Chennai: A combination of advances in biotechnology and easy access to inputs has heightened the threat of bio-attacks, David Heyman, an international expert on bioterrorism, said here on Thursday.
In an interview with The Hindu, Mr. Heyman, Director and Senior Fellow, Homeland Security Program, at the Washington D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), described the anthrax attacks in the U.S. [in 2001], and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in the Asia Pacific region [in 2003] as “two wakeup calls” for the threats posed by bio-attacks. “Those two things said we have got to be concerned about disease, and the possibility of it being used for harmful purposes.”
The former was restricted to the U.S., but had international repercussions: “On every continent, in every country practically, there were hoaxes and fears that required the governments’ attention — law enforcement and/or public health authorities who had to run down to see if they were real.”
Although SARS “happened primarily in Asia, and North America, all the world had to be concerned because of the speed of travel, everyone becomes a carrier.”
Urban-Unattended Ground Sensors (U-UGS) for Infantry Urban Warfare/Combat Ops http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1169
Textron Defense Systems (TDS), is actively marketing their Urban-Unattended Ground Sensors (U-UGS) as a core Future Combat Systems (FCS) wireless technology/hardware platform that will watch infantry warfighters' backs as they maneuver inside the urban battlespace. According to the Textron literature, the U-UGS system of networked, wireless unmanned ground sensors is "capable of detecting, classifying, locating, and tracking vehicles, personnel, and aircraft in both rural and urban environments" that utilizes "advanced communications and technologies to link soldiers with both manned and unmanned platforms and sensors."
U-UGS can be... utilized during building clearing operations, cave clearing operations, tunnel clearing, sewer clearing, and any other confined space clearing op as a wireless surveillance/monitoring tool. Just place it (i.e. hide it) and forget it. U-UGS takes over from their. U-UGS is lightweight and perportedly low-cost, although DefenseReview hasn't yet been able to get concrete cost figures on it, yet. We'll see.
Once placed/hidden, U-UGS will capture field-of-view images of any/all intruders that cross its path in any/all light conditions. It will then transmit those images to the FCS network (or any alternative network with which it's integrated) for analysis and evaluation. As this is written, the Future Combat Systems program is in serious trouble, and is likely to be canceled. If/when FCS is canceled, U-UGS can most likely be easily integrated with any other net-centric warfare (a.k.a. network-centric warfare) system that U.S. Army and Marine Corps infantry forces utilize.
Iran's attendance in SCO Summit shows its influence
A member of Majlis presiding board said on Saturday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's participation in the 8th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan earlier this week demonstrated Iran's great power and position.
According to IRNA, Hamid Reza Hajibabaei further said that proposing a five-article plan, meeting presidents of Persian-speaking countries namely Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan as well as the other meetings on the sidelines of the event are among other achievements of the Iranian delegation during its trip to Tajikistan.
Evaluating the summit as very successful, he said that Iran's presence in the event and the atmosphere prevailing in the event indicated the ineffectiveness of US sanctions against the country.
Iran warns any attack would start 'world war'
Russia May Cut Off Oil Flow To West
Fears are mounting that Russia may restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe over coming days, in response to the threat of EU sanctions and Nato naval actions in the Black Sea. Any such move would be a dramatic escalation of the Georgia crisis and play havoc with the oil markets. Reports have begun to circulate in Moscow that Russian oil companies are under orders from the Kremlin to prepare for a supply cut to Germany and Poland through the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline. It is believed that executives from lead-producer LUKoil have been put on weekend alert. "They have been told to be ready to cut off supplies as soon as Monday," claimed a high-level business source, speaking to The Daily Telegraph. Any move would be timed to coincide with an emergency EU summit in Brussels, where possible sanctions against Russia are on the agenda
Bill Passes to Merge Emergency Services, Homeland Security (CA)
Ben Bova: U.S. needs a separate ‘space force’
http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/aug/30/ben-bova-us-needs-separate-space-force/ There’s a space battle going on right now. But it’s not happening in the wild black yonder, with spacecraft zapping lasers at one another. It’s happening in Washington, mostly, and in the upper echelons of the U.S. Air Force.
The battle is over how our military should deal with operations in space. The Air Force, of course, is in charge of most military aviation. Since the advent of artificial satellites, in the late 1950s, the Air Force has assumed control of most of the nation’s military space operations as well.
Official Air Force policy is that the aerospace environment is one continuous theater of operations. Airplanes or spacecraft, as long it flies, it falls under Air Force control.
However, some Air Force officers feel that space is a very different operating environment, quite distinct from flying planes in the air. They are pushing for a space command that is a separate branch of the Air Force or perhaps even a space force that is totally separated from the Air Force itself.
County to expand network of surveillance cameras (PA)
Financial sector kicks off two—week drill to handle flu pandemic http://ph.news.yahoo.com/cna/20080829/tap-351-financial-sector-kicks-two-week-231650b.html
SINGAPORE: Banks in Singapore are gearing up to handle a potential flu outbreak which could see up to 40 per cent of their staff being absent from work.
To test the financial sector’s preparedness to handle a flu pandemic scenario, the industry started a two—week exercise on Thursday.
The drill is organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Association of Banks in Singapore, along with government agencies.
Codenamed Exercise Raffles II, it builds on the first industry—wide drill conducted two years ago.
Local responders train for flu outbreak The Southern Illinoisan - Aug 29 11:25 PM (Link pulled/censored)The Southern Illinoisan - Aug 29 11:25 PM
CARTERVILLE - Local emergency responders, health department officials and hospitals gathered at John A. Logan College Wednesday for statewide pandemic influenza exercise.