Saturday, December 19, 2009
DTN News: Season's Greetings ~ To Our Readers & Viewers, Best Wishes From DTN News *Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - December 20, 2009: We thank you for your patronage on DTN News, please continue to do so. In the interim, we wish you Season's Greetings and God Bless you All!
DTN News: Iran Rejects Reports Of Oil Well Seizure In Iraq *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - December 20, 2009: Iran rejects reports that its forces have taken over an oil well within Iraqi borders, while a Baghdad official admits the site is in a disputed border area. In a Saturday phone interview with Press TV, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman described reports about the country taking over an Iraqi oil well as an attempt to harm the close relations between Tehran and Baghdad. "Some media outlets are using incorrect vocabulary in these reports. This choice of words is not in keeping with Iran-Iraq ties," Ramin Mehmanparast told Press TV. "Such propaganda is an attempt to harm our close ties with Iraq. Naturally these efforts are part on an agenda that is being followed by some countries which are unhappy about our friendly relations," he explained. In a separate statement, Mehmanparast said that the two countries have always settled their border disputes through diplomatic means and within the frameworks of the 1975 Algiers Accord, which has clear instructions for times like these. “Under circumstances where border signs undergo changes as a result of natural disasters or in the aftermath of the 8-year [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hussein]-imposed war against Iran, an Iranian-Iraqi commission will convene to discuss and resolve the issue,” read the Saturday statement, citing the Algiers Accord. Mehmanparast further added that the Iranian Foreign Ministry has already expressed its readiness to convene the commission and is waiting a response from the Iraqi side. The spokesman's comments came after the Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister, Mohammed Haj Aziz, claimed that Iranian troops had seized an oil well in the Fakkeh border region on Thursday night. Prominent Iranian figures including parliamentarian Alaeddin Boroujerdi had already rejected the Iraqi claim, saying that Iranian forces had by no means violated the Iraqi border. "I strongly reject the claim that Iran has taken over an Iraqi oil well," Boroujerdi said. He added that the matter was being dealt with through diplomatic channels, while stressing that it would by no means impact the two sides' relations. Iran's Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi-Qomi has also described the reports as a futile campaign to harm Tehran-Baghdad ties. Meanwhile, Iraq's Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Ali al-Khafaji confirmed that there has been no actual takeover. "This news is not true. This field is disputed and now it is neglected by both sides. There was no storming of the field, it's empty, it's abandoned, it is exactly on the border between Iraq and Iran," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
DTN News: Saudi Warplanes Rain '1,011 Missiles' On Yemen *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) KUWAIT - December 20, 2009: Houthi fighters say Saudi warplanes have fired some 1,011 missiles on the borderline with Yemen where the Shia population is already under heavy state-led and US-aided bombardment. The fighters also said on Saturday that the warplanes had carried out nearly 60 air assaults on the residential areas in the northern Al-Jabiri, Al-Dukhan and Al-Malaheet districts. Saudi Arabia joined Sana'a's months-long fierce armed campaign against the Shia fighters in November. The Houthis are accused by the central government of breaking the terms of a ceasefire agreement by taking foreign visitors hostage. The Saudis, on their part, claimed that the fighters had attacked one of their border checkpoints. The fighters denounce the offensives as a discriminatory campaign against the Shia minority under Riyadh's auspices. The offensives, meanwhile, have been taking their toll on the locals with the Saudis reportedly venturing beyond the Houthi positions, targeting civilian areas and using unconventional weaponry including flesh-eating white phosphorus bombs. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that since 2004, the conflict has forced up to 175,000 people in the Shia-dominated northwestern province of Sa'ada out of their homes and into overcrowded camps set up by the United Nations. The US military equipment and intelligence have reportedly entered the equation in the recent days. The US special forces have reportedly been sent to Yemen to provide the national army with training services. The US Air Force is also said to have been sporadically pounding the northern areas since Monday. The Houthis said US attacks on Thursday killed 120 civilians, among whom were women and children. Also on Saturday, a report on the Houthis' website said that three civilians, including a woman and a child, had been killed in fresh air raids carried out by US warplanes.
