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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 110828 times)
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« Reply #2145 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 07:50am »

Telegraph

Jaguar defeats caiman in battle of predators
They are two of the most feared predators in the jungle, but there could only be one survivor as a leopard and a caiman locked jaws in the depths of the Brazilian rainforest.


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The photographs of the jaguar attacking the caiman were taken in the Pantanal region of Brazil
Photo: PATRICK FAGOT/BIOSPHOTO



Eventually the big cat defeated the reptile in the vicious encounter, which was captured on camera by a French photographer.

In one photograph the jaguar is pictured carrying its prey in its jaws following the battle.

Confrontations between jaguars, which are similar to leopards but larger and stronger, and caimans, a species of crocodile, are not uncommon in the jungle.

Jaguars, which are extremely strong swimmers, are capable of fighting in and out of water and will hunt caiman and even anacondas as well as less dangerous prey such as deer and foxes.

Caiman are the most common of all crocodiles but will generally hunt fish, amphibians and other reptiles – including each other.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8190527/Jaguar-defeats-caiman-in-battle-of-predators.html

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« Reply #2146 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 07:57am »

Wired

Crab Nebula’s Violent Outbursts Shock Astronomers
By Ron Cowen, Science News
December 8, 2010 | 12:55 pm
Categories: Astronomy, Physics, Space


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Image: A composite photograph of the Crab Nebula showing X-ray light (light blue), visible light (green and dark blue) and infrared light (red).
Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, JPL-Caltech, J. Hester and A. Loll (Arizona State Univ.), R. Gehrz (Univ. Minn.), and STScI



HEIDELBERG, Germany — Astronomers consider the Crab Nebula one of the steadiest sources of high-energy radiation in the universe. Radiation from the supernova remnant is believed to be so constant that astronomers use it as a standard candle with which to measure the energetic radiation of other astronomical sources.

That’s why researchers are astounded that two spacecraft recently recorded giant gamma-ray hiccups from the Crab, the remnants of a stellar explosion 6,500 light-years from Earth that was observed by humans in 1054. The intensity of the Crab’s gamma-ray radiation suddenly became two to three times stronger for three days beginning Sept. 19, scientists with the Italian Space Agency’s AGILE telescope reported in a Sept. 22 Astronomical Telegram, an e-mail communication. Researchers with Fermi’s Gamma-Ray Space Telescope found an even larger increase over roughly the same time period, they reported in a telegram on the following day. Both teams also announced they had found evidence of previous flares — the AGILE telescope recorded an outburst in the fall of 2007 while the Fermi team spotted one in February 2009.

The suspected source of the energetic flares, along with steadier radiation emanating from the nebula, is blizzards of electrons spat out by the Crab’s pulsar — the rapidly rotating, exploded cinder of a star that lies at the very center of the Crab Nebula. But figuring out exactly how the electrons got revved up to energies of at least 1015 electron volts — the most energetic charged particles ever associated with a distinct astrophysical object — for so short a time has astronomers at the biannual Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics, held this year in Heidelberg, Germany, scratching their heads and searching for new models.

Finding the flares “was a shock,” said AGILE team member Marco Tavani of the INAF-IASF in Rome and the University of Rome Tor Vergata, who spoke about the findings at the meeting on Dec. 6 and 7. In fact, when his team first noticed a sudden, short-lived rise in gamma-ray emissions from the Crab in the fall of 2007, soon after AGILE was launched, the researchers didn’t believe it. Only when the craft recorded the 2010 outburst was the team convinced enough to go public with both findings. “If you say a steady source like the Crab is variable and it’s not true, you burn yourself for life,” Tavani said at the meeting.

In a paper posted online at www.arXiv.org on Nov. 17, the Fermi team noted that the findings “pose special challenges to particle-acceleration theory.”

Fermi esearcher Rolf Buehler of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, joined Tavani in a hastily convened session on Dec. 6, not part of the scheduled program, to discuss variable sources of energetic radiation in the Milky Way. Tavani and Buehler declined to talk to reporters because both of their teams have submitted their findings to Science.

