Sunday, July 04, 2010

DTN News: Israel's Barak To Meet Palestinian Premier On Monday

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.

DTN News: Afghanistan Drug Sweep Leaves 63 Dead

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

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: Japan Revises Its Role In The China Market

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: McCain Slams US Withdrawal Date From Afghanistan

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: Tensions Flare Again As Israel Proposes To Expand Settlements

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: Chinese Navy Air Force - Maintain Strong Impact With 400 Combat Aircraft Mostly Vintage

DTN News: Chinese Navy Air Force - Maintain Strong Impact With 400 Combat Aircraft Mostly Vintage
* Roger Smith - DTN News has added contents and images in this article from reliable sources besides Strategy Page
Source: Strategy Page
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 4, 2010: The Chinese Navy has its own air force, with over 400 combat aircraft. Most of these are elderly, but still dangerous under the right conditions. These aircraft operate from 24 air bases along the 18,000 kilometer long coastline. There are about 120 H-6s, a Chinese built Russian Tu-16. Although the Tu-16 design is over fifty years old, China has continued to rely on their H-6s as one of their principal bombers. The H-6 is a 78 ton bomber with a crew of four, a 6,000 kilometer range. It can carry nine tons of bombs and missiles. There are about 45 J-7s, a Chinese built copy of the MiG-21. Many are being equipped with Western (or Western class) electronics and engines. This makes it a considerably improved MiG-21. Can carry 1.5 tons of bombs. There are about 60 J-8s, a Chinese two engine variant of the MiG-21. China's first attempt at building their own aircraft. But it was not a very original or successful effort. Can carry about three tons of bombs and is mainly used by the navy. There are nearly a hundred JH-7s. These are Chinese designed and built fighter-bombers that entered service in the 1990s. They were meant to replace the retired H-5s (Russian Il-28 copies). There are 24 Su-30s (a Russian design) and at least two J-15s (a Chinese copy of the Russian Su-27s modified to operate from carriers). The navy would like to replace all its J-7s and J-8s with Su-30s, but that won't happen. Meanwhile, the navy is being provided with J-11s. In the last few months, satellite photos have shown J-11 jet fighters at naval air bases. These are illegal Chinese copies of the Russian Su-27. These are cheaper than Su-30s, and are built entirely of Chinese parts. The remaining aircraft are helicopters, trainers and transports. The navy has long had a reputation as a ramshackle outfit, with old (and often rejected by the air force) aircraft, poor training and indifferent leadership. There have been considerable efforts to change all that, but progress is slow.
HISTORY OF THE TU-16 IN CHINA The origins of the H-6 can be traced back to 1956, when the Soviet Union agreed that it would help China to build a medium bomber force. The idea behind this was that the USSR would command a combined USSR-PRC nuclear force, something which later proved unacceptable for the Chinese. A license agreement for Tu-16 bombers was signed in 1957, and two years later the first parts for assembly in Harbin arrived from the Soviets. Apart from these, two Soviet-built Tu-16s were flown in to serve as pattern aircraft. The first H-6 built from Soviet parts flew only 67 days after manufacture started, on September 27th 1959. After factory acceptance trials, this aircraft went to the PLAAF just like a second prototype built with Soviet parts. One of these was later modified as a nuclear bomber with an airconditioned bombbay and special bomb mountings. A nuclear bomb was dropped by this aircraft at the Lop Nor test site on May 14, 1965. Production got seriously delayed when the CCP decided that H-6 production should be concentrated at Xi'an, while Harbin would start working on a reverse-engineered Il-28 under the designation H-5 because the plant at Harbin already had a major Il-28 rework facility. Moving H-6 production to Xi'an however ment that some 3000 engineers had to be moved, as well as the already delivered documents and tools. This entire program lasted until 1964, by which time it was realised that a large part of the necessary technical documentation was missing. The PRC was quick to blame this on the Soviets with which relations had seriously deteriorated by then. It is nevertheless equally possible that the relocation of the H-6 production caused the loss of these documents. To retrieve this data, the existing H-6es built with Soviet parts, together with the two Tu-16s were taken apart and studied with the intention to reverse-engineer them. Over ten years after the first flight of a Badger built in the PRC, a prototype of the H-6 built with only Chinese parts took to the air. To distinguish this from the origian two Harbin-built H-6es, these got the designation H-6A. Deliveries of aircraft built to this standard were delivered to operational PLAAF and PLAN units from 1970 on. It is not known if all of these are equipped with the airconditioned bombbay and other nuclear modifications, although some sources suggest that these are officially referred to as H-6II.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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