Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lockheed SEC, US/China Space, Russia

SEC Hires Lockheed Martin for IT Service Contract

Lockheed Martin may be the biggest IT player you’ve never heard of at least if you don’t work in the U.S. government. But it turns out the company does more than produce aircraft, weapons systems, satellites and launch vehicles. Earlier this week the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had awarded Lockheed an infrastructure support services contract, valued at USD33 million up front and potentially USD122 million over six years, helping to solidify Lockheed as the largest IT provider to the federal government.

US urged to bolster missile, space defenses against China: paper

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A draft report recommends that the United States build new missile, sea-based and space-based defenses to deal with China's growing nuclear and conventional forces, a newspaper said Tuesday.
The draft by a State Department advisory board said China aims to build forces that are not just capable of retaking Taiwan but also of projecting power beyond east Asia, The Washington Times reported.
China's "major objective is to counter US presence and US military capabilities in East Asia through the acquisition of offensive capacities in critical functional areas that systematically exploit US vulnerabilities," it quoted the report as saying.
China is developing capabilities for "asymmetric warfare," such as space and computer weapons, that could help it defeat stronger US armed forces, according to a copy of the draft the daily said it had obtained.
The report warned of gaps in US missile defenses, dependence on space for communications, reliance on aircraft carriers to project power to China's shores, and "fragile electronics and the Internet," the newspaper said.
The draft recommends that the United States obtain new offensive space and cyber warfare capabilities and missile defenses as well as "more robust sea- and space-based capabilities" to deter any crisis over Taiwan, the daily said. (cont...)

Satellite-Surveillance Program to Begin Despite Privacy Concerns
WASHINGTON -- The Department of Homeland Security will proceed with the first phase of a controversial satellite-surveillance program, even though an independent review found the department hasn't yet ensured the program will comply with privacy laws.
Congress provided partial funding for the program in a little-debated $634 billion spending measure that will fund the government until early March. For the past year, the Bush administration had been fighting Democratic lawmakers over the spy program, known as the National Applications Office.
The program is designed to provide federal, state and local officials with extensive access to spy-satellite imagery -- but no eavesdropping -- to assist with emergency response and other domestic-security needs, such as identifying where ports or border areas are vulnerable to terrorism.

Russian warships to visit Libya on way to Caribbean
MOSCOW, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Russian warships will stop off in Libya on their way to conduct joint naval exercises next month with outspoken U.S. foe Venezuela, Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo told Reuters on Wednesday.

Russia, Kazakhstan to conduct joint war games on Oct. 3

Mass Immunization Exercise

As part of a mass immunization exercise free flu shots are going to be given to Muskingum County residents next Friday October 10th, in 2 locations.Rambo Health Center along with the Health Department and other community partners are teaming up at the Muskingum County Fair grounds and Ohio University Zanesville to offer the vaccine at the 2 locations to test their readiness in case of an outbreak. "We've had such success at the fairgrounds the past 2 years that we thought how can we challenge ourselves again? And the state of Ohio has also been, we really need to know how you can handle mass immunizations at various sites. And so we thought that if we brought a second site into the mix that it would be a better test of our capabilities."

First responders learn psychological effects of pandemic flu (Los Angeles)
ARCADIA -- Dozens of officials from police, fire and other medical organizations around Los Angeles County came to the Arboretum on Wednesday for a workshop on emergency preparedness.
The County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health hosted the workshop, which went over the psychological impacts of a crisis situation.
The focus was on the pandemic flu, and how these first responders should react if a flu were to break out.
Officials heard various guest speakers, and participated in workshops that simulated a disaster.

Who Should Be Considered “Essential” During a Pandemic Flu Outbreak
The article to be published in the Journal of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The report, led by Nancy Kass, Sc.D, Deputy Director of Public Health for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, provides ethical guidance for pandemic planning that ensures a skeletal infrastructure remain intact at all times.

With New Nonlethal Weapons Comes Controversy
The private company Taser International is also close to making other "less-lethal" products available. Two products, recently featured by Forbes, are Shockwave and Extended-Range Electronic Projectile (XREP). Shockwave, set for a 2009 release, looks like a futuristic portable light system, but its electricity is used in a less benign way.
Press a button and "six electrified cartridges tethered by 25-foot wires ... shoot out in a 20-degree arc. Inch-long probes emitting 50,000 volts of electricity pierce through clothing and skin. If a human being is in their path, his or her muscles immediately flex and lock involuntarily."
The intended users of Shockwave are law enforcement for crowd control purposes during riots and other gatherings that can get out of control. (You can watch a promotional video, here.)

Pentagon sees expanding use of satellite imagery

Flu pandemic would ‘overwhelm’ U.S. health care system, report finds


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