DTN News: Thailand TODAY September 6, 2009 ~ Bomb In South Thailand Kills Policeman, Wounds 12*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) PATTANI, Thailand - September 6, 2009: A bomb believed to have been planted by Islamic insurgents exploded Friday outside a restaurant in southern Thailand where security forces were eating breakfast, killing a policeman and wounding 12 other people.
Army spokesman Col. Parinya Chaidilok said the bomb was hidden in a pickup truck parked outside the restaurant in Yala city.
Thai soldiers carry injury from a bombing explosion of a motorcycle parked outside a row of open-air shops and restaurants in the city of Pattani Province. Eight people were killed in a string of drive-by shootings and at least 25 were wounded in a bomb blast in Thailand's insurgency-plagued south, in what the army said Thursday was a "unusually high" number of attacks in the restive region.
Two of those wounded by the 50-kilogram (110-pound) bomb were policemen and the others were civilian bystanders, he said. The explosion destroyed three vehicles, including the pickup truck containing the bomb.
More than 3,700 people have been killed in Thailand's three southernmost provinces _ Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala _ since an Islamist insurgency flared in January 2004. The provinces are the only Muslim-majority areas in the Buddhist-dominated country. Muslims in the region have long complained of discrimination by the central government.
Since the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began last month, there has been a marked surge in violence. On Aug. 25, in a similar attack, a bomb in a pickup truck exploded outside a crowded open-air restaurant at lunchtime, wounding 18 people in Narathiwat city.
A spate of shootings, bombings and military raids on Wednesday and Thursday left 11 people dead and more than 20 wounded.
A massive security presence has failed to stop the violence, which has killed more Muslims than Buddhists. The militants target people working with the government, including soldiers, police and suspected informants. They also stage attacks on civilians that are believed to be intended to scare the Buddhist community into fleeing.
Srisompob Jitpiromsri, a scholar at Pattani's Prince of Songkhla University who studies the violence, said the average number of violent incidents per month is higher this year than in the previous two years.
"Despite their attempt to quell the violence, government after government have failed to come up with a coordinated policy to improve the situation," he said. "The military can suppress the movement but it cannot fully control the situation. The insurgents can still find a weak point and stage an attack."
The insurgents have made no public pronouncements but are thought to be fighting for an independent Muslim state. The area used to be an Islamic sultanate until it was annexed by Thailand in the early 20th century.
DTN News: Malaysia TODAY September 6, 2009 ~ Malaysia Muslim Protest Derails Hindu Temple Plan
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - September 6, 2009: A Malaysian state government searched for a new site for a Hindu temple Sunday, bowing to pressure from Muslim residents who staged a gruesome protest against its planned construction that triggered debate about religious intolerance. Members of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) hold banner as they hold a candlelight vigil to protest against the Malaysian Internal Security Act (ISA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia banned an ethnic Indian group, accusing it of inciting racial hatred, but its leaders said they are only demanding equal rights for minorities in this Muslim Malay-dominated country.
Authorities in central Selangor state tried to reach a compromise in talks Saturday with residents of the Muslim-majority neighborhood in the state capital, Shah Alam, where the temple was to be built. The meeting descended into chaos when protesters shouted insults at Selangor Chief Minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and other lawmakers, according to a video of the meeting posted on Malaysiakini, an independent news Web site.
The protesters insist the temple would be too close to their homes and could generate excessive noise and traffic, which would disrupt their concentration during Muslim prayers.
Abdul Khalid said officials would postpone the building of the temple and look for an alternative location in the city "in order not to create any adverse reaction and misunderstanding."
Dozens of Muslims marched with a bloodied cow head in Selangor on Aug. 28 to denounce the proposed temple. Many Malaysians, including Muslims, criticized the protesters for showing disrespect to Hindus _ who consider cows sacred _ and stoking racial tensions between the Malay Muslim majority and Chinese and Indian minorities who are mostly Buddhist, Christian or Hindu.
The Muslim residents' complaints underscore long-standing frustrations among religious minorities about strict guidelines that restrict the number of non-Muslim places of worship, partly based on whether there are sufficient people of that faith living in an area.
A group of ethnic Indian Hindus holding candles and roses sought to stage a vigil in Kuala Lumpur late Saturday to condemn racial intolerance, but police arrested 16 for holding an unauthorized demonstration, said city police Chief Muhammad Sabtu Osman.