In a widely accepted model, the stage is set for any kind of gamma-ray emissions — steady or short-lived — when electrons hurled from the Crab’s central pulsar encounter strong magnetic fields in the surrounding debris. The electrons gyrate around the magnetic fields and get revved up to energies high enough to emit gammas.

But the Crab’s recently detected outbursts would seem to pose problems for that acceleration model. The brevity of the flares indicates that the electrons couldn’t have gyrated long enough to produce the energetic radiation, Buehler noted. Another problem: Because electrons accelerated to very high energies lose that energy quickly, the nebula’s magnetic field might have to be three to 10 times stronger — 3 to 10 milliGauss — than is commonly assumed. (By comparison, Earth’s surface magnetic field is about 500 milliGauss.)

The short duration suggests the gamma rays originate in a relatively small part of the inner nebula. Buehler suggested that the pulsar’s own electric field helped accelerate the electrons in the inner part of the nebula to energies high enough to emit the gammas.

Wlodek Bednarek and a colleague from the University of Lodz in Poland offered another explanation. In a paper posted at www.arXiv.org on Nov. 19, they suggest that the pulsar’s wind of charged particles rams into and compresses the magnetic field in the nebula. As the disrupted field snaps like a rubber band and reconfigures itself, it unleashes an enormous amount of energy that accelerates the electrons, the researchers propose.

As researchers puzzle over the details, astronomers are also trying to pinpoint the exact region from which the September outburst originated. As revealed in visible light and X-ray images, the nebula contains a complex array of wisps and jets. A series of portraits taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory beginning a few weeks after the September flare shows that the base of one of the jets has brightened. This might be where the gamma-ray flare originated, says Tavani.

Figuring out the riddle presented by the Crab Nebula is likely to shed new light on the nature of its pulsar, noted Jonathan Arons of the University of California, Berkeley. “All these particles come screaming out [of the pulsar] and get stopped in the nebula,” which acts like the pulsar’s catch basin, Arons said. “Studying what’s going on in the inner nebula is as close as we can get to a laboratory experiment” to probe the pulsar, he added.

It may also help elucidate the physics of a host of other astronomical systems that feature a central compact object, Arons said. These include black holes whose jets of charged particles slam into surrounding interstellar space, or collisions between clumps of material within such jets that are thought to create the most-energetic explosions in the universe — events called gamma-ray bursts.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/crab-nebulas-violent-outbursts-shock-astronomers/

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« Reply #2147 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 08:03am »

LA Times

L.A. slaying victim's kind nature may have cost him his life.
Police are looking for a York, Pa., couple in connection with the death of Herbert Tracy White, whose body was found dismembered in a hotel room near skid row on Nov. 29.

By Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times
December 9, 2010


During Herbert Tracy White's 15 years of sobriety, he liked to reach out and help others who were battling alcoholism. The holidays, his brother said, were White's "busy season."

His brother and other family members said they believe it was White's desire to help other alcoholics that cost him his life at a skid row hotel late last month.

On what would have been White's 50th birthday, his family gathered with police Wednesday to ask for the public's help in catching his suspected killers.

A maid at the Continental Hotel discovered White's severed limbs stuffed in a backpack on the morning of Nov. 29. The rest of his body was found wrapped in a blanket under a bed in the hotel room.

The Pennsylvania couple who had rented the $40-a-night room — Edward Garcia Jr., 36, and his wife, Melissa Hope Garcia, 25, are wanted on suspicion of murder and torture. The couple is considered armed and dangerous, police said.

White's family said his kind nature often meant he left family functions early to provide rides or otherwise help alcoholics in the middle of the night. He had told his brother that he was especially busy during the holidays because people tended to backslide and drink.

White's wife, Annie Coty White, 73, said her husband left their Hollywood home early on the morning of Nov. 28 after receiving a phone call from a person asking him for a ride.

