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unhappycamper

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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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All Nippon Airways May Seek Damages From Boeing Over 787 Problems

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/ana-all-nippon-airways-boeing-787-damages_n_2587632.html?utm_hp_ref=business



All Nippon Airways May Seek Damages From Boeing Over 787 Problems
By YURI KAGEYAMA
Posted: 01/31/2013 1:34 am EST

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's All Nippon Airways is prepared to recoup from Boeing whatever damages it suffers from flight cancellations and other costs caused by the worldwide grounding of 787 jets, a senior executive said Thursday.

All Nippon Airways Co. Chief Financial Officer Kiyoshi Tonomoto said the airline was focused on investigating the cause of the 787 battery problems, and it was not yet in damage negotiations with Boeing Co. He also said efforts were focused on minimizing flight disruptions and revenue losses by using other aircraft.

"But we will negotiate with Boeing," Tonomoto told reporters. "We are now focusing on assuring safety for our customers."

ANA, the biggest customer for the Dreamliner with 17 of the jets in its fleet, canceled 459 domestic and international flights canceled this month, causing about 1.4 billion yen ($15.4 million) in lost revenue. It said it was unclear when the aircraft will be cleared by regulators to fly again.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:44 AM (0 replies)

Military provides inadequate care for injuries suffered during sexual assaults

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/30/military-provides-inadequate-care-for-injuries-suffered-during-sexual-assaults/



Military provides inadequate care for injuries suffered during sexual assaults
By Kay Steiger
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:30 EST

Some women in the military are still receiving inadequate care for sexual assault, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report published Tuesday found. The report found that “not all first responders had completed the required training,” even after a 2005 Department of Defense directive mandated “a comprehensive policy for the prevention of and response to sexual assault.” One servicewoman even reported an inability to gain access to yeast infection treatment.

Though GAO found that the military “has not established guidance for the treatment of injuries stemming from sexual assault — a crime that requires a specialized level of care.” Often, officers assigned to be “victim advocates” for those who had suffered sexual assault “are not always aware of the specific health care services available to sexual assault victims.”

GAO investigated three military installations in the United States and seven Afganistan installations, as well as looking at eight Navy ships. The investigators talked to 92 servicewomen, 60 of whom said they believed they were receiving “generally” adequate care, but 8 reported deficiencies in female-specific health care.

~snip~

But the GAO found that policies on the ground are inconsistent and often contradict the ability of servicewomen to file a confidential report of sexual assault. In at least one facility, “the policy was silent on the issue of sexual assault.” At another, “a command’s medical policy contained requirements for health care personnel that conflicted with their responsibilities under restricted reporting.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:37 AM (1 replies)

Niger ready to host U.S. drone base

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/30/niger-ready-to-host-u-s-drone-base/



The $150+ million dollar RQ-170

Niger ready to host U.S. drone base
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 18:40 EST

Niger said Wednesday it was ready to host a base for US drones monitoring movements by Al-Qaeda-linked groups currently based in northern Mali.

“If Niger has an opportunity to receive support in the shape of aircraft or drones to monitor suspicious movements from Mali, we will not turn our nose up at it,” Defence Minister Karidjo Mahamadou told AFP.

He added however that he was not aware of any formal deal allowing the deployment of US drones on Niger’s soil.

A US official said Monday that the Pentagon was planning to station drones in the region — most likely in Niger — to bolster surveillance of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its allies.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:34 AM (1 replies)

Rep. Thornberry: Hill Fights Mean Sequestration Happens; Then We Can Fix

http://defense.aol.com/2013/01/30/rep-thornberry-hill-fights-mean-sequestration-happens-then-we/



Rep. Thornberry: Hill Fights Mean Sequestration Happens; Then We Can Fix
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON: Political gridlock has gotten so bad that the best bet to stop sequestration is after it starts, Rep. Mac Thornberry believes. Only a real crisis -- not just an impending one -- can force the two parties to cut a deal, he told AOL Defense. But, the conservative Republican emphasized, he stuck to the House GOP line that further tax revenues are off the table.

"I still have hope," Thornberry said when I accosted him after he spoke this morning at the National Defense Industrial Association s annual special operations conference. Thornberry chairs the "emerging threats" panel on the House Armed Services Committee, a panel recently empowered with new authority over intelligence matters, and his speech mostly addressed issues specific to special operations. But he started by lamenting the looming spending cuts known as the sequester -- arguing that the Democratic-controlled Senate had failed to act to stop them. And he suggested sequestration would at least start to be implemented before Congress could get its act together to turn it off.

Only this month, with the services and Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter issuing memos ordering cost-cutting measures and warning of grim cuts to readiness accounts, Thornberry said, have most politicians really begun to understand how badly this is going to hurt.

