Friday, March 26, 2010
DTN News: Red Alert Update II ~ Keeping an Eye on the Peninsula / Red Alert (Update) ~ South Korean Ship Sinking
DTN News: Red Alert Update II ~ Keeping an Eye on the Peninsula / Red Alert (Update) ~ South Korean Ship Sinking Source: STRATFOR (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 27, 2010: A South Korean presidential spokesman said North Korea did not cause the sinking of the South Korean vessel Cho An. Even though lack of subsequent military conflict shows that the incident has now become a political event, the maritime boundary of the Korean Peninsula should be watched closely in the coming days to see how the incident fits within Pyongyang’s attempts to hold its own as it approaches the resumption of international negotiations and an important leadership transition. A South Korean ship has been sunk in the vicinity of the maritime border with North Korea. While details are sketchy, initial reports suggest that some South Korean naval ships had been involved in combat with an unidentified ship in the area immediately preceding the incident. Other reports suggest that the ship was struck by a torpedo. Yet another indicates a stern explosion. Tensions between the two Koreas have always been at least moderately high, but previous governments in the South have tended to seek a rapprochement. That warming has cooled significantly in recent months; one result has been occasional naval skirmishes. There are three issues to keep in mind when evaluating the potential for an inter-Korean conflict. First, the South Korean army, air force and navy are far better equipped and run than the North’s, despite the North’s numerical superiority when it comes to men in uniform. Stratfor has little doubt that the South could ultimately prevail in a military conflict. But – and this is the second issue – it would come at a massive cost. The North maintains many thousands of artillery emplacements within range of Seoul. So while the South’s military is superior by most measures, the North could quite easily decimate the South’s capital and largest city. Roughly one in four South Koreans live in Seoul. Third, the South Koreans are not alone. Despite recent shifts in American military posture, the United States still maintains 25,000 troops in South Korea – so an inter-Korean conflict immediately escalates to a global issue. *This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
DTN News: BAE Systems To Equip Military All-Terrain Vehicles With Thermal Cameras Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) AUSTIN, Texas - March 27, 2010: BAE Systems will provide Oshkosh Corp. with thermal cameras for 2,399 mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles, or M-ATVs, under a $45 million multi-year contract. The thermal cameras enable crews to view their surroundings while remaining within the vehicle’s protective armor. “The ability to see outside the vehicle provides an important increase in situational awareness and safety for the occupants of vehicles, who frequently travel in very dangerous territory,” said Jamie Adair, program manager for BAE Systems in Austin, Texas. “These cameras improve safety and mission effectiveness, and above all, can save lives.” The BAE Systems Check-6® system features infrared camera systems installed inside the vehicles’ taillight housings. The system provides visibility in daylight, darkness, and adverse weather. About BAE Systems BAE Systems is a global defense, security, and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions, and customer support services. In 2009, BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion.
DTN News: General Dynamics NASSCO Lays Keel Of The USNS William McLean Source: DTN News / General Dynamics (NSI News Source Info) SAN DIEGO, U.S. - March 27, 2010: General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD - News), yesterday Mar. 26., laid the keel for USNS William McLean, the twelfth ship of the Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo-ammunition ships (T-AKE). The ship is named in honor of the U.S. Navy physicist who in the 1950s pioneered the technology behind the Sidewinder missile, the first effective U.S. air-to-air missile. Construction of the William McLean began in September 2009. NASSCO is scheduled to deliver the ship to the Navy in the third quarter of 2011. When it joins the fleet, the William McLean will be used primarily to stage U.S. Marine Corps equipment abroad by the Navy's Military Sealift Command. Located in San Diego, NASSCO employs more than 4,200 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. The San Diego shipyard has already delivered nine T-AKE ships to the Navy and is under contract to build five additional ships, including the William McLean, for a total class of 14 T-AKE vessels. Additional information on NASSCO can be found at http://www.nassco.com/ . General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 91,700 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about General Dynamics is available online at http://www.gd.com/ .