"I asked who it was and he said, 'Oh you know those crazy Hollywood types,'" she said. "My husband hated drunk drivers."

Police suspect White met the Garcias in Hollywood, befriended them and gave them money, said Det. Richard Arciniega of the Los Angeles Police Department. At some point, White accompanied the Garcias to the Continental Hotel, a white brick three-story walk-up, where the couple had been staying for several days.

On the night of the slaying, a hotel security guard reported receiving a complaint about a commotion in the Garcias' room, police said. But when the guard went to investigate, the couple promised that they'd keep quiet and the guard left.

Police suspect that the Garcias were looking to rob White before killing him.

LAPD detectives are working with police in York, Pa., to determine whether the Garcias are responsible for a "similar crime in which the victim was not killed," Arciniega said. He added that the Garcias have criminal records in York for robbery and drug charges.

White was a handyman who answered his phone by adding the phrase "entrepreneur extraordinaire" to his name. He graduated from University High School and was an avid UCLA fan. He took numerous classes through the university's extension program, family members said.

He frequented Alcoholics Anonymous meetings near skid row and was inclined to help people he encountered on the street, said his younger brother, David White.

"He would accept you first, then run your resume later," he said. "He was looking forward to being the sober driver for the holidays, and I believe that's what cost him his life."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-dismemberment-slaying-20101209,0,921058.story

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« Reply #2148 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 12:34pm »

LA Times


Movie review: 'The Warrior's Way'
Jang Dong-Gun stars in Sngmoo Lee's martial arts/western mash-up.


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Jang Dong-Gun stars in Sngmoo Lee's martial arts/western mash-up.
By Robert Abele, Special to the Los Angeles Times

December 4, 2010

A master swordsman leaves his homeland of warring clans for the Wild West in the bloody wuxia/shoot-em-up hybrid "The Warrior's Way." But South Korean filmmaker Sngmoo Lee's debut feature is less a genre-spanning romp than a tiresome lab experiment in computer-generated tropes and green-screen oppressiveness.

The human part involves quietly dashing Korean star Jang Dong-Gun as the stoic, blade-wielding nomad Yang, who brings his waylaid enemies' lone survivor, a baby girl he can't bring himself to kill, to an American frontier outpost made up mostly of circus workers led by a welcoming ringmaster named Eightball (the always appealing Tony Cox).

There Yang takes over a laundry, grows flowers, teaches the spiritual side of knife-throwing to a lipsticked yet still grime-laden Annie Oakley type ( Kate Bosworth, working her own unfortunate hybrid of yeehaw and sultry) and tussles with a perverted colonel in a burn mask ( Danny Huston, all leer, sweat and tongue) who regularly terrorizes the locals, while Geoffrey Rush regularly terrorizes us with his clichéd town drunk.

The real showdown, though, comes when our hero's none-too-happy master makes a third-act appearance with an army of black-clad assassins, who swoop ninja-style onto the rooftops like a murder — no, make that slaughter — of crows.

The aforementioned image is an admittedly nifty only-in-martial-arts-extravaganzas entrance, cartoony but kicky, and appropriately pregnant with mayhem, which Lee then delivers with no lack of R-rated gusto. But for the most part, "Warrior's Way" — an outdoor story shot indoors, "300"-style — is a regrettable example of the cyclical nature of movie special effects.

The digitized backdrops and blood sprays, physics-defying stuntwork and micro-slo-mo tours of traveling bullets and slashing blades is technically admirable, but this menu of action schematics has become as stultifyingly rote as rear-screen projection and stop-motion inevitably were to earlier generations of moviegoers.

What's missing, like a hole, is a visionary personality — think Stephen Chow or Johnnie To — who can turn comically violent Pop art on its head. Lee's hunger to flamboyantly distract with his bag of tricks is never in doubt, but "The Warrior's Way" is a dead end and too often plays like a requiem for showoffs.







http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-warriors-way-20101204,0,666958.story

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« Reply #2149 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 12:43pm »















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« Reply #2150 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 2:59pm »

Phantoms and Monsters

Thursday, December 09, 2010
Australian Teen Claims Video Capture of Alien Creature





Alex Player has captured footage of what appears to be a mysterious alien creature moving in his backyard.

