: The United States and Poland have signed an agreement updating an existing deal on basing U.S. missile interceptors on Polish soil.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton attended the signing Saturday during a visit to the southern Polish city of Krakow.
With the agreement signed two years ago, the Bush administration had focused on protecting the U.S. against long-range intercontinental missiles with stationary interceptor rockets.
Since then, the U.S. has re-evaluated the threat from Iran, which Clinton says is developing short- and medium-range missiles capable of hitting Europe faster than previously thought.
Under the amended agreement, Poland will, starting in 2018, host a U.S. base, equipped with mobile interceptor rockets that can protect against missile attacks from any range.
Clinton expressed hope that Russia would drop its opposition to a U.S. missile defence system in Europe and accept an offer to co-operate in developing technologies for shooting down hostile weapons.
"The offer stands," she told a news conference after the signing, adding that the revised agreement would pose no threat to Russia.
Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said his country fully supports the amended plan.

DTN News: Afghanistan Drug Sweep Leaves 63 Dead

Defense News: DTN News: Afghanistan Drug Sweep Leaves 63 Dead
Source: DTN News / The Associated Press
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - July 5, 2010: The Afghan government says 63 drug smugglers and militants have been killed and 14.5 tonnes of drugs and drug-making chemicals have been destroyed in southern Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Interior said Sunday that 10 other men involved in the drug trade, including some foreigners, were arrested in a two-day operation conducted by a counternarcotics unit assisted by coalition forces along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.
The ministry said 14 Afghan civilians being held by the militants and smugglers were freed during the operation that ended Sunday at Baramcha in southern Helmand province.
Authorities said they also confiscated a cache of weapons, explosives and suicide vests and destroyed two drug laboratories.

DTN News: Israel's Barak To Meet Palestinian

Defense News:
DTN News: Israel's Barak To Meet Palestinian Premier On Monday
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - July 5, 2010: Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak will meet with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad on Monday, the minister's office said.
"A meeting between Mr. Barak and Fayyad will be held on Monday," the defence ministry said without providing any details on the venue of the meeting or its agenda.
Israeli public radio said the two would "discuss the peace process shortly before the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States, where he will meet on Tuesday with President Barack Obama."
A Palestinian official confirmed the meeting, which is due to take place at 1:30 p.m. local time (10:30 GMT). The venue has not been disclosed, probably for security reasons.
On Wednesday, Barak said he would meet with Fayyad in the coming days for a rare high-level meeting between the Jewish state and Palestinian Authority.
"We are due to meet in the next few days. This is not the first time we are meeting and we will talk, I assume, about the situation on the ground, about security coordination," Barak told reporters.
At the time, Fayyad's office confirmed the two would meet and said Palestinians planned to discuss demands that Israel lift its Gaza blockade and stop military incursions into Palestinian cities.
High-level contacts between Israel and Palestinian leaders have been virtually frozen since Israel's devastating 22-day war on the Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009.