Saturday, March 06, 2010

DTN News: Iran TODAY March 7, 2010 ~ Iran President Wants Russian Pilots Gone

DTN News: Iran TODAY March 7, 2010 ~ Iran President Wants Russian Pilots Gone Source: DTN News / Press TV
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - March 7, 2010: In reaction to several accidents involving Russian-built passenger planes in Iran, the Islamic Republic sets a two-month deadline for Russian pilots to leave the country.
"Upon an order from President [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad], the Road and Transport Ministry has set a two-month deadline, after which all Russian pilots must leave the country," Fars News Agency quoted Minister of Roads and Transportation Hamid Behbahani as saying on Saturday. "When our country itself has plenty of competent and skilled pilots, there is no need for hiring pilots from abroad to operate our flights," he added.
Iran has suffered a string of aviation disasters over the past decade, most involving private airlines using Russian-made planes and crew. Officials have blamed the incidents on a ban on the sale of airplane parts to Iran, forcing it to purchase the parts from Russia and other former Soviet states.
In the worst plane crash in Iran, a Tupolev-154M, crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to the Armenian capital of Yerevan on July 15, 2009, leaving all 168 passengers onboard dead.
Russia, which has significant trade ties with Iran, is among six world powers trying to find a diplomatic solution to the long-running dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. Moscow has indicated it could support new sanctions against Iran provided they are not too severe. Iran denies Western accusations that its nuclear work is aimed at developing bombs. Iranian officials have voiced growing frustration at Russia's failure to supply the advanced S-300 missile defense system, which Israel and the United States do not want Tehran to have. Russia last month said it would not sell weapons if it leads to destabilization in any region.

DTN News: Presenting Special Article "Drawing Heaven", Watch Video!!!!

DTN News: Presenting Special Article "Drawing Heaven", Watch Video!!!! Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 7, 2010: DTN News would like to take a moment to spread word of PEACE for mankind. This is absolutely unbelievable. I will tell you the basics, she is now 12 years old. She started painting at age 4, her Mother is an atheist so God was never discussed in their home and she really had never been taught anything about him or the bible. She has visions and has told her Mom she has visited heaven numerous times. She gives God the glory for her talent. She has never had an art lesson. P.S. Her family now believes in God! Enjoy. This 3 minute clip from CNN is so awesome ~ DTN News, special thanks to J. Singh for submitting this article "Drawing Heaven".

DTN News: Philippines TODAY March 7, 2010 ~ Communist Ambush Kills 11 Philippine Soldiers: Military

DTN News: Philippines TODAY March 7, 2010 ~ Communist Ambush Kills 11 Philippine Soldiers: Military Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) MANILA, Philippines - March 7, 2010: Communist guerrillas killed 11 Philippine soldiers Saturday in a gun battle on Mindoro island, south of the capital, a military spokesman said. The soldiers were on patrol when they ran into a fortified camp of the New People's Army (NPA) guerrilla group, said Colonel Romeo Brawner. Seven soldiers were also wounded in the ensuing battle, with "undetermined casualties" among the rebels, he added. "The troops fought it out literally to the last bullet," Brawner said. Among the dead was the lieutenant who led the patrol, he added. Soldiers backed by helicopter gunships had been sent to Mindoro to track down the NPA insurgents, he said. The battle was the fiercest fighting to involve the NPA and the military since nine rebels and one soldier were killed in a raid on a guerilla camp on the southern island of Mindanao in December. In the latest clash, the soldiers were patrolling an area about 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Manila as part of measures to protect candidates in the upcoming May national elections, said Brawner. The NPA has been extorting payments from candidates in exchange for "permits to campaign" cards. Those who refuse to pay are attacked and sometimes killed. This week, suspected communist insurgents shot dead a former policeman running for local office in the May elections after he refused to pay. Last month, the military reported that it had confiscated dozens of "permit to campaign" cards that the NPA rebels were selling to candidates. The permits were being sold at rates that varied according to the position being contested. Candidates for congress were being charged as much as 2.2 million pesos (47,500 dollars) to campaign without being harassed. For the past 40 years the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, have waged a campaign to seize power. The conflict peaked in the 1980s, when rebel ranks reached 26,000. The military estimates the NPA's numbers have fallen to just above 3,000 but the guerrillas remain a potent force. The military said in September that the communist rebellion had claimed more than 3,000 lives since 2001, including over 500 civilians killed in crossfire.