The 16-year-old Bilambil Heights resident has captured four different encounters with the alien creature on film and believes the creature has entered his home.

“The first time I saw it was the clearest. It was not that tall – only as high as the grass – and a grey colour with a big head,” Alex said.

“It didn’t make a single sound. I’m a believer but I have never seen anything like this before. I’m open to the idea.

“Who would be out in that area late at night? I don’t think it could be anything else.”

Tweed News:
http://www.tweednews.com.au/story/2010/12/10/alien-tweed-ufo/

Phantoms and Monsters:
(photos after the jump)
http://naturalplane.blogspot.com/2010/12/australia-teen-claims-video-capture-of.html

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« Reply #2151 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 6:35pm »

The Hill

Senate GOP blocks 9/11 first responders health plan bill
By Alexander Bolton and Jason Millman
12/09/10 12:14 PM ET

Senate Republicans on Thursday morning filibustered legislation to monitor and treat first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses related to 9/11.

A vote to quash the filibuster failed by a vote of 57 to 42, three votes short of the necessary threshold. As a result, the proposal is unlikely to pass this year.

The bill would provide funding for a health program to treat first responders, construction and cleanup workers and residents who inhaled toxic particles after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

The $7.4 billion cost of the legislation over 10 years is paid for by a provision that would prevent foreign multinational corporations from using tax havens to avoid taxes on U.S. income.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted Republicans after the vote.

“Republicans denied adequate health care to the heroes who developed illnesses from rushing into burning buildings on 9/11. Yet they will stop at nothing to give tax breaks to millionaires and CEOs, even though they will explode our deficit and fail to create jobs. That tells you everything you need to know about their priorities,” Reid said in a statement.

The International Association of Firefighters, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and the AFL-CIO union, among other organizations, support the legislation.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, made an impassioned plea before the vote to bring it up for consideration.

“This vote is about being an American, because from the days at Bunker Hill, when the patriots put down their plows and took up muskets to defend and create our freedom, we always try to take care of them,” Schumer said. “The heroes of 9/11 are no different.”

Schumer said some of the police officers and firefighters who rushed to the flaming towers have already been diagnosed with cancers.

“Others know it is an almost certainty that they will come down with similar diseases and illnesses that are extremely costly to fight,” he said.

Last week, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) released a letter signed by every Senate Republican pledging to block all legislative action until Congress acts on the expiring Bush tax cuts and passes a measure to fund the federal government into 2011.

The Senate has yet to vote on either issue. Reid said a bipartisan deal to extend tax rates for two years might receive a vote Saturday.

The setback provides a difficult path for the $7.4 billion bill to get approved before the lame-duck session is scheduled to end next week. However, House members were circulating a letter Thursday morning urging the Senate to include the bill in the recent tax deal forged by President Obama.

"We feel that we must seize every opportunity possible to ensure that this bill become law," the letter read.

Republicans oppose the paid-for healthcare benefits bill because it closes a tax loophole on foreign companies. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) blasted Republicans following the failed filibuster vote.

"The idea that tax cuts for millionaires would derail this legislation is simply outrageous and offensive," Gillibrand said in a statement. "The men and women who rushed to the burning towers and worked for hundreds of hours on the pile did not delay, and the Senate should not have delayed either."

—This story was updated at 12:29 p.m.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/worker-safety/132907-health-bill-for-911-workers-fails-key-vote

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« Reply #2152 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 8:07pm »

Guess we need to get lead-lined purses and billfolds......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyeWSivAfEA&feature=player_embedded
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« Reply #2153 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 8:32pm »

on Dec 9th, 2010, 8:07pm, Swamprat wrote:
Guess we need to get lead-lined purses and billfolds......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyeWSivAfEA&feature=player_embedded


Hey Swampy!

