Saturday, December 08, 2012

Syria warns rebels may use chemical weapons

Syria warns rebels may use chemical weapons - FRANCE 24

AFP - Syria warned on Saturday that rebels could use chemical weapons in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad's forces, and insisted that the regime will never unleash such arms on its own people.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, however, said there was evidence the Damascus government could actually employ chemical weapons stocks in the conflict which a rights group says has killed at least 42,000 people in nearly 21 months.

"Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people... after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory" east of Aleppo, the foreign ministry said, using the government term for rebel groups.

It added that Damascus would never use such weapons against its own people.

The ministry was believed to be referring to the Syrian-Saudi Chemicals Company (SYSACCO) factory near Safira, which was taken over earlier this week by militants from the jihadist Al-Nusra Front.

Syria "is defending its people against terrorism, which is supported by known countries, with the United States at the forefront," the ministry said....

Color changing robot

Camouflage robot - YouTube

Friday, December 07, 2012

Japan poised to shoot down North Korean missile

Japan poised to shoot down North Korean missile - Telegraph

The order to destroy the missile should any part of it threaten to fall onto Japanese territory was issued after a meeting of the Security Council of Japan met and was informed that North Korea has begun filling a fuel tank alongside the launch pad at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in preparation for the launch.

Japan has already deployed Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile batteries in Tokyo, as well as in Okinawa and at locations along the northern and western coasts facing the Korean Peninsula....

Three Japanese destroyers equipped with the advanced Aegis detect-and-destroy weapons system have been deployed in the Sea of Japan. The US has also stationed warships in the area to monitor the launch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Iran says extracts data from U.S. spy drone - Reuters

... We have fully extracted the drone's information," Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Iran's English-language Press TV.
The drone was gathering military information and spying on the transfer of oil from Iran's petroleum terminals, the IRGC statement said, according to Press TV. Iran's main export terminal is at Kharg Island.

The U.S. government has focused on blocking Iran's oil exports through sanctions to persuade Iran to give up its disputed nuclear program, which the U.S. and its allies believe is aimed at developing a bomb, something Iran denies....

Monday, December 03, 2012

Inside the Beltway: Drones for journalists

Inside the Beltway: Drones for journalists - Washington Times

Here comes the fly-by media. Preliminary use of diminutive drones is under way among those who see the potential of drones in news gathering, not to mention invasive “gotcha”-style journalism. Deadline Detroit — “a homegrown media revolution” manned by former veteran journalists — has already used footage made by “Tretch5000,” an anonymous hobbyist who used a camera-mounted drone to peek inside abandoned housing and old civic buildings, producing a telling video vignette.

“There’s a part of me that finds this kind of creepy and fraught with ‘big brother is watching’ issues. While we might trust public radio journalists and academics, there were rumors earlier this week that TMZ had purchased a drone to assist in its paparazzi-style coverage of celebrities,” says Vince Duffy, chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

“But why wouldn’t they get one? Could websites that cover celebrities resist the urge to fly drones over celebrity weddings, outdoor red carpets, and beaches where starlets might be caught topless?” Mr. Duffy asks.

The University of Missouri has awarded a $25,000 grant to public radio station KBIA to explore drone journalism in places “reporters can’t go or reach,” while the University of Nebraska has won $50,000 from the Knight Foundation for a new Drone Journalism Lab.Mr. Duffy points out that the Federal Aviation Administration requires unmanned aircraft systems to be within the operator’s line of sight, cruise below 400 feet during daylight hours and avoid airports, among other things.

“Journalism organizations would certainly have many reasons to fly drones far from the person controlling it, or on some type of preprogrammed autopilot course,” Mr. Duffy says. “The FAA is looking into how it can regulate the coming ‘drone age’ safely. They expect to have new rules by 2015. The ethical issues for using drones for journalism will probably be up in the air much after that.”