DTN News: US, Israel In Pact For Lockheed C-130J "Super Hercules" Tactical Transport Aircrafts - Source
DTN News: US, Israel In Pact For Lockheed C-130J "Super Hercules" Tactical Transport Aircrafts - Source * Part of an order potentially worth up to $1.9 billion * Deal inked amid turbulence in U.S.-Israeli relations * Israel plans to buy up to 9 C-130J tactical transports Source: DTN News / Reuters By Jim Wolf (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, - March 27, 2010: The United States has signed a deal to supply Israel three new Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) C-130J "Super Hercules" tactical transport aircraft, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. The deal is part of an order worth up to $1.9 billion if all options are exercised for nine C-130Js. The aircraft may be used for special operations, disaster relief or humanitarian missions. Under a government-to-government pact signed on Wednesday, Israel would get its first C-130J in 2013, said the source, who asked not to be identified pending a government announcement. The deal was inked amid turbulence in U.S.-Israeli ties, highlighted by strains over Jewish housing construction in occupied East Jerusalem. In a sign of the rift over Israeli settlement policy, the White House withheld some of the usual trappings of a White House visit on Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel has a fleet of older C-130 transports. The J version boosts the previous models' range, payload and speed roughly 40 percent, according to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales. A standard C-130J costs about $75 million, not including any special configurations or support. The U.S. Air Force, the middleman in the sale, must now negotiate a contract with Lockheed to cover the aircraft configuration and support services. Israel has asked to buy up to nine C-130Js, the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency told the U.S. Congress in July 2008. It put the potential value of the deal at $1.9 billion. The U.S State Department, Defense Department and Israeli Defense Forces had no immediate comment. Lockheed Martin said it looked forward to modernizing Israel's airlift fleet. In notifying Congress of the proposed sale in 2008, the Pentagon said it would provide Israel a "credible special operations airlift capability that will deter aggression in the region, provide humanitarian airlift capability, and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces in coalition operations." Other nations that are operating or have ordered the C-130J include Australia, Canada, Denmark, India, Iraq, Italy, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Britain, Tunisia and the United States. The U.S. Air Force uses it in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Gary Hill)
DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated March 26, 2010 Source: U.S. DoD issued March 26, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 27, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued March 26, 2010 are undermentioned; CONTRACTS
ARMY ~AM General, LLC, South Bend, Ind., was awarded on March 22 a $317,961,404 firm-fixed-price contract to add 2,122 high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles to contract. Work is to be performed in Mishawaka, Ind., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010. One bid was solicited with one bid received. TACOM Warren, AMSTA-AQ-ATCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (DAAE07-01-C-S001). ~Hellfire Systems, LLC, Orlando, Fla., was awarded on March 24 a $268,750,936 firm-fixed-price contract for fiscal 2010 option exercise for a total quantity of 3,955 HELLFIRE II missiles. Work is to be performed in Orlando, Fla., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2013. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOM Contracting Center Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0361). ~EG&G Defense Materials, Inc., Tooele, Utah., was awarded on March 23 a $181,291,800 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Phase 2 chemical agent munitions disposal systems (CAMDS) closure, CAMDS & Deseret Chemical Depot secondary waste and GA/Lewisite Disposal. Work is to be performed in Tooele, Utah, with an estimated completion date of July 30, 2015. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Army Contracting CMD-Rock Island Contracting Center, Rock Island, Ill., is the contracting activity (DACA97-89-C-0076). ~Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded on March 22 a $41,941,800 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 1,080 rocket propelled grenade protection kits. Work is to be performed in Oshkosh, Wis., with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2012. Five bids were solicited with five bids received. TACOM, AMSCC-ASCA, Warren, Mich., is the contracting activity (W56HZV-09-D-0111). ~Walbridge, Detroit, Mich., was awarded on March 23 a $40,686,943 firm-fixed-price contract. This project consists of the design and construction of three tactical equipment maintenance facilities (TEMFS) for a sustainment bridge, Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System battery and Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery at Fort Bliss, Texas. The project construction shall be on three nearby but separate sites on Fort Bliss. Each TEMFS will provide facilities for the purpose of maintaining and repairing tactical organizational equipment and vehicles, a complex with repair and maintenance bays, equipment and parts storage, administrative offices, secure vaults, oil storage buildings, hazardous material storage, and other supporting facilities such as organizational storage buildings. Work is to be performed in Fort Bliss, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 30, 2011. Bids were solicited via World Wide Web with four bids received. ~Alliance Construction Solutions of Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyo., was awarded on March 22 an $8,636,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the construction of a training support center at Fort Carson, Colo. Work is to be performed in Fort Carson, Colo., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 1, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 20 bids received. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, Omaha, N.E., is the contracting activity (W9128F-10-C-0013). ~Raytheon Systems Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded on March 22 a $7,906,132 firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of 26 improved target acquisition sub-systems. Work is to be performed by Oct. 31, 2012. One bid was solicited with one bid received. U.S. Army Contracting Command Aviation & Missile Command Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-06-C-0490). ~Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, LLC, West Palm Beach, Fla., was awarded on March 19 a $6,763,839 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program that will revolutionize the underlying technologies for unmanned sensor systems. This effort seeks to emulate the mammalian visual pathway by implementing advanced models and algorithmic emulations of the entire visual pathway from retina to the visual cortex. Work is to be performed in West Palm Beach, Fla. (35.8 percent); LaJolla, Calif. (13.2 percent); Berkeley, Calif. (11.5 percent); Berkeley, Calif. (10.2 percent); Cambridge, Mass. (12.1 percent); Santa Clara, Calif. (7.4 percent); Stanford, Calif. (2.9 percent); and Bedford, Mass. (6.9 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 18, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 14 bids received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0032). NAVY ~VT Halter Marine, Inc, Pascagoula, Miss., is being awarded a $165,361,305 not-to-exceed firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-2212) for the detail, design, and construction of the fourth Egyptian navy Fast Missile Craft under the Foreign Military Sales program. The effort will also include technical manuals, crew familiarization training, and technical and supply support. The efforts required include all hardware, software, licensing, design engineering, production engineering, manufacturing, test engineering, technical documentation, training, spares procurement, and program management through delivery. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Miss. (57 percent); Manassas, Va. (12 percent); Wyndmoor, Pa. (12 percent); Linthicum, Md. (9 percent); and other locations (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by December 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
~Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $101,636,713 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-07-C-0093) for the procurement of 313 full rate production Lot 6 (FRP-6) AGM-154C-1 Unitary Joint Stand-Off Weapon missiles, including associated support equipment. In addition, this modification provides for one AGM-154C-1 for performance characterization test. Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas (44 percent); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (24 percent); Tucson, Ariz. (22 percent); and McAllester, Okla. (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Portsmouth, R.I., is being awarded a $59,662,245 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-09-C-0096) for the procurement of 18 full-rate production Lot VIII AN/AQS-22 Airborne Low Frequency Sonar helicopter dipping sonar systems and two sonar transmitter/receiver weapon replaceable assemblies for the MH-60R program. Work will be performed in Brest, France (72 percent); Portsmouth, R.I. (26 percent); and Gaithersburg, Md. (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in May 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ~Simmonds Precision Products, Inc., dba Goodrich Fuel and Utility Systems, Vergennes, Vt., is being awarded a $13,642,763 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0298) to exercise an option for the procurement of various integrated mechanical diagnostics system kits and delta parts in support of MH-60R/S helicopters. Work will be performed in Vergennes, Vt., and is expected to be completed in October 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Sudbury, Mass., is being awarded a $9,089,490 firm-fixed-price not-to-exceed delivery order #0002 to basic ordering agreement N00024-06-G-5109 for the procurement of stable master oscillator ordinance alteration kits for CG 55, 60, 62, and DDG 53 ship sets. Work under the not-to-exceed delivery order will be performed in Sudbury, Mass. (55.5 percent); Andover, Mass. (28.9 percent); and Norfolk, Va. (15.6 percent), and is expected to be completed by January 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This not-to-exceed basic ordering agreement delivery order 0002 was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity. ~Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., is being awarded an $8,418,042 firm-fixed-price modification to a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (N00019-07-D-0004) to exercise an option for the VH-3D executive helicopter special progressive aircraft rework induction. Work will be performed in Stratford, Conn., and is expected to be completed in June 2011. Contract funds in the amount of $8,418,042 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. ~Raytheon Co., Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $6,965,693 modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5431) for funding for savings on value engineering change proposals for warhead fairing, dual band antenna, telemetric data transmitting set, rear receiver, Unit 10 front microwave receiver, power converter, two-piece Marmon clamp, and control section component parts of the Evolved Seasparrow Missile.. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz. (45 percent), Camden, Ark. (2 percent), Andover, Mass. (10 percent), Australia (11 percent), Canada (7 percent), Denmark (1 percent), Greece (1 percent), Germany (8 percent), The Netherlands (6 percent), Norway (5 percent), Spain (3 percent), and Turkey (1 percent), and is expected to be completed by August 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity. ~Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp., Herndon, Va., is being awarded a $6,291,556 cost-plus-fixed fee contract for AEGIS engineering and technical services. This procurement shall furnish engineering, technical, computer programming, materials management, and specified logistics services necessary to support AEGIS Combat System; major weapon systems programs; and test and evaluation and post event analysis. Support services shall be required at shore sites, land based test facilities, shipyards, and aboard ships in port and at sea for the United States, allied nations, and Foreign Military Sales customers. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $9,980,755. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy (84 percent) and the governments of Australia (6 percent), Japan (5 percent), and Spain (5 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work will be performed in Port Hueneme, Calif. (65 percent), San Diego, Calif. (15 percent), Dahlgren, Va. (10 percent), and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $1,384,142 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity (N63394-10-C-1201). ~Rockwell Collins, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is being awarded a $5,944,064 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced contract (N00019-09-C-0069) to exercise an option for the procurement of 124 ARC-210 RT-1824(C)/ARC receiver transmitters for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft. Work will be performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is expected to be completed in December 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY ~ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing Co., Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a maximum $13,373,066 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for aviation fuel. Other location of performance is in Louisiana. Using services are Foreign Military Sales for Israel. The original proposal was Web solicited with three responses. Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is April 30, 2010. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-0480). ~Mansfield Oil Co.*, Gainsville, Ga., is being awarded a minimum $5,990,062 fixed-price with economic price adjustment for fuel. Other locations of performance include California, Utah and Arizona. Using services are Army and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with forty-eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2012. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4517). ~Falcon Fuels, Inc.*, Paramount, Calif., is being awarded a minimum $5,695,980 fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract for fuel. Other locations of performance are throughout California. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web solicited with forty-eight responses. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The date of performance completion is Sept. 30, 2012. The Defense Energy Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity (SP0600-10-D-4513). *Small business
DTN News: U.S. Navy To Commission Submarine New Mexico Source: U.S. Department of Defense issued March 26, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 27, 2010: The Navy’s newest Virginia class attack submarine New Mexico will be commissioned Saturday, March 27, 2010, during an 11 a.m. EDT ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Va. New Mexico is named in recognition of the people of the ‘Land of Enchantment.’ The battleship New Mexico (1918–1946), the only other ship named after the 47th state, earned six battle stars for World War II service, which included providing shore bombardment support for landings in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, the Philippines, and Okinawa. Adm. Kirkland Donald, director, naval nuclear propulsion, will deliver the ceremony's principal address. Cindy Giambastiani, wife of former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, will serve as the ship's sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition she will give the first order to "man our ship and bring her to life!" The sixth Virginia class submarine, New Mexico, is built to excel in anti-submarine warfare; anti-ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; battle group support; and mine warfare missions. Upon entering service, New Mexico will directly enable five of the six Navy Maritime Strategy Core Capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security, and deterrence. Cmdr. Mark A. Prokopius, a native of Seven Hills, Ohio, is the prospective commanding officer and will lead a crew of approximately 134 officers and enlisted personnel. The 7,800-ton New Mexico was built under a unique teaming arrangement between Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat. The boat is 377-feet long, has a 34-foot beam, and will be able to dive to depths of greater than 800 feet and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots submerged. New Mexico is designed with a reactor plant that will not require refueling during the planned life of the ship – reducing lifecycle costs while increasing operational availability. Additional information about this class of submarine is available online at http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4100&tid=100&ct=4 .
