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Showing posts from May 13, 2007

Witzel's unethical Wikipedia edits, while working for evangelical groups

In one of the emails produced by Dalit Freedom Network, Witzel notes "(p)lease check what Wikipedia says about your organization… They always put back what I erase." In reaction to the forwarded message, DFN's Executive Director asks whether "(DFN) can… edit this ourselves…I do not want to start being identified as a mission (sic) organization… " …many principals of DFN are unabashed in their antagonism towards Hinduism. The URL given below shows how Witzel edited his multiple evangelical posts, in the context of the California Textbook issue: http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Special:Contribu tions/65. 78.20.179 This sort of unethical editing is frowned upon by Wiki. In my view, this conduct should also attract ethics/academic standards committees in Highebr Educational institutions like Harvard University and Members of Harvard Corporation. Surely, this is conduct unbecoming of a professor occupying a chair in a prestigious university. The Subpoen

India: Retired vice admiral, AK Singh, may head the navy's nuclear submarine (ATV) project

Retired vice admiral, AK Singh, may head the navy's nuclear submarine (ATV) project 19 May 2007 Source: New Delhi: India's nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) programme, also commonly referred to as the advanced technology vessel (ATV) project, is expected to get a new chief sometime in the coming months. The most likely replacement for vice admiral PC Bhasin, the current director general of the highly classified ATV project, will be vice admiral AK Singh, recently retired FOC-in-C of the Indian Navy's eastern naval command, according to defence officials who did not wish to be quoted. The ATV project, it is now being revealed, has been directly under the prime minister's oversight, and has so far been headed by retired naval officers. This subterfuge has allowed the navy, and the country's defence establishment, to feign ignorance about the existence of such a project. Admiral AK Singh is a submariner, who, in his previous commands, has also headed th

BALOCHISTAN : Pak-Iran border trade to be raised to $1 billion

Pak-Iran border trade to be raised to $1 billion Dahmardeh, Owais resolve to adopt effective measures to combat terrorism, drug trafficking By Muhammad Ejaz Khan QUETTA: The governors of Iranian Seistan-Baluchistan province and Pakistan’s Balochistan have reiterated their resolve to adopt effective measures to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal movement on the Pak-Iran border. They have agreed to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in different sectors, including trade, commerce, energy, education, communications, besides addressing the border-related issues. The visiting governor-general of Seistan-Baluchistan, Dr Habibullah Dahmardeh, held talks with Balochistan Governor Owais Ghani at the Governor House here on Friday. The talks covered all the areas of bilateral cooperation, especially the bilateral trade promotion by resolving the problems faced by the traders of the two countries and extending them more facilities and incentives. The proposals

Pak-US investment treaty in doldrums

Source: By Israr Khan ISLAMABAD: The proposed Pak-US Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is in the doldrums as the two sides have differences in certain areas and are showing no flexibility in their stances. A number of differences persist on issues of considerable importance to Islamabad. The United States wants Pakistan to include in the draft treaty some aspects which the latter is not ready to accept. As a result, both have failed to strike a compromise formula. The Bush administration is asking Islamabad to accept its version on major issues, including reinvestment, arbitration mechanism, intellectual property rights and grant of MFN status. Negotiations on Pak-US bilateral investment treaty, as a stepping stone towards an FTA, have been quite problematic. During President George Bush’s visit to Pakistan in March 2006, it was anticipated that the BIT would be sealed, but it did not, and to-date lies in cold storage. Following this visit, two ministerial-level

Balochistan issue requires political solution: report Staff Report ISLAMABAD: A politically democratic approach is vital for finding a resolution to the Balochistan issue, the Dialogue Group on Civil Military Relations said on Friday. Speaking at its 9th session here, the group said all stakeholders should be involved in the process of restoring law and order to the province and addressing the grievances of its inhabitants. The Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT), an independent organisation working to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan, assisted the group. The group deliberated on the Balochistan situation, with special reference to ‘The Balochistan Conflict’ a paper written by Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, former governor of Balochistan and former Quetta corps commander. Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Senator Salim Saifullah Khan also attended the session. The group noted that the government had made substantial investmen

US Air Force Thinking lean, a must for stronger, smaller Air Force

by 1st Lt. Rose Richeson 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs 5/18/2007 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFPN) -- The U.S. Air Forces in Europe vice commander, Maj. Gen. Marc Rogers, spent time with senior leaders at Incirlik Air Base to discuss the importance of Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, or AFSO21. General Rogers began with a big picture explanation of the Air Force's strong focus on the "lean process" -- the endless pursuit of identification and elimination of waste, adapting to change, and continuous process improvement. "We need to transform our Air Force," he said. "Think about what our Air Force was in '47, '52, '69 and look at what we do today. We are the smallest we have been in history; but, we are the most powerful." Leaders are being asked to alter the way they do business in order to keep up with the information age -- a huge driving factor behind this transformation. General Rogers concentrated his mes