~snip~

Republicans know where they want to cut: "Two-thirds of the budget is entitlement spending," said Thornberry. (That's a trifle high: Even the conservative Heritage Foundation puts the total at 62 percent, while the slightly-left-of-center Brookings Institution, using a narrower definition of "entitlements," puts it at 45 percent).
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:46 AM (1 replies)

USS Guardian Aground: U.S. Navy To Dismantle Ship Stuck In Philippines

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/uss-guardian-aground_n_2580891.html



The USS Guardian sits aground on the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines, Jan. 22, 2013. The Navy announced that the minesweeper will require sectional dismantling to remove it from the World Heritage Site.

USS Guardian Aground: U.S. Navy To Dismantle Ship Stuck In Philippines
01/30/13 10:04 AM ET EST AP

MANILA, Philippines — The U.S. Navy said Wednesday that it would dismantle a minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef in the Philippines after carefully studying all options on how to remove the damaged ship.

Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. James Stockman said dismantling the USS Guardian was determined to be the solution that would involve the least damage to the Tubbataha Reef, a protected marine sanctuary where the ship got stuck Jan. 17.

He said the Philippine coast guard was reviewing the plan, but gave no other details.

The Navy had said previously that the Guardian would be lifted by crane onto a barge and taken to a shipyard, but apparently the damage was too extensive and it will have to be cut up and removed in pieces. Stockman gave no time frame for the operation.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:01 AM (5 replies)

High-tech cargo airship being built in California

http://www.nbc40.net/story/20809715/high-tech-cargo-airship-being-built-in-california



High-tech cargo airship being built in California
By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON
Associated Press

TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) - The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles.

Still, the fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases.

"I realized that I put a little dot in the line of aviation history. A little dot for something that has never been demonstrated before, now it's feasible," said flight control engineer Munir Jojo-Verge.

The airship is undergoing testing this month at Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, and must go through several more rounds of flight testing before it could be used in a disaster zone or anywhere else. The first major flight test took place Jan. 3.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:36 AM (2 replies)

The Setting Sun and the American Empire

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/29



The Setting Sun and the American Empire
by Tom Engelhardt
Published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 by TomDispatch.com

The euphemisms will come fast and furious. Our soldiers will be greeted as “heroes” who, as in Iraq, left with their “heads held high,” and if in 2014 or 2015 or even 2019, the last of them, as also in Iraq, slip away in the dark of night after lying to their Afghan “allies” about their plans, few here will notice.

This will be the nature of the great Afghan drawdown. The words “retreat,” “loss,” “defeat,” “disaster,” and their siblings and cousins won’t be allowed on the premises. But make no mistake, the country that, only years ago, liked to call itself the globe’s “sole superpower” or even “hyperpower,” whose leaders dreamed of a Pax Americana across the Greater Middle East, if not the rest of the globe is… not to put too fine a point on it, packing its bags, throwing in the towel, quietly admitting—in actions, if not in words —to mission unaccomplished, and heading if not exactly home, at least boot by boot off the Eurasian landmass.

Washington has, in a word, had enough. Too much, in fact. It’s lost its appetite for invasions and occupations of Eurasia, though special operations raids, drone wars, and cyberwars still look deceptively cheap and easy as a means to control... well, whatever. As a result, the Afghan drawdown of 2013-2014, that implicit acknowledgement of yet another lost war, should set the curtain falling on the American Century as we’ve known it. It should be recognized as a landmark, the moment in history when the sun truly began to set on a great empire. Here in the United States, though, one thing is just about guaranteed: not many are going to be paying the slightest attention.

No one even thinks to ask the question: In the mighty battle lost, who exactly beat us? Where exactly is the triumphant enemy? Perhaps we should be relieved that the question is not being raised, because it’s a hard one to answer. Could it really have been the scattered jihadis of al-Qaeda and its wannabes? Or the various modestly armed Sunni and Shiite minority insurgencies in Iraq, or their Pashtun equivalents in Afghanistan with their suicide bombers and low-tech roadside bombs? Or was it something more basic, something having to do with a planet no longer amenable to imperial expeditions? Did the local and global body politic simply and mysteriously spit us out as the distasteful thing we had become? Or is it even possible, as Pogo once suggested, that in those distant, unwelcoming lands, we met the enemy and he was us? Did we in some bizarre fashion fight ourselves and lose? After all, last year, more American servicemen died from suicide than on the battlefield in Afghanistan; and a startling number of Americans were killed in “green on blue” or “insider” attacks by Afghan “allies” rather than by that fragmented movement we still call the Taliban.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:24 AM (2 replies)

Meet the Contractors Turning America's Police Into a Paramilitary Force

http://www.alternet.org/meet-contractors-turning-americas-police-paramilitary-force?akid=9989.1084699.2dRqJD&rd=1&src=newsletter785633&t=4


Meet the Contractors Turning America's Police Into a Paramilitary Force
AlterNet / By John Knefel
January 30, 2013

The national security state has an annual budget of around $1 trillion. Of that huge pile of money, large amounts go to private companies the federal government awards contracts to. Some, like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, are household names, but many of the contractors fly just under the public's radar. What follows are three companies you should know about (because some of them can learn a lot about you with their spy technologies).