DTN News: NATO Urges Missile Defense Pact, Cites Iran Threat Source: DTN News / Reuters David Brunnstrom (NSI News Source Info) BRUSSELS - March 27, 2010: NATO states should agree at a summit this year to make missile defense systems against states including Iran an alliance mission and look at every opportunity to cooperate on this with Russia, the head of NATO says. In a speech prepared for delivery at a conference in Brussels Saturday, alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said a NATO-wide missile defense system would show collective will to defend against a growing threat. "We need a decision by NATO's next summit in November that missile defense for our populations and territories is an alliance mission. And that we will explore every opportunity to cooperate with Russia," Rasmussen said in an advance text of the speech made available by NATO. In reiterating his wish to see collaboration with Russia, Rasmussen said this required a decision by Moscow "to see missile defense as an opportunity, rather than a threat." He said current trends showed a "real and growing" threat from weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, with more than 30 countries possessing or developing missiles with greater and greater ranges. "In many cases, these missiles could eventually threaten our populations and territories," he said. IRANIAN MISSILE THREAT Iran, which the West suspects of working to produce nuclear weapons, has said it possesses missiles with a range that would put NATO members Turkey, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria within reach, Rasmussen said. If Tehran were to complete development of intermediate and intercontinental missiles after taking a key step in introducing its SAFIR 2 space-launch vehicle last year, "then the whole of the European continent, as well as all of Russia would be in range," he said. "Proliferators must know that we are unwavering in our determination to collective defense." Russia reacted positively when Rasmussen called last September for cooperation in missile defense, but has questioned the motives of the U.S. system any pan-NATO system would be linked up with, saying it should be properly consulted on plans. Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama shelved Bush-era plans to install a land-based missile shield in Europe to guard against long-range threats from Iran, in favor of sea-based interceptors and a second-phase of land-based systems to which existing anti-missile hardware in NATO states could be linked. Some security experts say that despite NATO enthusiasm for Russian missile defense involvement, technical and security problems mean this would take years and cooperation was unlikely to go beyond limited exchange of early warning data. (Editing by Michael Roddy)
DTN News: Britain's Times, Sunday Times To Charge For Websites Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - March 27, 2010: British newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times will charge readers to access the titles online from June, Rupert Murdoch's News International announced Friday. Customers will be charged one pound (1.10 euro, 1.50 dollars) for one day's access and two pounds for a week's subscription.
Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch is seen here in 2009. Murdoch's News International has announced that newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times will charge readers to access the titles online from June.Both titles will launch new websites in early May, replacing the existing combined site, Times Online. The two new sites will be available for a free trial period to registered customers. Access to the digital services will be included in the seven-day subscriptions of print customers of the two newspapers. News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks said: "At a defining moment for journalism, this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition. "We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value. "This is just the start. The Times and The Sunday Times are the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach." News International, a division of Murdoch's News Corporation, also owns The Sun tabloid and Sunday tabloid News of the World.
DTN News: South Korean Navy Ship Sinks Near Border With North Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korean - March 27, 2010: A South Korean navy ship with 104 people on board sank near the North Korean border Friday after an unexplained explosion, military officials said, and a news report said several sailors were killed. South Korea's government called an emergency security meeting but a presidential spokeswoman said it was still unclear whether the sinking resulted from a clash with North Korea. Another South Korean naval vessel had opened fire on an unidentified object but it was later found to be a flock of birds, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. The Cheonan, a 1,200-ton corvette, sank late in the evening near Baengnyeong island in the Yellow Sea, which lies between the Korean peninsula and China. Media reports said six naval ships, two coastguard vessels and four other craft were involved in a rescue operation. A JCS spokesman said 58 crew members had so far been rescued but had no details on any fatalities. Yonhap news agency quoted naval officials as saying several bodies were retrieved but gave no exact figure. Seven crewmen were airlifted to hospital. "For now, it is not certain whether North Korea is related" to the incident, presidential spokeswoman Kim Eun-Hye said, adding President Lee Myung-Bak had ordered maximum efforts to rescue the crewmen. "Finding the truth (behind the incident) is important, but saving our sailors is more important," the president was quoted as saying. Another emergency meeting was to be held Saturday morning. A government source quoted by Yonhap news agency said officials were investigating various possible causes: an attack by a North Korean torpedo boat, a mine laid by North Korea or an explosion of munitions aboard the ship. YTN television, quoting an unidentified presidential official, said the ship was well south of the border and North Korean ships were unlikely to be in the area. A military source told the agency the Cheonan was holed in the stern near its propeller. The JCS said there were no abnormal military movements on the North Korean side of the disputed maritime border, which was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002. Last November the navies of the two sides exchanged fire in the area. Seoul's officials said a North Korean patrol boat had retreated in flames but its casualties were unknown. No South Koreans were hurt. The North refuses to accept the maritime border known as the Northern Limit Line, which was drawn up by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 Korean war. It says the line should run further to the south. In January the North fired 370 artillery shells into the sea near the border, raising tensions between the two sides.