The arrests drew criticism from Indian community leaders who said it was a mark of double standards because police did not arrest any of the Muslims who paraded with the severed cow head last month.
Police say they are still investigating last month's march and have pledged to take action against those involved.
Government officials attempting to defuse public anger over the incident met the editor of Malaysiakini on Saturday to ask him to remove a video of the protest from the Web site. Malaysiakini has refused, saying it is simply fulfilling its responsibilities by reporting the news.
The government's Internet watchdog told Malaysiakini in a letter last week it had received complaints from many people that the video contained offensive scenes. The letter warned that posting the scenes online was a violation of the law.
DTN News: Philippines TODAY September 6, 2009 ~ Philippine Troops Kill 4 Communist Rebels In South
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MANILA, Philippines - September 6, 2009: Army troops clashed with communist guerrillas Sunday in the southern Philippines, killing four rebels and seizing several weapons, officials said. The NPA's armed insurrection followed the traditional pattern of guerrilla warfare. NPA units were formed at the regional and front levels and were normally company-sized or smaller. Main regional guerrilla units usually had 80 to 150 fighters, whereas secondary units had 30 to 60 fighters. NPA operations were, by design, extremely decentralized, with local commanders having wide latitude to conduct attacks as they chose. Typically, NPA elements avoided contact with AFP troops by remaining in remote, mountainous areas until ready to stage an attack. For an assault, they concentrated their forces, forming companies and sometimes battalions to overwhelm government troopers. Afterward, they dispersed to avoid AFP retaliation. Isolated government outposts of the constabulary, police, and militia were favorite targets. The NPA also attacked public buildings such as town halls as a demonstration of its power. The property of uncooperative landowners and businessmen was another common target. The communists normally attacked private property to punish owners for alleged abuses or to coerce the payment of "revolutionary taxes." Attacks on the country's infrastructure were rare; the NPA's demolition of several bridges on Luzon's Bicol Peninsula in 1987 created a popular backlash that apparently caused the NPA to abandon the tactic.
The communists' traditionally rural struggle came to the cities in the mid-1980s with the dramatic increase in NPA assassinations. Beginning in 1984, Davao City became the laboratory for the NPA's developing urban warfare strategy. There, armed city partisan units, known popularly as "sparrow teams," murdered local officials, constables, police, and military personnel in a sustained terror campaign. The NPA selectively targeted unpopular officials, claiming that the killings provided revolutionary justice. The NPA's Davao City offensive ended in 1986, but not before Romulo Kintanar, the mastermind of the Davao City offensive and future NPA chief, had initiated a similar operation in Manila. The tempo of sparrow assassinations in the capital increased slowly after 1984, then rose dramatically in 1987. Some 120 officials, including Aquino's secretary of local government, were assassinated by the NPA that year. As sparrow activity escalated, NPA targeting became more indiscriminate.
Soldiers and militiamen were patrolling before dawn near a farming village in Agusan del Sur province when they clashed with about two dozen New People's Army guerrillas, regional army spokeswoman Maj. Michele Anayron said.
The guerrillas withdrew but troops caught up and clashed with them again about four hours later, she said.
Troops recovered the bodies of four rebels along with a grenade launcher, eight assault rifles, a shotgun, a pistol and a land mine, Anayron said. There were no casualties among the government troops.
The clashes were the latest eruption of violence in a 40-year Marxist rebellion that is one of the longest in Asia. The government says the rural-based insurgency has claimed about 120,000 lives and helped stunt economic growth.
Negotiations between the rebels and the government collapsed in 2004 after the rebels blamed the government for their inclusion on U.S. and European lists of terrorist groups. Both sides took steps to resume the talks in recent weeks but the efforts again fell apart.
While she has pursued talks, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo also has ordered the military to crush the insurgency by the time she steps down next year.
DTN News: China Starts Developing New Rockets For Space Mission*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - September 6, 2009: China has started developing the Long March 6 carrier rockets for its space programs, the China National Space Administration announced on its official website.
The Long March 6 rockets will be non-toxic and pollution-free while featuring a number of new technologies used for the first time in China, according to the administration.
The Long March 6 rockets are expected to be ready for blast off in 2013, it said.
The rockets will be designed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, developer of the Shenzhou VII spacecraft, from which Chinese taikonauts carried out the country's first space walk in 2008.