I heard that you can wrap your wallet in tin foil and it keeps it safe...........................but who the h*ll wants to walk around with tin foil on their wallets......... Trendsetter, nope!
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« Reply #2154 on: Dec 9th, 2010, 8:36pm »

Or maybe a nationally registered identity chip implanted in our foreheads. All transactions are linked to the identity chip so that it would be impossible to buy and sell without proof of identity and therefore put an end to electronic fraud. 666.
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« Reply #2155 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:06am »

on Dec 9th, 2010, 8:36pm, pigswillfly wrote:
Or maybe a nationally registered identity chip implanted in our foreheads. All transactions are linked to the identity chip so that it would be impossible to buy and sell without proof of identity and therefore put an end to electronic fraud. 666.


Pigswillfly!!! cheesy
Hello! The anti-Christ express. Ugh! No thanks.
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« Reply #2156 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:15am »



Please be an angel


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www.soldiersangels.org


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« Reply #2157 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:20am »

New York Times

December 9, 2010
South Koreans Guess at the North’s Next Target
By MARTIN FACKLER

YEONPYEONG ISLAND, South Korea — Choi Cheol-yeong vividly recalls the shock and fear that he felt during North Korea’s lethal bombardment of this small island, and says his nerves remain on edge because he thinks another attack will come, possibly during South Korean artillery drills this week.

“I have a bad feeling that something might happen, but we’re ready if it does,” said Mr. Choi, a town official here, pointing to a filing cabinet near his desk, where he keeps a gas mask.

Two weeks after a North Korean artillery barrage shattered the tiny fishing community on Yeonpyeong Island, and raised fears across South Korea about its heavily armed neighbor, many South Koreans are convinced that the North will strike again, and a parlor game of sorts has developed around the question of where.

South Korean and foreign political analysts say the North is growing more desperate, facing food shortages in the winter and at the same time trying to secure the succession of the youngest son of North Korea’s ailing dictator, Kim Jong-il. In that situation, experts say, the government typically resorts to hostile and provocative military actions as the preferred way to pressure the economically wealthier and thus more vulnerable South into giving the aid and investment that North Korea needs to survive.

“The past pattern shows that North Korea will strike in some unimaginable way,” said Kim Jong-ha, a professor of defense and security studies at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea. “It may not come for a few months, but we must be ready or the shock and awe will be so great.”

The question of another attack has taken on added significance after the bombardment here and the sinking in March of the South Korean warship Cheonan, apparently by a North Korean torpedo, exposed unexpected weaknesses in South Korea’s technologically superior military. Stung by criticism of the military’s anemic response, South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, replaced his defense minister with a retired chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Kim Kwan-jin, who immediately vowed to strengthen South Korea’s forces and respond more robustly to future attacks by the North.

“There is a possibility that they will attack again in an unexpected way,” Mr. Kim said Dec. 3 at a nomination hearing at the National Assembly, South Korea’s Parliament. “I believe our entire country is a possible target for provocations.”

Military analysts are divided on what to expect next. But they agree that North Korea is adept at searching out and exploiting weak points in South Korea’s better financed and provisioned forces. In the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, for example, defenses designed to repel a seaborne invasion were virtually useless in responding to a limited artillery attack, analysts said.

“South Korea got sucker-punched on Yeonpyeong,” said Daniel Pinkston, an analyst on North Korea for the International Crisis Group. “North Korea is always looking for weakness, and doesn’t attack force on force.”

It is impossible to predict where North Korea will attack next, if it does at all. But analysts pointed to several possibilities:

¶The Yellow Sea. Yeonpyeong is one of five islands surrounded by waters that are claimed by both Koreas and have been the most common points of contention in recent years. North Korea’s options here range from another artillery or rocket barrage to a limited ground strike by commandos.