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/2/inside-the-beltway-drones-for-journalists/#ixzz2E0fSsnut
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Here comes the fly-by media. Preliminary use of diminutive drones is under way among those who see the potential of drones in news gathering, not to mention invasive “gotcha”-style journalism. Deadline Detroit — “a homegrown media revolution” manned by former veteran journalists — has already used footage made by “Tretch5000,” an anonymous hobbyist who used a camera-mounted drone to peek inside abandoned housing and old civic buildings, producing a telling video vignette.

“There’s a part of me that finds this kind of creepy and fraught with ‘big brother is watching’ issues. While we might trust public radio journalists and academics, there were rumors earlier this week that TMZ had purchased a drone to assist in its paparazzi-style coverage of celebrities,” says Vince Duffy, chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association.

“But why wouldn’t they get one? Could websites that cover celebrities resist the urge to fly drones over celebrity weddings, outdoor red carpets, and beaches where starlets might be caught topless?” Mr. Duffy asks.

The University of Missouri has awarded a $25,000 grant to public radio station KBIA to explore drone journalism in places “reporters can’t go or reach,” while the University of Nebraska has won $50,000 from the Knight Foundation for a new Drone Journalism Lab.Mr. Duffy points out that the Federal Aviation Administration requires unmanned aircraft systems to be within the operator’s line of sight, cruise below 400 feet during daylight hours and avoid airports, among other things.

“Journalism organizations would certainly have many reasons to fly drones far from the person controlling it, or on some type of preprogrammed autopilot course,” Mr. Duffy says. “The FAA is looking into how it can regulate the coming ‘drone age’ safely. They expect to have new rules by 2015. The ethical issues for using drones for journalism will probably be up in the air much after that.”

-bth: It is inevitable that drones will be used by the media.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Turkey requested Nato missile defences over Syria chemical weapons fears

Turkey requested Nato missile defences over Syria chemical weapons fears | World news | guardian.co.uk

A request by Turkey for Nato Patriot missile defences to be deployed on its territory followed intelligence that the Syrian government was contemplating the use of missiles, possibly with chemical warheads, Turkish officials have told the Guardian.

The officials said they had credible evidence that if the Syrian government's aerial bombardment against opposition-held areas failed to hold the rebels back, Bashar al-Assad's regime might resort to missiles and chemical weapons in a desperate last effort to survive.

The Turks believe that the regime's Soviet-era Scuds and North Korean SS-21 missiles would be aimed principally at opposition areas but could easily stray across the border, as Syrian army artillery shells and mortars have done.

A missile, especially with a chemical warhead, would represent a far greater threat to Turkish border communities, so Ankara decided last month to ask Nato to supply Patriot missile defence systems, which can spot an incoming missile and intercept it.

"We have intelligence from different sources that the Syrians will use ballistic missiles and chemical warheads," a senior Turkish official said. "First they sent the infantry in against the rebels and they lost a lot of men, and many changed sides. Then they sent in the tanks, and they were taken out by anti-tank missiles. So now it's air power. If that fails it will be missiles, perhaps with chemical warheads. That is why we asked Nato for protection...."

Muslim Brotherhood 'paying gangs to go out and rape women and beat men protesting in Egypt' as thousands of demonstrators pour on to the streets

Muslim Brotherhood 'paying gangs to go out and rape women and beat men protesting in Egypt' as thousands of demonstrators pour on to the streets | Mail Online

Egypt's ruling party is paying gangs of thugs to sexually assault women protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square against President Mohamed Morsi, activists said.

They also said the Muslim Brotherhood is paying gangs to beat up men who are taking part in the latest round of protests, which followed a decree by President Morsi to give himself sweeping new powers.

It comes as the Muslim Brotherhood co-ordinated a demonstration today in support of President Mohamed Morsi, who is rushing through a constitution to try to defuse opposition fury over his newly expanded powers....

AP IMPACT: China overtaking US as global trader

News from The Associated Press

... In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, including U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia, according to an Associated Press analysis of trade data. As recently as 2006, the U.S. was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, versus just 70 for China. By last year the two had clearly traded places: 124 countries for China, 76 for the U.S....