US and NATO Airmen test new communications systems

by Tech. Sgt. Denise Johnson Combined Endeavor 2007 Public Affair 5/18/2007 - LAGER AULENBACH, Germany (AFPN) -- Twenty-eight Airmen and civilians from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, tested new communications systems at the U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise, Combined Endeavor, held April 27 through May 10. The 1st Combat Communications Squadron's team from the 86th Airlift Wing is at the Lager Aulenbach testing site to participate in the world's largest communications-interoperability exercise. The exercise includes nearly 1,500 people from 42 countries spanning four continents and two international organizations. Representatives from U.S., NATO, Partnership for Peace (PfP) and other nations plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications and computer systems from participant nations in preparation for future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. "We've been participants at CE for five years, this y

Germany debates UAV policy By Peter La Franchi Germany’s acquisition of long-endurance UAVs is giving rise to a new domestic political debate over the implications fielding such systems have for its strategic security posture, according to the head of the German parliament’s economic and co-operation subcommittee, Alexander Bonde. The German parliament approved the purchase of a fleet of five Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Eurohawk configuration high-altitude long-endurance UAVs in January, while a General Atomics MQ-9 Predator B medium endurance system purchase is being explored. Bonde, who also sits on the parliament’s defence, homeland security and foreign affairs committee, says a domestic debate is looming in Germany over the potential for long-endurance UAVs to act as a catalyst for conflict escalation in future military operations. He says the development of any weaponised UAV capability will need to be considered as part of that debate, with the German parliament having a controlli

Blended Wing UAV

Blended Wing UAV Source: Unique unmanned craft’s robust composite design a plus for rough duty. By Staff | May 2007 The booming unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market continues to expand with hundreds of designs competing for military and civilian contract dollars worldwide. While UAV wingspans range from commercial airliner size down to palm-sized micro flyers, small long-endurance “tactical” UAVs, those that support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), are becoming key components of military and homeland security missions. One of the more innovative tactical UAVs on the market is the compact (10-ft/3m wingspan) “blended wing” Killer Bee Unmanned Aircraft (KB-UA) produced by Swift Engineering Inc. (San Clemente, Calif.). Swift, founded in 1983, is well known among automotive enthusiasts for its winning open-wheel race car chassis designs and composite components. But, says Larry Reding, Swift’s Killer Bee program manager, the company wanted to

Japan police raid naval college over defence leak

Sat May 19, 2007 1:18AM EDT TOKYO (Reuters) - Civilian and military police raided a historic naval college in western Japan on Saturday over leaked data on the missile defence system Tokyo shares with Washington. The leak of sensitive information on the high-tech Aegis radar system, used by the United States on ships fitted with SM-2 ballistic missile interceptors, worried Washington and came as the two countries pledged closer defence ties. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced his deep concern when he met Japanese counterpart Fumio Kyuma in April. Police believe the unauthorized information may have circulated at the First Service School in Etajima, about 700 km (440 miles) west of Tokyo, Kyodo news agency said. Reuters Pictures The case came to light in March when a junior naval officer married to a Chinese woman was found with a computer disk containing confidential information about the Aegis system, which he was not authorized to possess. Other officers were found


15:49 IST The Prime Minister Dr. Mammohan Singh has underlined the need for a mechanism at the district and state level to monitor the redressal of the grievances of the ex-servicemen. Inaugurating the 27th Meeting of the Kendriya Sainik Board in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister has also urged to accord high priority to the needs of war widows and the war disabled. He said their welfare should be given high priority. He said state governments should also consider introducing e-enabled services for dissemination of relevant information and guidance for the benefit of ex-servicemen through dedicated websites. The Defence Minister Shri A K Antony in his address called for optimal utilization of the services of the ex-servicemen by the State Governments. In this regard he suggested that every state and union territory should raise, at least, one battalion each of ex-servicemen for afforestation. Shri Antony called upon the states to fill up the posts lying vacant in various Rajya Sai

France: Sarkozy's Balancing Act

Source: Stratfor May 18, 2007 19 49 GMT Summary New French President Nicolas Sarkozy named his Cabinet on May 18, radically revamping the government. Sarkozy is attempting to strike a balance between old and new ideas, among different ethnicities in France and among all sides of the political spectrum. Though such strategic choices show that Sarkozy wants a more active and dynamic government, the diversity could cause even more deadlock than before. Analysis New French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his recently appointed Prime Minister Francois Fillon named the new Cabinet on May 18, radically revamping the government and showing how the young president intends to shift France. Unlike his predecessor Jacques Chirac, Sarkozy has shown that he wants to be actively involved in his new government and not just pass away his term sitting at the Elysee Palace. On his campaign trail Sarkozy set an ambitious agenda, including tax cuts, changes in workplace regulations, increasingly

China, U.S.: An Economic Consensus

Source: Stratfor May 18, 2007 17 52 GMT Summary China has widened the trading band for the yuan from 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent effective May 21. The increase precedes Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to Washington to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for the annual U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue. Beijing's move is part of a series of steps to demonstrate progress on currency and trade issues designed to respond to U.S. pressure on Chinese economic policies. The Chinese, the U.S. administration and even the U.S. Congress agree that while change is needed, China should move methodically rather than drastically alter its economic policies. Analysis The People's Bank of China announced May 18 that the daily spot market trading band for the yuan against the dollar will widen from 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent beginning May 21. The change comes ahead of Vice Premier Wu Yi's visit to Washington for the latest round of the U.S.-China Strategic Dialogue. The wide