The North might also choose another naval target, like one of the warships or floating bases that the South maintains in these waters. Analysts point to the Cheonan as a classic case of North Korea’s probing for weak points: while the South has been building stronger and faster warships than the North, it apparently neglected to consider the possibility of a submarine attack.

Some analysts say the North does have legitimate grievances in its maritime border dispute with the South in the Yellow Sea. Others say it is using that dispute to give its provocations a fig leaf of legitimacy to avoid angering China, its only ally. They say China might view any additional attack as an affront to its current diplomatic initiatives to convene emergency talks between the North and other nations.

¶The DMZ. There has been fearful speculation in the South Korean news media that North Korea may strike somewhere along the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, the heavily fortified border that has divided the peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War. One theory is that the North may mount a limited artillery attack across the border in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, South Korea’s political and financial heart.

The attack would be aimed at rattling the South’s nerves and sapping its will to fight, analysts say, rather than trying to inflict maximum damage on civilians. Even a small attack might be enough to cause a financial panic, they say, battering South Korea’s stock market and scaring away foreign investors.

¶A terrorist strike. The next blow may come in the form of so-called asymmetrical attacks, which would sidestep the South’s military advantages with strikes by the North’s 180,000 or so special forces troops on soft targets in civilian areas.

This could be a bomb on a subway or train, or a cyberattack on a South Korean bank or computer network. Analysts say there are signs that the North may be developing capability in information technology, at a time when South Korean security agencies have increasingly accused North Korean agents of using the Internet to spread propaganda in the South, one of the world’s most wired societies.

¶A nuclear or missile test. At least one security expert, Baek Seung-joo, of the government-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said he expected North Korea’s next provocation to be less deadly, perhaps another nuclear or long-range-missile test. He said such strategic brinkmanship would be aimed at pressing not only the South into new talks on dismantling the North’s weapons programs in exchange for food aid, but also the United States into talks on security guarantees for the Kim family government.

For now, the South Korean military is focusing most of its attention on fortifying Yeonpyeong and the other four Yellow Sea islands, having been stung by public criticism of its apparently poor showing two weeks ago. The island’s defenders fired back less than half the 170 rounds or more fired by North Korea, and satellite photographs appeared to show that many of their shots seemed to be off target, falling harmlessly in farmers’ fields.

“The North Korean military has been regarded as a paper tiger because of fuel and supply shortages,” said Kazuhisa Ogawa, a Tokyo-based military analyst, “but South Korea’s military also revealed that it was not ready.”

On Yeonpyeong Island, Mr. Choi, the town official, said the town hall was now staffed 24 hours, ready to hurry the small number of remaining residents into shelters should another attack occur.

“We don’t get much sleep,” he said, “but they won’t catch us off guard again.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/world/asia/10korea.html?ref=world

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« Reply #2158 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:22am »

Defense News

Russia to Poland: Don't Host U.S. Fighter Jets
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Published: 9 Dec 2010 18:49

WARSAW, Poland - Russia on Dec. 9 warned Poland against hosting U.S. F-16 fighter jets, possibly from 2013, saying it would work to counter the move.

Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich announced last month that his country would accept a U.S. proposal to host rotations of F-16 and Hercules transport aircraft and their crews on its territory.

"I hope this will begin in 2013," Klich told Poland's TOK FM commercial radio station.

A statement issued by the Russian defense ministry on Dec. 9 said that Moscow would "take into account the American-Polish plans and carry out [its] own armed forces development projects."

It did not elaborate but added: "We believe that different decisions would be better in the interest of European security."

On Nov. 18, Klich said: "The Americans will come, conduct exercises with Poles and return home. Then, they will return periodically to Polish soil."

He added that the F-16 and Hercules rotations would be similar to those of U.S. Patriot missiles which began rotations in Poland in May.

"The American presence on our territory constitutes an additional guarantee, an additional assurance that we are in an alliance where our allies would come to our aid if the situation warranted," Klich said.

