Sunday, January 24, 2010
DTN News: Boeing, Employees And Retirees Support Haiti Relief And Rebuilding Efforts *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) CHICAGO, - January 25, 2010: Boeing (NYSE: BA) said today that a company-sponsored special appeals program has committed more than $1.8 million to support relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. Boeing employee and retiree donations, which total more than $910,000 to date, are supporting American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. Those donations are being matched by the company, up to $1 million. Company matching funds will be distributed in two parts: The first $100,000 also will support Red Cross relief efforts, while the remaining money--which could total $900,000 if the match goal is achieved--will be distributed by Boeing to support nongovernmental agencies that will help Haiti rebuild in the areas of education, health care and transportation. "We recognize that there will be a long recovery process, not only for the people of Haiti but also for the country's hospitals, schools and roads. For this reason we will direct a major part of our contribution to partner with recovery organizations that are helping to build Haiti's future," said Anne Roosevelt, vice president, Global Corporate Citizenship. Roosevelt said the company match will extend through February 12. Boeing, through its Global Corporate Citizenship organization, supports disaster response around the world in partnership with nongovernmental agencies, nonprofits and others as well as its employees and retirees through a variety of ways, including cash contributions, volunteer efforts and in-kind donations. Contact: Ann Beach, (312) 544-2997 SOURCE: Boeing Web site: http://www.boeing.com/
DTN News: India Towards Self-Reliance In Launch Vehicle Technology *GSLV Mk-III is the most powerful rocket to be built by ISRO *GSLV Mk-III’s motor S-200 will be tested in the last week of January *If everything goes on schedule, the first flight will take place by 2011-end
*Source: DTN News / The Hindu
(NSI News Source Info) CHENNAI, India - January 25, 2010: “Towards sustained self-reliance in accessing space, GSLV Mk-III, the next generation launch vehicle,” announces a stylish poster on India’s Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, which is currently under development.
All set for milestone: The L-110 stage of GSLV Mk-III undergoing final preparations for testing at Mahendragiri, near Nagercoil, in Tamil Nadu. This stage is powered by 110 tonnes of liquid propellant. The poster, along with a model of the GSLV Mk-III, was prominently displayed in the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) pavilion, “Pride of India,” during the Indian Science Congress held recently at Thiruvananthapuram. The GSLV Mk-III will make India totally self-reliant in launch vehicle technology for launching INSAT class of communication satellites which are now being put in orbit for India by the European launcher Ariane-5. In the fourth week of this month, the ISRO will cross a milestone in its efforts to develop this aerial powerhouse called the GSLV Mk-III when one of its two gigantic strap-on booster motors, S-200, erupts into life and fires for about 130 seconds. The motor will fire at the massive new test facility built at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota. The motor is called S-200 because it is powered by 200 tonnes of solid propellants. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, has designed S-200, and propellant casting has been done in a newly built plant at Sriharikota. The final preparation for ground-testing of the motor is progressing at Sriharikota and test readiness is being reviewed by the Test Authorisation Board chaired by SDSC Director M.C. Dathan. In February first week, the ISRO will cross another milestone when the GSLV Mk-III’s core stage (L-110), powered by 110 tonnes of liquid propellants, fires for about 200 seconds at the huge test stand at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri near Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu. A test for 15 seconds will be done to validate the performance of the engine and the associated ground facilities before the long-duration test is conducted for 200 seconds. The final preparations for testing the L-110 stage are on at Mahendragiri under the guidance of LPSC Director M.K.G. Nair. Sub-systems are getting ready for undergoing tests at the same facility for the upper cryogenic stage, which will be fuelled by 25 tonnes of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. If everything goes on schedule, the first flight of the GSLV Mk-III will take place by the end of 2011. It is the most powerful rocket to be built by the ISRO, weighing 630 tonnes and 43.5 metres tall. It can put a satellite weighing four tonnes in a geo-synchronous transfer orbit with a perigee of about 200 km and an apogee of 36,000 km. It can put a satellite weighing 10 tonnes in a near-earth orbit at an altitude of about 300 km. It has three stages. The two boosters, S-200, form the first stage. The boosters hug the core/second liquid stage. Above this liquid stage is the cryogenic stage. “S-200 stage is the third largest stage in the world. Preparations are on for the first static test of the S-200 motor at Sriharikota. It will be a milestone in the GSLV Mk-III’s development,” said VSSC Director P.S. Veeraraghavan. S-200 is the third largest booster after the NASA Space Shuttle and Arianespace Ariane-5’s boosters. According to N. Narayana Moorthy, Project Director, GSLV Mk-III, the ISRO executed a massive programme of building the infrastructure needed for the project at Sriharikota, Mahendragiri and in Thiruvananthapuram. Out of Rs. 2,500 crore allocated to the project, Rs. 1,600 crore was earmarked for building infrastructure including facilities for assembling and testing the solid, liquid and cryogenic engines and their stages, and integration halls at Sriharikota, Mahendragiri and in Thiruvananthapuram. A big plant for manufacturing the solid propellants needed for S-200 boosters has come up at Sriharikota. “The ISRO has built big facilities in the launch complex at Sriharikota for handling and integration of the GSLV Mk-III. These include erection of a new mobile launch pedestal since the core vehicle’s diameter is four metres,” said Mr. Narayana Moorthy. Major facilities have come up at the VSSC and Sriharikota for structural testing of different hardware including propellant tanks and light alloy structures. “We have completed building most of the infrastructure and we are starting the testing phase,” said Mr. Narayana Moorthy.