DTN News: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Says Sept. 11 Attacks A 'Big Lie'

DTN News: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Says Sept. 11 Attacks A 'Big Lie' Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - March 7, 2010: Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday called the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks a "big lie" used by the U.S. as an excuse for the war on terror, state media reported. Ahmadinejad's comments, made during an address to Intelligence Ministry staff, come amid escalating tensions between the West and Tehran over its disputed nuclear program. They show that Iran has no intention of toning itself down even with tighter sanctions looming because of its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. "September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state TV. He called the attacks a "complicated intelligence scenario and act."
The Iranian president has questioned the official U.S. version of the Sept. 11 attacks before, but this is the first time he ventured to label it a "big lie." In 2007, New York officials rejected Ahmadinejad's request to visit the World Trade Center site while he was in the city for a U.N. meeting. The president also sparked an uproar when he said during a lecture in New York that the causes and conditions that led to the attacks, as well as who orchestrated them, still need to be examined. At the time, he also told Iranian state TV the attacks were "a result of mismanaging and inhumane managing of the world by the U.S," and that Washington was using Sept. 11 as an excuse to attack others. He has also questioned the Sept. 11 death toll of around 3,000, claiming the Americans never published the victims' names. On the 2007 anniversary of the attacks, the names of 2,750 victims killed in New York were read aloud at a memorial ceremony.

DTN News: US Military May Back Somali Govt Offensive ~ Report

DTN News: US Military May Back Somali Govt Offensive ~ Report Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 7, 2010: US special operations forces could help the Somali government, which is preparing an offensive to dislodge Al-Qaeda militants from the capital Mogadishu, The New York Times reported. Citing an unnamed US official in Washington, the newspaper said the offensive could begin in a few weeks. "What you?re likely to see is airstrikes and Special Ops moving in, hitting and getting out," the official is quoted in the report as saying. Over the past several months, American advisers have helped supervise the training of the Somali forces to be deployed in the offensive, the paper said. US officials said that this was part of a continuing program to "build the capacity" of the Somali military, and that there has been no increase in military aid for the coming operations, The Times noted. Washington has provided covert training to Somali intelligence officers, logistical support to peacekeepers, fuel for the maneuvers, intelligence on insurgent positions and money for bullets and guns, said the Times. Washington is also using its clout as the biggest supplier of humanitarian aid to Somalia. It has encouraged private aid agencies to move quickly into "newly liberated areas" to help civilians in an effort to make the government more popular, The Times said. US military intervention in Somalia in the early 1990s, commanding a major international relief operation ended in disaster when the UN force became drawn into fighting with local warlords. During the so-called "Battle of Mogadishu" in October 1993, forces loyal to warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid killed a total of 18 US soldiers on a single day, dragging some of their bodies through the streets of the city Mogadishu.