He also announced that in 2013 Poland and the three Baltic states would host, in an exercise of the NATO Response Force (NRF), a multinational contingent of about 25,000 troops available for rapid deployment in crisis management, stabilization or collective defense.

Russia and Poland, a former Soviet satellite nation, have had strained relations since the fall of communism in 1989 and the demise of the Soviet Union two years later, and notably after Warsaw joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5201866&c=EUR&s=AIR

Crystal
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« Reply #2159 on: Dec 10th, 2010, 07:28am »

Telegraph

Tuition fees protesters attack police and vandalise buildings
Gangs of anarchists joined student protests against tuition fees that turned into violent attacks on police and systematic vandalism of property, the Cenotaph and even Trafalgar Square's Christmas tree.

By Richard Edwards, Anita Singh, Andy Bloxham, Rosa Prince and Nick Collins
8:34AM GMT 10 Dec 2010

Up to 30,000 students laid siege to Parliament square ahead of yesterday's vote and, in chaotic running battles with a mob, one mounted officer was knocked from his horse, another suffered a serious neck injury and others were attacked with flares, sticks, snooker balls and smoke bombs.

One student urinated on the Winston Churchill statue in the square, which was also daubed with offensive graffiti, including messages saying “racist warmonger” and “Churchill was a ----”.

A plastic booth thrown on to a bonfire of placards exploded into flames, billowing smoke across Westminster. The riots spread to surrounding areas and several buildings were attacked, including the Treasury, the Supreme Court and Topshop, owned by the billionaire Sir Philip Green.

Scotland Yard condemned the “outrageous and increasing levels of violence”.

A spokesman said: “This has nothing to do with peaceful protest. Students are involved in wanton vandalism, including smashing windows in Oxford and Regent Streets.

“Innocent Christmas shoppers are being caught up in the violence and disruption.

“It has gone so far that a car in which the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were travelling through the West End was attacked. Police managed the situation and they were unharmed.” The spokesman said that 20 protesters had been arrested and 38 had been injured.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said he had witnessed at first hand the “violence and disobedience of a number of protesters determined to undermine the peaceful actions of the majority of students seeking to legitimately express their views outside Parliament”.

He commended his officers’ response, saying they had shown “bravery, professionalism and determination to control an extremely challenging situation and maintain peace and order on the streets of the capital.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said that in the face of “extreme violence” officers had to resort to containing the crowds outside Parliament.

They were repeatedly attacked by surges from a hard core of mask-wearing anarchists and charged back on horseback. Several of the horses were repeatedly struck by missiles, and firecrackers were thrown in attempt to startle the animals.

Some protesters claimed that the presence of mounted police exacerbated an already tense situation.

Footage showed one police officer lying motionless on the ground as he was fitted with a neck brace, after being struck. It is understood his injuries are less serious than first feared and his neck was not broken.

Scuffles began as early as 2pm, ahead of the debate, as tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through London. One officer was seen being dragged to safety by colleagues after being hit on the head in Kingsway.

Soon after MPs began their heated five-hour debate ahead of the vote, a group of five protesters was ejected from the public gallery overlooking the Commons chamber after they stood up and began shouting slogans.

Parliament Square had been blocked off on all sides by up to 1,000 police.

Hundreds of students pushed through the barriers, and flares were lit, as they streamed through metal gates on to the green in the square. As darkness fell, gangs of teenage vandals, some brandishing hammers, formed among the protesters.

About 20 individuals systematically began smashing every pane of glass in each telephone box despite female and male students ordering them to stop. The Supreme Court building was attacked by protesters brandishing shovels, a Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was set on fire and, at the height of the violence, BBC news reporters were forced to don crash helmets for protection.

Thousands of students also protested in Edinburgh, Newcastle, Belfast, Brighton and Swansea. In Glasgow marchers targeted businesses they claimed were avoiding paying tax to the Treasury.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/8193376/Tuition-fees-protesters-attack-police-and-vandalise-buildings.html

Crystal

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