DTN News: Royal Air Force To Acquire 7th Boeing C-17 Globemaster III *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) LONG BEACH, Calif.,- December 20, 2009: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence this week announced an agreement for the acquisition of a seventh C-17 Globemaster III for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Boeing is scheduled to deliver the aircraft in December 2010. "The RAF has an urgent need for additional airlift capability," said Robin Philip, Head of Commercial Air Support, UK Ministry of Defence. "We know firsthand the capabilities and reliability the C-17 brings to every mission, and that's why we're adding another one to our fleet." The current UK fleet of six C-17s has logged more than 50,000 flight hours to date. The newest C-17, like the others, will operate out of RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, England, and provide critical airlift capability. "The RAF's C-17s have served the United Kingdom well, performing superbly in aeromedical evacuations, humanitarian and disaster-relief missions, and in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Tommy Dunehew, Boeing Global Mobility Systems vice president of Business Development. "And now more help is on the way." "We're proud to support the RAF with an aircraft that continues to set the standard for advanced airlift capability," added Liz Pace, C-17 program manager, United Kingdom and Australia. "The addition of a seventh C-17 illustrates, once again, why it remains the airlifter of choice for both U.S. and allied commanders." As part of the worldwide C-17 fleet, the United Kingdom participates in the C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership logistics support program, which aims to increase mission readiness and reduce operations and support costs. The Boeing C-17 Field Services team located at RAF Brize Norton provides engineering, supply chain management and support, and maintenance of essential support equipment, along with configuration and data services 24 hours a day. In addition to supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the RAF's C-17s have provided humanitarian relief to the victims of tsunamis in Southeast Asia and earthquakes in Pakistan. The C-17 is the world's only tactical airlift aircraft with strategic capabilities that allow it to fly between continents and land on short, austere runways. There are currently 211 C-17s in service worldwide, including 19 with international customers. The U.S. Air Force, including active Guard and Reserve units, has 192. International customers include the United Kingdom, Qatar, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systemsis one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Boeing Delivers 1st Mk3 Chinook To UK Royal Air Force *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK- December 20, 2009:Boeing Defence UK Ltd., a subsidiary of The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA], today confirmed the Nov. 30 delivery of the first converted Chinook Mk3 helicopter to the Royal Air Force (RAF). Following the early delivery, the RAF declared Initial Operational Capability for Chinook Mk3, enabling the aircraft to begin supporting operational needs in locations such as Afghanistan. A team led by Boeing's UK Rotorcraft Support business converted the aircraft to a cockpit standard coherent with the rest of the UK Chinook fleet and also installed several modifications to increase the aircraft's capability. "This is a welcome addition to the fleet," said Group Capt. Steve Shell, RAF Chinook Force Commander, who took delivery of the aircraft. "The Mk3s will help strengthen our current fleet support both at home and abroad." A total of eight UK Chinooks will be converted to the fleet standard -- the remaining seven are on schedule for delivery this month and in 2010. "These Chinook Mk3 helicopters will significantly increase the RAF's heavy-lift capability and help support demanding operational needs in Afghanistan," said David Pitchforth, managing director, Boeing UK Rotorcraft Support. "This conversion is a team effort empowered by the RAF and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) working together with industry prime contractors Boeing and AgustaWestland, and supported by key supply chain partners QinetiQ and GE Aviation Systems." The Boeing-led industrial alliance completed the Mk3 conversion at the MOD's Boscombe Down facility. In a concurrent effort to the Mk3 conversion, Boeing, with key supplier Vector Aerospace and in cooperation with the MOD, has increased the availability of the current forward Chinook fleet in Afghanistan. This has been achieved through improvements to the UK Chinook Through Life Customer Support (TLCS) contract. The eight Chinook Mk3s will be added to the TLCS program. "Current operations in Afghanistan are reliant on the Chinook fleet as the backbone of tactical mobility," said Mike Kurth, managing director, Boeing Defence UK. "Delivery of the Mk3s will increase that capability and provide additional aircraft in theater." A wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company and a business unit of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Boeing Defence UK Ltd. currently has employees at 20 locations throughout the UK supporting Ministry of Defence and U.S. military programs. UK Rotorcraft Support, a division of Boeing's Global Services & Support business, is focused on providing increased capability to the UK's rotorcraft fleet. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.