DTN News: BAE Systems - The Right Choice For FRES Specialist Vehicles (SV) And Warrior Upgrade *Source: DTN News / BAE Systems (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - January 25, 2010: The British Army needs a much-improved and better protected reconnaissance capability. Its Warrior infantry fighting vehicles are also in need of urgent upgrade. BAE Systems has invested over £50m and five years of development to ensure that it can deliver FRES Specialist Vehicles and upgraded Warriors to the front line as quickly as possible. The BAE Systems approach will also sustain more than 1000 high-quality UK jobs at BAE Systems and in the supply chain, many sustainable beyond the development and manufacturing phase of the programme. This will not just benefit the economy but will ensure that vital skills are sustained in the UK to continue to support the front line. Those skills have already been used on more than 150 urgent operational requirements - 50-plus on Warrior alone - mostly to protect crews against ever-changing threats.
DTN News: India Scrambles Security For Republic Day *Source: DTN News / By Pratap Chakravarty (AFP) (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - January 25, 2010: New Delhi faces a virtual security lockdown for a grand annual parade on Tuesday as India celebrates Republic Day amid warnings that Islamic militants could be plotting an attack.Security personnel with a sniffer dog inspect railway tracks near a railway station ahead of India's Republic Day celebrations on the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Siliguri January 23, 2010. India will celebrate its Republic Day on Tuesday. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak will be the guest of honour at the celebrations in the Indian capital, where officials are vowing a show of strength in the face of threats. "We are making elaborate arrangements to provide comprehensive ground-to-air security," city police department spokesman Rajan Bhagat told AFP. "We promise a safe Republic Day," he said, adding his 71,000-member police force will be on the streets in the city alongside the heavily-armed paramilitary troopers who have already taken up positions at intersections, malls and on the underground rail network.Captured ammunitions are displayed at Kreeri police station, some 36 kilometers (22 miles) north of Srinagar, India, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. According to news reports, Jammu and Kashmir state police claimed recovery of arms and ammunition from a suspected militant hideout Sunday. The preparations took on new urgency after US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned last week that Islamist South Asian militant groups could try to trigger a war between Pakistan and India through a "provocative act". India on Friday also stepped up airport security and alerted its embassies in neighbouring countries of possible passenger plane hijacking attempts by Islamic militants, following Western intelligence tip-offs. The Indian military said it aimed to thwart possible airborne attacks at the parade where President Lee will be accompanied by his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and scores of Western diplomats.Indian Naval War Ships show the Close Range Anti Aircraft firing, lead by the ship INS Jalashwa, during a demonstration, around 45 nautical miles away from Chennai at an undisclosed place in Bay of Bengal, India, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010. The Indian Navy organized a program called 'A day at Sea' to showcase their sea craft skills. "Anti-aircraft guns, snipers and mobile hit squads will be deployed while a squadron of fighter jets and helicopters will be on standby," a military officer involved in the preparations told AFP. City traffic police chief Satyendra Garg said sweeping restrictions would be imposed on motorists and on public transport including New Delhi's metro service, which daily carries more than 800,000 people. Insurgency-wracked Indian Kashmir is also a focus of high security as troops comb the Himalayan state for Islamic militants seeking to disrupt the annual celebrations, which are staged is every part of India. The United News of India news agency said authorities feared attacks by suicide bombers in the run-up to Republic Day in Kashmir, where tens of thousands of people have died in anti-Indian unrest since 1989. India's restive northeast too braced for trouble as regional militant groups -- with demands ranging from autonomy to outright secession -- threatened to strike on Tuesday. "We are on full alert and shall see to it that we are able to foil any attack attempts by militants," said Shankar Baruah, police chief of Assam, the largest of the seven insurgency-wracked states. Republic Day marks the date in 1950 when India's new republican constitution came into effect. India gained independence from Britain in 1947, but went through a transitional phase when it was still classed as a dominion. India also uses the occasion to showcase its latest military hardware acquired as part of a massive modernisation drive costing tens of billions of dollars.
