January 14, 2010 Assortment


SCIENCE

100 Best (Free) Science Documentaries Online

TECHNOLOGY

Innovations Honorees

PAKISTAN

Terrorists attacks in Pakistan claimed over 3,000 lives in 2009
We are the ones who are paying the price for US illegal and immoral wars. Do more, Do more … goes the chant.

A total of 3,021 people were killed and 7,334 injured in terrorists attacks in Pakistan last year, national media reported citing a new report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS).

According to the report from the Islamabad-based defense think-tank, the death toll was 48% higher than in 2008.

Ex-Navy chief confirms French kickbacks

ISLAMABAD: Former Naval chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza gives credence to the recent French investigative report that talked of almost $49 million kickbacks in the Agosta-submarine deal allegedly received by President Asif Ali Zardari and others, including Naval officers, disclosing that the then Benazir government had urged the Pakistan Navy to go for the French subs.

Mirza, while quoting the then Naval chief Admiral Saeed Khan, also revealed that Benazir Bhutto’s defence minister Aftab Shaban Mirani had clearly indicated to the Pakistan Navy’s high command the government’s preference for the induction of the French submarines.

According to a recent report in a leading French newspaper, investigations have revealed that Zardari received $4.3 million in kickbacks from the sale of three Agosta 90 submarines for Eu825 million. These reports also suggest that Naval officials might have received kickbacks out of this $49 million.

This deal was struck during Benazir Bhutto’s second tenure in 1994.

But Admiral Mirza still insisted the ex-DG Naval Intelligence did receive kickbacks in the Agosta deal as was confirmed by the other two officers, Capt ZU Alvi and Capt Liaqat Ali Malik, who were blamed to have received bribes directly from the French.

Referring to the latest French media reports about the Agosta kickbacks, he said he gives such reports due credence also for the reason that the French, Germans, Italians and other manufacturers of defence equipment do have a recognised provision of allocating about 10 pc of the contract value as kickbacks, entertainment, gifts etc as a matter of policy.

DEFENSE/MILITARY NEWS

China buys Russian engines for JF-17 and J-10
Reliance on Russian engines is a weak point for China and Pakistan and definitely plays to the advantage of Russia and India.

India gearing up for war with major acquistions
16th NCA MEETING
No 11/2010-ISPR Dated: January 13, 2010


The NCA took note of the developments detrimental to the objectives of strategic stability in the region. It observed that instead of responding positively to Pakistan’s proposal for a Strategic Restraint Regime in South Asia, India continues to pursue an ambitious militarization programme and offensive military doctrines. Massive inductions of advanced weapon systems, including installation of ABMs, build-up of nuclear arsenal and delivery systems through ongoing and new programmes, assisted by some external quarters, offensive doctrines like ‘Cold Start’ and similar accumulations in the conventional realm, tend to destabilize the regional balance. This relentless pursuit of military preponderance will have severe consequences for peace and security in South Asia as well as for the Indian Ocean region. Pakistan cannot be oblivious to these developments.

The NCA took serious note of recent Indian statements about its capability to conduct conventional military strikes under a nuclear umbrella. Such irresponsible statements reflected a hegemonic mindset, oblivious of dangerous implications of adventurism in a nuclearized context.

The NCA further noted that the India-specific exemption made by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and subsequent nuclear fuel supply agreements with several countries, would enable India to produce substantial quantities of fissile material for nuclear weapons by freeing up its domestic resources.

The NCA reiterated that, while continuing to act with responsibility and avoiding an arms race, Pakistan will not compromise on its security interests and the imperative of maintaining a credible minimum deterrence.

China shows off air defences with anti-missile test

China said Tuesday it had successfully tested a missile intercept system in what analysts described as a show of its advanced air defence capabilities amid tensions over US arms sales to Taiwan.

“The information is pretty thin, but the critical fact is that they conducted a successful missile intercept.”

Scott Harold, an analyst at the Rand Corporation, agreed, saying: “I would be inclined to view the test as a stride — but how much of one is unclear in the absence of more information — towards a missile defence capability.”

Arthur Ding, an expert at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, said the test would send a “political signal to the United States and to other countries that China is prepared for air operations, full-scale operations by whatever country.”

Imprisoned for singing
Waging war with unwilling soldiers …

A soldier who wrote a song expressing outrage at the military’s “stop-loss” policy is now facing a court-martial

Army specialist and Iraq war veteran Marc Hall was incarcerated by the U.S. Army on December 11, 2009, in Liberty County Jail, Ga., for recording a song that expresses his anger over the Army’s stop-loss policy.

Stop-loss is a policy that allows the Army to keep soldiers active beyond the end of their signed contracts. According to the Pentagon, more than 120,000 soldiers have been affected by stop-loss since 2001, and currently 13,000 soldiers are serving under stop-loss orders.

“From a military that has us, while we’re jogging, chant in cadence about killing babies, to then come down on someone for writing an angry song, is ludicrous,” Hurd added, “Marc is just expressing the anger that 13,000 soldiers are feeling right now, because there are currently that many who are stop-lossed. All he did was make his opinion heard.”

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