DTN News: EU, US See Breakthrough In 'Open Skies' Talks Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) BRUSSELS - March 27, 2010: The European Union and the United States on Thursday took a "major step forward" towards a permanent "open skies" deal for aviation, agreeing to remove market barriers, the EU Commission said. "Both sides have agreed to increase regulatory co-operation, and remove the barriers to market access that have been holding back the development of the world's most important aviation markets," EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said in a statement. The draft deal represents "a significant breakthrough in the process of normalising the global airline industry," the statement added. A full EU-US Open Aviation Area has been estimated to be worth up to 12 billion euros in economic benefits and up to 80,000 new jobs. Closed door talks on the issue have been taking place in Brussels since Tuesday. A commission spokesman said that the agreement would have to be approved by the US Congress, within two or three years, a commission spokesman said. The "open skies" deal remains incomplete despite a landmark agreement signed in 2007, after four years of talks, and brought in provisionally the following year. The 2007 deal eliminated restrictions on air services between the United States, allowing airlines from both sides to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand for both passenger and cargo services. "The new agreement affirms that the terms of the 2007 agreement will remain in place indefinitely," a US department of state spokesman said in a statement. "It also deepens US-EU cooperation in aviation security, safety, competition, and ease of travel," he added. It will also, the US side said, provide greater protection for US carriers from "arbitrary restrictions" on night flights at European airports. "The new agreement underscores the importance of close transatlantic cooperation on aviation environmental matters in order to advance a global approach to global challenges," the US spokesman said.
DTN News: US And Russia Agree New Nuclear Arms Treaty Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 27, 2010: The United States and Russia on Friday concluded a landmark nuclear arms treaty which imposes sweeping cuts on deployed Cold War-era nuclear warheads and missiles, the White House said. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev concluded the deal to replace the START nuclear treaty in a telephone call on Friday and will sign the new pact in Prague on April 8. Obama was set to make a statement on the new treaty, which hands him a badly-needed foreign policy achievement, and a dividend for his decision to "reset" US relations with Moscow, at 10:45 (1445 GMT) the White House said. The new deal will specify limits of 1,550 deployed warheads, which is about 30 percent lower than a previous upper warhead limit set in 2002. The treaty, which must be ratified by the US Senate and the Russian Duma, will limit missile forces to 800 deployed and non-deployed intercontinental ballistic missile launchers, submarine launched ballistic missile launchers, and heavy bombers equipped for nuclear weapons. The cap on deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles will be set at 700, the White House said.