DTN News: China Says It Needs No Internet Lessons From U.S. *Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING, China - January 25, 2010: China needs no lessons about its Internet from the United States, the head of an online media association said through official media on Saturday after the United States rapped Beijing over information freedom. A speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday showed a lack of respect for China, which cannot accept conditions on matters of "national security" or "social stability," said Beijing Association of Online Media Chairman Min Dahong. The Internet has joined trade imbalances, currency values, U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan and tensions over human rights and Tibet among the quarrels straining ties between the world's biggest and third-biggest economies. "How China's Internet develops and how it is managed are Chinese people's own affairs," Min said in an interview with state-run Xinhuanet.com. "On the Internet question, China doesn't need any lessons from the United States on what to do or how," he said. Clinton's speech criticized the cyber policies of China and Iran, among others, and demanded Beijing investigate complaints by Google Inc about hacking and censorship. Google, the world's top search engine, said it may shut its Chinese-language google.cn website and offices in China after a cyber-attack originating from China that also targeted other firms and human rights campaigners using its Gmail service. Websites Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked in China, which uses a filtering "firewall" to prevent Internet users from seeing international web sites with content China's Communist Party opposes. "Hillary's speech on January 21 insinuating that China lacks freedom of information and speech is in fact disrespectful and doesn't stand up," Min said. (Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Paul Tait)
DTN News: North Korea Accuses South Of Declaring War *Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - January 25, 2010: North Korea on Sunday accused the South of declaring war by warning earlier this month that it would launch a preemptive strike if it thought its impoverished neighbor was preparing a nuclear attack. The angry retort from Pyongyang is the latest in what have become increasingly brittle relations between the two Koreas just as the international community tries to lure the North back to nuclear disarmament talks. South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said last week that Seoul would have no choice but to strike first if there were clear signs of a planned nuclear attack by the North. "Our revolutionary armed forces will regard the scenario for 'preemptive strike' which the south Korean puppet authorities adopted as a 'state policy' as an open declaration of war," its state KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman for the armed forces general staff as saying. North Korea has twice tested a nuclear device but there are doubts whether it already has the ability to create an atomic weapon. Military analysts say even if it did it probably does not have the technology to build a nuclear warhead small enough to sit on top of a missile. The two Koreas are still technically at war with the North maintaining an about one million-strong military and backed by an array of artillery which could bring massive damage to the South Korean capital Seoul, barely 50 miles from the border. The smaller South Korea army is backed by around 28,000 U.S. troops on its soil and the U.S. nuclear umbrella in the region. "(The North's armed forces) will take prompt and decisive military actions against any attempt of the south Korean puppet authorities to violate the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK and blow up the major targets including the commanding center," KCNA quoted the statement as saying. "Those seeking to realize their daydream will not be able to escape an unimaginably miserable fate." Relations between the two have plunged since conservative Lee Myung-bak became president two years ago, demanding an end to a decade of generous aid unless the North made moves to row back on its nuclear weapons program. Late last week, the South said it hoped to see the dormant international weapons negotiations resume next month between the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. The North has said it is willing to end its year-long boycott but has demanded first an end to U.N. sanctions that have further damaged its crippled economy and direct talks with the United States on a peace deal to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War. Washington insists that the reclusive state first drop its nuclear weapons ambitions. (Additional reporting by Seo Eun-kyung; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)
DTN News: U.S.-Russia Nuclear Deal "95 Percent" Agreed Upon *Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - January 25, 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday that a deal with the United States on a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty was "95 percent" agreed, news agencies reported Sunday. "Everything in negotiations is going fine, 95 percent of the new deal's issues have been agreed upon," Interfax quoted him as telling reporters in the Black Sea town of Sochi. "I am pretty optimistic in my expectations," he added, but said that U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe remained an issue. Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova declined to comment. U.S. President Barack Obama and Medvedev laid out plans last year to forge a successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, called START, and reduce the arsenals of the two largest nuclear powers. It is an important element of efforts to mend relations between Washington and Moscow, which plunged to post-Cold War lows after Russia's brief war with pro-Western Georgia in 2008. Negotiators were unable to reach agreement by December 5, when START I expired, and official negotiations in Geneva have not resumed after a break over the holiday period. A top U.S. official indicated earlier this month that they would resume on January 25, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday he expected an agreement would be reached soon once negotiations resume at the beginning of February. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in late December that U.S. plans for a missile defense system were the main obstacle to reaching a new deal, causing the U.S. State Department to reject any attempt to broaden START talks to cover defensive weapons systems. Sunday, Medvedev said the Kremlin "will definitely raise the issue" of the missile shield with its U.S. negotiators once START talks resume. "It is crafty to speak of strategic nuclear forces without touching upon missile defense," Itar-Tass quoted him as saying. "If nuclear missiles are launched, anti-missiles are too." Russia's leaders have remained wary about Obama's revised missile defense plans, which are based on sea- and land-based missile interceptors in Europe. Any START agreement must be ratified by lawmakers in both countries to take effect. In July, Obama and Medvedev agreed that the new treaty should cut the number of nuclear warheads on each side to between 1,500 and 1,675, and the number of delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,100. Analysts say negotiators are at least closer to agreement on more specific numerical limits within those ranges. Officials recently have said that issues still being negotiated included monitoring and verification measures. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman, additional reporting by Denis Dyomkin)
DTN News: Israeli PM Plays Down Minister's Lebanon War Claim *Source: DTN News / BBC (NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - January 24, 2010: Israel's prime minister has distanced himself from comments by a member of his cabinet who suggested Israel was heading for a new war with Lebanon. Israel was "not seeking any conflict" with Lebanon, Benjamin Netanyahu said. Earlier, Yossi Peled, minister without portfolio and a reserve army general, had said that a repeat of the 2006 war with Lebanon was only a matter of time. More than 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and about 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, died in the conflict. "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarifies that Israel is not seeking any conflict with Lebanon," the Israeli leader said in a statement on Saturday. "Israel seeks peace with its neighbours." The statement came shortly after comments by Mr Peled were broadcast in which the minister said Israel was "heading towards a new confrontation". "In my estimation, understanding and knowledge it is almost clear to me that it is a matter of time before there is a military clash in the north," he said. The 2006 war began when Israel launched air and sea attacks on targets in Lebanon, after Lebanese militant group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers. During the conflict, Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
DTN News: Is China's Economy Growing Too fast? *Source: The Economist (NSI News Source Info) HONG KONG - January 24, 2010: BEIJING recently suffered its lowest temperature in 59 years, but the economy is sweltering. Figures published on Thursday January 21st showed that real GDP grew by 10.7% year on year in the fourth quarter. Industrial production jumped by 18.5% in the year to December, while retail sales increased by 17.5%, boosted by government subsidies and tax cuts on purchases of cars and appliances. In real terms, the rise in retail sales last year was the biggest for over two decades. A year ago many economists were fretting about unemployment and deflation. Now, with indecent haste, they have shifted to worrying that the Chinese economy is overheating and inflation is taking off. The 12-month rate of consumer-price inflation rose to 1.9% in December, an abrupt change from July when prices were 1.8% lower than a year before. The recent rise in inflation was caused mainly by higher food prices as a result of severe winter weather in northern China. In many cities, fresh-vegetable prices have more than doubled in the past two months. But Helen Qiao and Yu Song at Goldman Sachs argue that it is not just food prices that risk pushing up inflation: the economy is starting to exceed its speed limit. If, as China bears contend, the economy had massive overcapacity, there would be little to worry about: excess supply would hold down prices. But bottlenecks are already appearing. Some provinces report electricity shortages and stocks of coal are low. The labour market is also tightening, forcing firms to pay higher wages. If the economy’s slack is shrinking fast, then the extraordinarily rapid growth in money and credit over the past year could quickly spill into inflation. The growth in bank credit slowed to 32% in the year to December, but that is still far too fast. The central bank has started to drain liquidity by lifting banks’ reserve requirements, and some banks have been told to reduce their lending. The bank will probably not raise official interest rates until inflation breaches 3%, but that could be as soon as February. In 2009 government officials gave three reasons for holding the yuan stable against the dollar: falling exports, weak GDP growth and negative inflation. Now, with double-digit growth in both GDP and exports, and inflation rapidly rising, it has no excuse.