The payload capacity of the Long March 6 rockets are not revealed. Neither are specific space programs the rockets are to be involved in.
China aims to set up a simple space lab in 2011 and a manned space station in 2020. It also intends to go further in space and has set its eyes on a moon landing.
(NSI News Source Info) BLOOMFIELD, Conn., - September 6, 2009: Kaman Corporation (Nasdaq-GS: KAMN) announced that the Helicopters Division of its subsidiary, Kaman Aerospace Corporation has received an $864,000 contract from the U.S. Marine Corps on behalf of Team K-MAX to demonstrate the ability of the Unmanned K-MAX® helicopter to deliver cargo to troops in extreme environments and at high altitudes. Team K-MAX is comprised of Kaman and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News). Kaman will award a subcontract to Lockheed Martin to integrate a beyond line of sight data link and unmanned aerial system (UAS) mission management system with Kaman's proven aerial truck, the K-MAX.
The team will demonstrate the unmanned helicopter's capability to deliver cargo a round trip distance of 150 nautical miles. The Marine Corps objective is to move 20,000 pounds in a 24 hour period. The demonstration is scheduled for late 2009.
This demonstration arises from the Marine Corps Systems Command's requirement for a cargo UAS that can support rapid deployments to Afghanistan by resupplying troops with provisions and materials at forward operating bases.
"The demonstration of the Unmanned K-MAX for the Marine Corps is an important step for the program," said Neal J. Keating, Chairman, president and chief executive officer, Kaman Corporation. "We believe the aircraft is uniquely qualified for the resupply mission to take our troops off the roads and pilots out of the air in Afghanistan."
"The Unmanned K-MAX meets the Marine Corps' urgent need to field a cargo UAS to perform the troop resupply mission currently performed by ground convoys and manned aircraft," said Jeff Bantle, vice president of Rotary Wing Programs at Lockheed Martin Systems Integration in Owego, NY. "Lockheed Martin will provide the mission management and flight control systems to ensure performance reliability in the rigorous high altitude environmental conditions inherent to Central Asia."
Designed and built for repetitive lift operations in severe environments, the 5,100-pound K-MAX helicopter can lift 6,000 pounds -- more than its own weight -- at sea level. Superior lift performance is derived from the aircraft's counter-rotating intermeshing rotor design that eliminates the need for a tail rotor. Operated by the logging and construction industries for its high reliability and low flight and maintenance costs, the manned K-MAX fleet has accumulated more than 244,000 flight hours since 1994.
Kaman Corp., headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn. conducts business in the aerospace and industrial distribution markets. The company produces and/or markets widely used proprietary aircraft bearings and components; complex metallic and composite aerostructures for commercial, military and general aviation fixed and rotary wing aircraft; safing and arming solutions for missile and bomb systems for the U.S. and allied militaries; subcontract helicopter work; and support for the company's SH-2G Super Seasprite maritime helicopters and K-MAX medium-to-heavy lift helicopters. Kaman is also one of the nation's leading industrial distribution companies for power transmission, motion control, material handling and electrical components with nearly two hundred locations throughout North America.
DTN News: G20 Finance Minister's Summit At The Treasury in Westminster, London ~ G20 Agrees To Curb Bankers' Bonuses
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, England - September 5, 2009: Finance officials from the world's largest 20 economies have agreed to curb excessive bankers' bonuses. But the agreement falls short of European demands, as the U.S. and Britain declined to impose a bonuses cap. (L-R front) Elena Salgado, Spain's finance minister, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China's central bank, Mehmet Simsek, Turkey's finance minister, Martin Redrado, governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, Agustin Carstens, Mexico's minister of finance, Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesia's finance minister, Timothy Geithner, U.S. treasury secretary, Alistair Darling, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, India's finance minister, Guido Mantega, Brazil's finance minister, Mario Draghi, governor of the bank of Italy, Axel Weber, president of Deutsche Bundesbank, Ibrahim al-Assaf, finance minister of Saudi Arabia, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's finance minister, pose for a group picture during the G20 finance Minister's summit, at the Treasury in Westminster on September 5, 2009 in London, England. British PM Gordon Brown has warned against withdrawing support for the global economy too soon, stating it could undermine tentative recovery signs, during a G20 meeting. Finance ministers are in London for a two-day meeting to map out rules to prevent a repeat of the crisis that brought the financial system to the brink of collapse.