India:Kashmiri Militants, Communal Tensions and the Mosque Bombing

Source: Stratfor India: Kashmiri Militants, Communal Tensions and the Mosque Bombing May 18, 2007 16 27 GMT Tensions are high in Hyderabad, India, after an explosion during Friday prayers at the city's Mecca Mosque on May 18, in which at least five people were killed and 27 were injured. Many Muslims in the area, angered by the attack, reportedly are pelting local businesses and police forces with stones. The explosion took place far from the information technology business community in Hyderabad's northern suburbs, but businesses in the area should exercise caution. While Hindu extremists in the area could easily be blamed for the attack, the bombing could well be the work of Kashmiri Islamist groups expanding their presence in southern India. The idea of Muslims attacking fellow Muslims to incite riots is anomalous in India, though not completely unprecedented. In September 2006, a series of coordinated explosions killed 37 people and injured more than 125 in a Muslim

Intelligence agency urges citizens to defer travel to Pakistan

Intelligence agency urges citizens to defer travel to Pakistan SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state intelligence agency on Saturday advised citizens to avoid travel to Pakistan until the end of next month, as security is worsening in the country following bloody skirmishes between pro-government and opposition groups. "We cannot rule out the possibility that South Koreans could accidentally be injured from further clashes as the opposition groups' campaign to oust the Pakistani president is showing signs of spreading and the pro-government forces seem reluctant to back down," the National Intelligence Service said in a statement. Forty-three people were killed and some 200 injured in the South Asian country's worst political violence in years early this week. (END)

Unease As Rice Meets Iranian Artists

By MATTHEW LEE The Associated Press: Thursday, May 10, 2007 (published in Washington Post) WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was all smiles Thursday as she met Iranian artists at an event intended to promote cultural links with Iran. Still, there were currents of unease. Ten of the 14 Iranians who received special visas for the exhibition refused to be photographed with Rice, and two would not even accompany her through the gallery because they were "uncomfortable," two organizers said. "Art moves above politics and I didn't want to be a part of politics," said Behnam Kamrani, a 39-year-old digital artist from Tehran. Bahar Behbahni, a 33-year-old mixed media artist from Tehran, added, "It doesn't mean that the artists aren't political or don't (care) about politics. Artists don't want to make political gestures. Our language is our art, we express ourselves through art." What was billed as a unique and open express

Political Crisis Grows in Pakistan -- VOA

By Gary Thomas Washington 18 May 2007 The dismissal of Pakistan's most senior judge has mushroomed into a domestic political crisis for President Pervez Musharraf. The weakened opposition has found a new vigor to push for an end to President Musharraf's military rule. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, a showdown appears to be looming. Gen. Pervez Musharraf addresses 34th session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, 15 May 2007 President Musharraf has weathered previous challenges to his nearly eight years of military rule, including several assassination attempts. But now he has sailed into what might be called a "perfect political storm" that, analysts say, could sweep him from office. In a telephone interview, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a sharp critic of Mr. Musharraf, says the situation in Pakistan is precarious. "It's threatening to spiral out of control," she said. "I think the r

Will Srinidhi be stripped of his President's medal?

Will Srinidhi be stripped of his President's medal? K.V. Subramanya Naxalite blogs celebrate Police Inspector's fall from grace N. Srinidhi BANGALORE: Fraser Town Police Inspector N. Srinidhi, who has been suspended from service following his arrest on the charge of torturing his wife for more dowry, appears to be in for more trouble. Following his arrest, the State Women's Commission has decided to appeal to the Government to withdraw the President's Gallantry Medal awarded to Mr. Srinidhi. Women's Commission Chairperson Premila Nesargi told The Hindu she would appeal to the Government to strip Mr. Srinidhi of the honour. "A man arrested for beating his wife should not be given such a coveted medal," she said. Mr. Srinidhi bagged the Gallantry Medal during the last Independence Day for his role in the killing of the naxalite ideologue Saketh Rajan in an encounter in Chikmagalur district in February 2005. Mr. Srinidhi, then Kudremukh

Global Market Brief: Galileo's Failure to Launch

Source: Stratfor May 17, 2007 19 55 GMT The European Commission acknowledged May 16 that the Galileo satellite positioning program will need to be fully funded by EU member states, and that the program will have a military function for the European Union. But Galileo still has a major problem: It plans to compete with the free or nearly free services of the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), and many EU states see no future conflict with the United States, enjoy unfettered access to GPS and wince at the thought of committing massive public funds to an uncertain program. Despite the European Commission's optimism, Galileo is far from becoming a reality. As the EU Commission has rightly acknowledged, without its own satellite navigation system, the European Union wholly depends on the U.S. GPS network for its military needs. Satellite positioning grants a host of useful abilities -- from munitions targeting to operational coordination -- that have shaped the U.S. revolution