L3 Communications

L3 is everywhere. Those night-vision goggles the JSOC team in Zero Dark Thirty uses? That's L3. The new machines that are replacing the naked scanners at the airport? That's L3. Torture at Abu Ghraib? A former subsidiary of L3 was recently ordered to pay $ 5.28 million to 71 Iraqis who had been held in the awful prison.

~snip~

Harris Corporation: Stingray “IMSI catcher”

Harris Corp. is a huge provider of national security and communications technology to federal and local law enforcement agencies. Though many people have never heard of it, Harris is a major player in the beltway National Security community. President and CEO William M. Brown was recently appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and in 2009 the Secret Service offered Harris a contract to train its agents in the use of Harris' Stingray line. The Secret Service awarded the company additional contracts in 2012.

~snip~

BI2 Technologies

BI2 makes a fine pitch. Its iris-scanning technology can be made to sound very appealing. Iris scans are relatively non-invasive, there's no touching involved so the likelihood of spreading disease is reduced, and as B12 states on its Web site, "there are no lasers, strong lights or any kind of harmful beams.” It also claims that iris scanning is "strictly opt-in," and that a “user" (who in most cases would be better described as an “arrestee”) “must consciously elect to participate” in the scanning. (When I was arrested by the NYPD while covering a protest, the scan was voluntary -- though the NYPD didn't tell me that, a protester did. But if I refused to submit to it I could have been punished with an extra night in jail.)



--

And who can forget the MIC big boys: Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, and pretty much every congresscritter.

Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:12 AM (1 replies)

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/un-drone-inquiry/



United Nations special rapporteur Ben Emmerson tells Danger Room that accountability for drone strikes “is the central purpose” of his new inquiry.

U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It
By Spencer Ackerman
01.29.13 6:30 AM

Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones’ existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations.

Emmerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it’s the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body. By the next session of the United Nations in the fall, Emmerson hopes to provide the General Assembly with an report on 25 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine where civilian deaths are credibly alleged.

That carries the possibility of a reckoning with the human damage left by drones, the first such witnessing by the international community. Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, “is the central purpose of the report.” He’s not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of “war crimes,” should the facts point in that direction. But despite the Obama administration’s secrecy about the drone strikes to date, he’s optimistic that the world’s foremost users of lethal drone tech will cooperate with him.

In conversation, Emmerson, who’s served as special rapporteur since 2011, doesn’t sound like a drone opponent or a drone skeptic. He sounds more like a drone realist. “Let’s face it, they’re here to stay,” he says, shortly after pausing to charge his cellphone during a trip to New York to prep for his inquiry. “This technology, as I say, is a reality. It is cheap, both in economic terms and in the risk to the lives of the service personnel who are from the sending state.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:01 AM (1 replies)

Japan: Over 80 Percent of Rape Suspects from US Military Not Arrested

http://watchingamerica.com/News/193312/over-80-percent-of-rape-suspects-from-the-u-s-military-not-arrested/

Over 80 Percent of Rape Suspects from US Military Not Arrested
Ryukyu Shimpo, Japan
Translated By Ethan Ferraro
16 January 2013
Edited by Rachel Smith

Since 1996, of the 118 suspects who were members of the American military and charged with such heinous crimes as murder, burglary, arson and rape, 58 had their cases processed without arrest. Of the 35 suspects who were charged with rape, 30 — a shocking 85.7 percent — were processed without arrest. The only solution to this problem is a drastic revision to the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement.

In 1995, the American and Japanese governments agreed that they would improve the system for handling suspects accused of heinous crimes by having the American military transfer suspects to Japanese authorities before prosecution, when deemed necessary. However, this agreement has not been sufficient. The agreement between the American and Japanese governments appears meaningless.

This situation is a result of the vagueness of the agreement and the fact that American authorities only transfer suspects into the custody of Japanese officials at their own discretion. At the very least, this agreement must be changed to obligate the American authorities to transfer suspects to Japanese custody when the suspects are accused of a serious crime.

~snip~

When investigations have been hindered to such an extent, why are there so few cases of suspects being handed over before prosecution? Is the 1953 secret agreement between Japan and America still in effect? This agreement stated that, “In the case of an incident involving American military personnel, the incident will not be handled publicly and aside from particularly serious crimes. We have no intention of allowing the Japanese to exercise their jurisdiction over said crime.”* Evidence of this humiliating agreement was in the secret minutes of the committee for the U.S.-Japan alliance. If this agreement is still in use, it must be immediately disposed of. When investigations have been hindered to such an extent, why are there so few cases of suspects being handed over before prosecution? Is the 1953 secret agreement between Japan and America still in effect? This agreement stated that, “In the case of an incident involving American military personnel, the incident will not be handled publicly and aside from particularly serious crimes. We have no intention of allowing the Japanese to exercise their jurisdiction over said crime.”* Evidence of this humiliating agreement was in the secret minutes of the committee for the U.S.-Japan alliance. If this agreement is still in use, it must be immediately disposed of.
Posted by unhappycamper | Wed Jan 30, 2013, 09:53 AM (1 replies)
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