DTN News: Financial News March 26, 2010 ~ Markets Mixed After Greece Rescue Deal Source: DTN News / AFP (NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - March 26, 2010: The euro firmed on Friday but stock markets fell in a mixed and cautious reaction to an unprecedented EU plan to rescue Greece from its debt crisis. The European single currency climbed away from 10-month lows against the dollar reached on Thursday after the 16 eurozone countries agreed to offer Greece loans in combination with the International Monetary Fund. That ended a policy spat between France and Germany that had been weighing heavily on the European currency in recent weeks as they tried to come up with a plan to help Athens put its public finances in order. The euro was at 1.3381 dollars in early London deals, up from 1.3277 dollars in New York late on Thursday. Related article:ECB chief supports EU's Greek rescue plan "The positive aspect of the (Greece) agreement is that following the long struggle, at least some form of agreement has now been reached," said Commerzbank analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann. "That means that the dive in the euro against the dollar has been stopped for the time being. The agreement is however hardly reason for a significant correction." Despite the relief brought by the agreement in Brussels, analysts said the euro would likely remain under pressure as market attention turns to other weak eurozone members such as Portugal, Ireland and Spain who face similar problems to Greece. "The combination of the fact that Greece will have to borrow money only at market rates, ongoing worries about other EU countries' fiscal problems and ECB President (Jean-Claude) Trichet putting somewhat of a dampener on sentiment by criticizing IMF involvement in the deal, has kept the euro under pressure," Credit Agricole analyst Mitul Kotecha said on Friday. "Although Trichet later reversed his comments, the damage was already done and any relief to euro/dollar will be short-lived." European stocks markets meanwhile fell early Friday, with Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shedding 0.40 percent to 6,108.57 points in Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy. The Paris CAC 40 lost 0.36 percent to 3,985.92 points and London's FTSE 100 index slid 0.39 percent to 5,705.32. On Thursday, the FTSE closed at its highest level for 21 months, at 5,727.65 points following robust British retail sales data. Related article:EU's economic 'government' lost in translation "Markets have given a lukewarm response to the EU rescue package," said ODL Securities stock markets analyst Owen Ireland. "The negative momentum from a poor finish to the US markets (on Thursday) may be running over into today's session, so it will be the US GDP figures that will confirm today's direction," he added. Immediately after the Greece deal was announced, the euro hit a fresh 10-month low of 1.3268 dollars, with investors concerned by comments from ECB head Jean-Claude Trichet, who said the plan to offer Greece loans involving the IMF was "very, very bad." The single currency then recovered after Trichet clarified his comments and welcomed the Greek deal, including its IMF component. Trichet hailed the EU plan to offer financial relief to Greece jointly with the IMF as both "workable" and "courageous." "I'm happy that the heads of state and government could work out a solution to take coordinated action if needed," Trichet said after EU leaders approved the unprecedented EU-IMF tie-up to offer loans to Greece as "a last resort." "It's a workable solution," Trichet said, adding that it had also been a "courageous one." He added that in light of Greek efforts to reduce its ballooning deficit and debt, "I am confident the mechanism worked out ... will not need to be activated and that Greece will regain the confidence of the market."
DTN News: U.S. Navy Fourth Joint High Speed Vessel Named Source: U.S. Department of Defense issued March 26, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - March 26, 2010: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus joined Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to announce that the name of the Department of the Navy’s fourth Joint High Speed Vessel will be USNS Fall River (JHSV 4), during a brief ceremony at Heritage State Park on the Fall River waterfront. "The Fall River represents the physical embodiment of the City of Fall River's patriotic spirit,” said Mabus, “and the dedication of the thousands of young men and women from this city who have worn and continue to wear the uniform of our country all over the world." USNS Fall River will be the second ship to hold the name of the city. The first, USS Fall River, was a Baltimore-class heavy cruise ship commissioned in 1945 and used largely on training missions. The tip of the bow of the decommissioned cruiser is on display at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. "This is a great day for the city of Fall River, and for the Commonwealth," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I am honored to be here with Secretary Mabus as we commission the USNS Fall River in the name of the sons and daughters of Massachusetts who served with such nobility. The USNS Fall River will carry with it the honor and rich history of Massachusetts, a proud history we celebrate for its role in granting liberty and freedom." Joint high speed vessels are ideal for fast, intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies and equipment. They are capable of transporting 600 short tons, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2). Other joint requirements include an aviation flight deck to support day and night air vehicle launch and recovery operations. Additionally, JHSV will have airline style seating for 312 embarked forces and fixed berthing for 104. Military commanders will have the flexibility to use JHSV in a variety of roles to include supporting overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts. JHSV 4 will be constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., as part of the joint effort between the Army and the Navy to acquire 10 of these high-speed vessels, five for the Army and five for the Navy. Each service will be responsible for operating and maintaining its vessels following delivery.