DTN News: Malaysia TODAY March 6, 2010 ~ Maiden Flight For Micro Aircraft

DTN News: Malaysia TODAY March 6, 2010 ~ Maiden Flight For Micro Aircraft Source: DTN News / By Martin Carvalho Photos By A. Malex Yahaya (NSI News Source Info) JASIN, Malaysia - March 6, 2010: The Sungai Rambai Microlight Park here capped a milestone recently when it hosted the maiden test flight of the Fulmar SR08, Malaysia’s latest multi-role unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The RM1.5mil UAV, designed and built by Unmanned Systems Technology Sdn Bhd (UST), was launched from a specially built two-man launch catapult. It spent almost an hour flying some500m above ground.UST general manager Mohd Khalizi Mohd Razak said the Fulmar SR08 was part of the company’s ongoing effort to tap the growing international UAV market. He said the composite-body Fulmar SR08 had a 2m wing span, a range of 50km and eight-hour flight capability. “It can easily be fitted with sensors including night vision cameras to allow use for commercial and security surveillance purposes.“When one mentions UAV, most think it is used only by the military, like the model known as Predator. “We hope to create awareness that UAVs are not used solely by the military but can be used by the commercial sector,” he said at the airstrip here. The UAVs could be used by the agriculture sector to monitor tracts of plantation and farm land, he said, adding that it could be fitted with sensors to gauge the moisture content of an area. “It can even be used by highway operators such as PLUS to monitor traffic flow along highways instead of relying on helicopters which are expensive,” said Mohd Khalizi. UAVs could also be used by enforcement agencies in surveillance on smuggling or illegal logging, he said. Besides testing the Fulmar SR08, UST showed off its smaller 3kg single-camera Aludra UAV that can cover a 15km radius on a maximum 90-minute flight duration. Mohd Khalizi said the Fulmar SR08 and the single-camera Aludra together with their computer and ground-control systems could be deployed at a cost of RM1.3mil. UST, a subsidiary of Composite Technology Research Malaysia, spent several years and RM10mil on research and development to produce the first fleet of UAVs in Malaysia and the Asean region, he added. The company, in collaboration with the Defence Ministry, deployed its Aludra MKI to carry out aerial surveillance in Semporna, Sabah, under Ops Pasir. Meanwhile, Sungai Rambai assemblyman Datuk Hasan Abd Rahman, also the deputy chairman of the Malacca Youth and Sports Committee, said he was proud that UST had chosen to use the microlight aircraft park for the Fulmar SR08’s maiden flight. The airstrip has come a long way since its operations began in 1999. “With the state’s support, we have been able to upgrade it to include a hangar, fencing and a watchtower,” he said. He said he would lobby to the secretariat overseeing Sukma XIII in Malacca this June to use the UAVs to monitor sports events such as sailing and long-distance cycling and running. He would also apply to the Youth and Sports Ministry for a RM200,000 allocation for upgrading works on the airstrip to allow light aircraft to use it during emergencies, he added.

DTN News: European Buyers Of Airbus Plane Agree To Cover Its Cost Overruns

DTN News: European Buyers Of Airbus Plane Agree To Cover Its Cost Overruns Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) PARIS, France - March 6, 2010: European Aeronautic Defense and Space, the parent company of Airbus, said Friday that buyers of its A400M military transport plane had agreed to a 10 percent price increase, a measure that will help cover substantial cost overruns and allow the troubled project to continue.The company said the seven European governments that signed on as customers for the A400M announced in Berlin that they had agreed to the increase for the 180 planes on order. They will also provide 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) in loans in exchange for a share of the revenue from future exports. “EADS considers this a sound basis for a successful evolution of the A400M program,” the company said. EADS said it would also absorb some of the cost overruns by taking a write-off of 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion) for the project, a provision that would cause it to post a loss for 2009. The A400M project is nearly four years behind schedule and more than 7 billion euros over budget, and the plane itself is several tons overweight. EADS has already written off 2.4 billion euros in costs. The project was expending cash at a rate of about 100 million euros a month. EADS had hoped to minimize the size of the write-off because of concern that it could have negative implications for the company’s credit rating, a main factor in determining the costs of borrowing for future jet programs like the A350-XWB commercial plane, which the company hopes to deliver in 2013. Last month, the ratings agency Fitch warned that a significant charge for the A400M might lead it to downgrade its rating on EADS, which, at its current BBB+, remains at investment grade. Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg and Turkey agreed Friday to increase by 2 billion euros the price of the original contract, which was 20 billion euros, and to waive all penalty charges for late deliveries. Those are now projected to begin in 2014, EADS said. The countries also agreed to accelerate predelivery payments for the planes, although the precise schedule of those payments had yet to be completed. The financing agreement comes after more than a year of uncertainty about the A400M program, which EADS had threatened to cancel to preserve the company’s long-term viability.