In a joint statement issued at the end of their meeting in London, England, the assembled finance ministers also said they would continue stimulus programs designed to boost government spending and keep interest rates low.
They warned that any recovery in the global economy is tentative, and said fiscal and monetary policy will remain "expansionary" until the chances of a double-dip recession have abated.
Going in to the meeting, European countries had asked for the G20 to enforce an official cap on individual payouts and collective bonuses at financial institutions. However, Britain didn't support the idea of an official cap.
The U.S. was focused on pursuing a global agreement to get banks to hold larger capital reserves. But the G20 statement did not address that proposal.
The group also agreed to start sanctions against tax havens that don't comply with new transparency rules by March 2010. The ministers also confirmed their intention to give developing countries a greater say over the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Speaking at the summit, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said worldwide economies are "not out of the woods yet," despite the first signs of recovery from the global financial crisis.
Flaherty said officials agree that while the global economy is stabilizing, more work needs to be done to ensure complete recovery from the worst recession in decades.
"There's a remarkable degree of consensus among the G20 finance ministers that the global economy is stabilizing but that recovery is not established," Flaherty told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview on Saturday morning. "We're all agreed that we're not out of the woods yet and that we must stay the course, including the stimulus spending."
According to Flaherty, the Group of 20 finance ministers are encouraged by the signs of economic recovery.
Japan, Germany, France and Australia all experienced growth in the second quarter.
Figures released late last month by Statistics Canada showed that the Canadian economy grew 0.1 per cent in June, the first monthly gain since July 2008.
Britain's economy is projected to grow in the third quarter.
But officials are also concerned about making decisions that will trigger a slide back into recession, as well as high unemployment numbers, Flaherty said.
"We need to continue what we're doing and that means good government, it means continuing the stimulus spending, it means starting to have some discussions about an exit strategy, but not implementing an exit strategy until it's absolutely clear that the stimulus spending has worked and that we are out of the woods," Flaherty said.
Officials from the G20, which represents 80 per cent of the world's output, are meeting in London to discuss potential actions to further economic recovery, as well as lay the foundation for the G20 leaders' summit in Pittsburgh later this month.
Earlier Saturday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned officials against "complacency or overconfidence" in the wake of the promising economic news.
Brown, who chose to speak at the meeting in place of the host, Treasury head Alistair Darling, urged the world's economic powers to continue to develop initiatives that will boost economic growth worldwide, despite signs of recovery.
"Given the risks we face, this is not the time for economic complacency or overconfidence, the stakes are simply too high to get these judgments wrong," Brown said. "To decide now that it is time to start withdrawing and reversing the exceptional measures we have taken would in my judgment be a serious mistake."
DTN News: Technology TODAY September 6, 2009 ~ US Will Deploy Drones To Track Somali Pirates
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK, USA - September 6, 2009: The U.S. military is set to unsheath a new weapon against pirates - unmanned drones outfitted with cameras and sensors.
According to Time magazine, about 75 members of the U.S. military will support the mission in the Seychelles islands off the coast of Africa.
It wasn't immediately clear how many Reaper drones will be dedicated to the effort, which is expected to begin next month and continue for several months.
The drones are capable of carrying missiles and bombs, but they're not going to be armed. Officials said the objective in countering piracy is to board ships and capture the pirates, instead of blowing them up.
The majority of hijackings on the seas have occurred along the Somali coast - more than 130 this year. Monsoon season has caused a lull in the number of attacks, but officials fear a spike as the weather calms.
DTN News: Singapore Unveils New Infantry Combat Vehicle Designed For Urban Warfare / Networked Infantry Carrier Vehicle Gives SAF Sharper Edge In Urban Warfare
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - September 6, 2009: Fully-armoured and equipped with the latest combat technology, the 24-tonne Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) is the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF's) latest acquisition as it advances to become a 3rd Generation fighting force.
Fitted with the Battlefield Management System (BMS), the Terrex ICV is networked to other air and land assets such as infantry fighting vehicles, main battle tanks, artillery platforms, attack helicopters and fighter aircraft.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has chosen the Terrex infantry carrier vehicle (ICV), a mine-resistant vehicle that supports enhanced communication between land and air troops in urban warfare.