DTN News: Airlines News TODAY December 20, 2009 ~ Ryanair Pulls Out Of Talks For 200 Boeing Planes * No plans to reopen talks with Boeing, other manufacturers
* To reduce capital expenditure in 2011-2012
* To return surplus cash to shareholders from 2012-2015
* Ryanair shares rise 5.8 pct; Boeing down 2 pct
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) DUBLIN, Ireland - December 20, 2009: Irish airline Ryanair (RYA.I) said it had pulled out of talks to buy 200 aircraft from Boeing Co (BA.N) and would now trim investment from 2011 to cut costs and free up cash to pay to investors, lifting its shares. The low-cost carrier, close to being Europe's biggest airline, said on Friday it aimed to reduce capacity growth from 2011 and return surplus cash to shareholders from 2012-2015. Ryanair shares rose 5.8 percent, making the company the top gainer among leading European stocks .FTEU3. But Boeing, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI, was down more than 2 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. "It is appropriate to return these surplus funds to shareholders if we cannot use them to purchase aircraft on terms which enable us to meet our demanding return on capital targets," Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a statement. Analysts said Ryanair would not be able to meet its long-term earnings target if growth slowed or ended after 2012, forcing it to eventually increase average fares. "Given the already low cost base, further significant unit cost savings will be difficult to deliver," U.K. firm Arbuthnot Securities said in a note to clients. The company had previously said a deal for 200 Boeing 737-800 aircraft for 2013-16 delivery was unlikely because the U.S. planemaker wanted to change conditions. In a statement, Boeing said it was disappointed that Ryanair chose not to expand its fleet but added that the low-cost carrier was still a "highly valued" customer as it currently operates more than 200 narrow-body 737s. "We worked to find a solution that met Ryanair's needs and also made good business sense for Boeing," said Andrew Davis, director of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Europe, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Ryanair on future fleet requirements," Davis added. OTHER BOEING PLANES SET FOR DELIVERY Ryanair, which has thrived on consumers trading down in the recession, said its plan for receiving 112 Boeing aircraft from 2010-12 was unaffected, and it would continue to work with Boeing on the 48 deliveries scheduled for 2010. Ryanair's O'Leary, who has a penchant for driving hard bargains, said he had no plan to reopen talks with Boeing or any other aircraft manufacturer and would focus on maintaining Ryanair's strong traffic and new route growth into 2010. The latest move could signal that the era of fast-growing budget airlines is waning. "Low-cost airlines are now the mainstream way to fly in Europe," said Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the no-frills EasyJet (EZJ.L), in a statement. "As such, it's getting difficult to find significant new passenger traffic which is profitable." Arbuthnot said that Ryanair's low cost structure makes turning in further significant cost savings difficult. Haji-Ioannou said that using shareholder money to fund "profit-less growth" by purchasing more planes from Boeing and rival Airbus (EAD.PA) was "no longer acceptable." "I look forward to companies like ours becoming 'normal' and starting to pay dividends," Haji-Ioannou's statement added.
DTN News: Russia, US Unlikely To Sign Arms Deal By End Of January: Report *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - December 20, 2009: Russia and the United States were unlikely to ink an agreement on further nuclear arms reduction by the end of January, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on Saturday. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama met in Copenhagen on Friday in an effort to find a replacement for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1), which expired on Dec. 5. Although the two presidents highly valued the progress of the nuclear disarmament talks, a new pact was unlikely by the end of January, Kommersant cited an unnamed participant in Friday's meeting as saying. The nuclear negotiations, launched eight months ago, failed to resolve the problem of Russia's insistence that the link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons be reflected appropriately in the new document, Kommersant said. They were also at odds over the standards of heavy bombers and the number of delivery vehicles, it said.
Obama said on Friday the United States and Russia were "quite close to an agreement" on further nuclear arms reduction after meeting Medvedev on the sidelines of UN climate talks in Copenhagen. He said he was confident the deal would be completed "in a timely fashion." The Russian president said only some technical details required "further work." START-1, signed in 1991 between the Soviet Union and the United States, obliged both sides to reduce the number of their nuclear warheads to 6,000 and delivery vehicles to 1,600. The new treaty's outline agreed by the two presidents at a July summit in Moscow included cutting the number of nuclear warheads each country has to between 1,500 and 1,675 and delivery vehicles to between 500 and 1,000.