The ICV, which is designed to withstand mine blasts, will provide air and land surveillance, and locate enemy targets through an all-round camera equipment and navigation system. The vehicle's battlefield management system enables accurate information to be exchanged with other SAF forces, which helps accurately coordinate attacks on targets by air and on land. The vehicle also features all-round camera surveillance, enhanced firepower and a weapon detection system to locate enemy fire. The SAF plans to acquire at least 150 vehicles and will train its infantry troops on the Terrex ICVs in February 2010.
"With the Terrex ICV, we can better bring all the SAF's combat resources to sustain and support the infantryman at the sharp end of the fight," said Colonel (COL) Lim Hock Yu, Chief Infantry Officer and Commanding Officer, 9th Division/Infantry (9 Div/Inf). Purpose-built for urban warfare, the Terrex ICV will be instrumental in overcoming some of the challenges that infantrymen face when fighting in built-up areas.
In urban environments, soldiers have decreased situational awareness, poor intelligence on the enemies' movement and location, amongst other things. In particular, they are vulnerable to ambush," explained COL Lim.
To increase situational awareness for infantry troops, the BMS-enabled Terrex ICV will interface with the Advanced Combat Man System (ACMS) to constantly update infantry troops on enemy movement and location. With a better picture of the operating environment and key battlefield information provided by BMS, soldiers can call for support from air and land forces to coordinate manoeuvres and deliver precision fire on enemy targets.
The ACMS is basically personnel gear retrofitted with an array of sensors, portable computers and smart weaponry that links the wearer to other friendly forces and assets. In addition to providing battlefield information, the Terrex ICV can also hunt for the enemy.
The Weapon Detection System (WDS) on board determines the location of enemy fire by computing sound data gathered by an array of microphones on the vehicle. This information is then shared with other friendly forces via the BMS network.
"The Terrex ICV and BMS connects all the combat power of the SAF so that the soldier in the field is fully linked to other friendly forces. At the same time, it gives the soldier all the information he needs to make decisions and for commanders to direct the battle," said Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Oh Beng Soon, Senior Project Officer, 9 Div/Inf.
Developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics for the SAF, the Terrex ICV can carry up to 13 soldiers, inclusive of its driver and commander, at speeds of up to 105kmh on normal terrain. It will be launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Mr Teo Chee Hean on 5 Sep at Pasir Laba Camp during the Army Open House from 3 to 7 Sep.
The SAF will acquire at least 135 Terrex ICVs.From Feb next year, all active infantry and guards battalions will begin training to operate from the vehicle.
Fact Sheet: Networking the Third-Generation Infantry
The introduction of the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) marks a significant milestone in the 3rd Generation Army's transformation efforts as it enhances the Army's fighting and networking capabilities. The Terrex ICV provides infantry forces with enhanced protection, mobility and firepower, and also networks soldiers and air and land weapon platforms, thus facilitating the delivery of information, and fires in the battlefield.
The key features of the Terrex ICV are:
a) Enhanced Networking Capabilities:
The Terrex ICV is equipped with the Battlefield Management System (BMS) which allows it to connect with other air and land platforms, such as infantry fighting vehicles, main battle tanks, artillery, attack helicopters and fighter aircraft, as well as soldiers equipped with the Advanced Combat Man System (ACMS).
With enhanced situational awareness and transmission of key battlefield information provided by the BMS, soldiers can call for support from air and land forces to execute manoeuvres and deliver precision fires on enemy targets.
b) Enhanced Protection:
The Terrex ICV provides enhanced protection for infantry forces. It is designed with a modular protection system, which can be fortified with an add-on armour protection suite to provide all-round protection against conventional threats.
The Terrex ICV is also designed to withstand mine blasts.
c) Enhanced Firepower and Enemy Weapon Detection:
The Terrex ICV is equipped with a fully stabilised Remote Controlled Weapon System (RCWS) that is capable of providing direct precision fires to support infantry forces. The Terrex ICV also has a weapon detection system (WDS) which detects and locates enemy fire. The data collected by the WDS on the origin of the enemy fire is shared with other friendly forces via the BMS network to facilitate the engagement of enemy troops.
d) Enhanced Mobility:
The Terrex ICV has an independent suspension system and large off-road tyres which enhance mobility over various types of terrain. The SAF will begin training all active infantry and guards battalions on the Terrex ICV from February next year.