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Monday, November 5, 2012

Abortion makes you....


The History of Israel

How Israel Thinks It Could Attack Iran Without Setting Off WW3

Israeli military leaders have conducted a war game simulating a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, three days after the US Presidential elections. They concluded such an operation could be pulled off without plunging the whole region into war. Iranian experts disagree. David Patrikarakos reports.

On the 24 September at Israel’s National Institute of Security Studies, an obdurately dull building off a main road in Tel Aviv, three dozen men and women drawn from the top echelons of Israel’s political and military elite met to play a war-game, the outcome of which could help decide whether Israel goes to war with Iran.

I was in Israel with film director, Kevin Sim, who was making a documentary on the war game for ‘Dispatches’ on Channel 4.

The notional starting point of the game was 9 November 2012, just after the American presidential elections. Participants were divided into ten groups each representing likely key players in the conflict – Israel, Iran, the US, Russia, Hezbollah, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Russia and the UN. All the teams were made up of Israelis.

The war game is what it says it is – a game. Despite its seriousness, inside the Institute there was an air of make-believe.

The “Netanyahu” who led the Israeli team was an imposter – a former Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel. Two former government ministers took turns to play Obama. Putin was a former Israeli ambassador to Moscow.

The war game was designed to explore the likely outcome of an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran; it didn't examine the legal or moral arguments for or against any such strike but rather focused on how the Iranians might retaliate and what the wider fallout would be.

The game began when the players were told that just after midnight, in a surprise air raid, Israeli bombers had attacked nuclear installations deep inside Iran. First reports indicated that Israel had acted alone without consent or help from the Americans.

The Iranians responded quickly to the Israeli strike, launching a barrage of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles (based on the North Korean Nodong-1 missile) at Israeli targets, including the country’s largest city, Tel Aviv. Then they discussed their political goals.

The most immediate of these was the desire to rebuild the nuclear programme, preferably to a level “beyond what it was on the eve of the strike.” Given their newfound status as victims of an attack, another priority was to have the sanctions on Iran lifted; and to have sanctions placed on Israel for its “unprovoked act.”

They also decided to offer Jordan and Egypt extensive aid packages to cancel their peace treaties with Israel, before debating a key dilemma: whether or not to attack US targets. With Iran’s considerable influence in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention its huge presence in the Gulf, the Iranians could cause huge problems for Washington.

In the end, though, the decision was taken to refrain; Washington was one more complication they didn't need. Russia (which has been building the Bushehr nuclear power plant) was also approached for immediate help to rebuild the devastated facilities, as well as delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and a consignment of Sukhoi 24 aircraft.

Militarily, Iran tried to get its allies – namely, its proxy militia groups Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza – to enter the conflict on its behalf.

"All our help to you over the years," the Israeli playing Ahmadinejad (a former colonel in military intelligence) declared in a meeting with Hezbollah, "has been for the purpose of this moment."

"There’s no such thing as a free lunch," his assistant added. The Lebanese declared they were only too happy to help - in any way that would not bring massive Israeli retaliation down on Lebanon. There was tension in the room.

The Israelis, meanwhile, had met with the “US President” (the Israelis deliberately made no comment on who had won the 7 November US Presidential election), who, despite being unhappy at the lack of a “timely announcement” about the “premature” strike, reiterated his support for Israel. Washington’s primary concern, it seemed, was to avoid an escalation of hostilities in what it considered to be the world’s most volatile region. It raised the status of alert for its forces across the Middle East.

The Israelis were clear on what they wanted from their US ally. Most important was for Washington to use its ‘good offices’ in Lebanon and Gaza to prevent Hezbollah and Hamas inflaming the situation. The Israelis also wanted US ships in the area, armed with Aegis anti-missile systems, to help intercept the Iranian missiles raining down on them.

Finally, they requested that the US maintain pressure on Iran in the UN Security Council, and to help ensure that Israel was not the victim of ‘one sided resolutions in the United Nations."

On the ground, things were tense. As Iran continued shelling Israel, people began to leave Tel Aviv heading to the South. Fearing Israeli retaliation, Hezbollah limited themselves to firing only a few, sporadic Katyusha rockets into northern Israel in an attempt to placate their Iranian patron, and succeeded in pushing the inhabitants of the city of Kiryat Shmona into heading south as well. Israel, in turn, instructed its army not to respond to the firing from Lebanon without the Minister of Defense’s authorization; army reserves were called up.

But the Israelis were also planning – for a second wave of strikes against Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities, which they undertook about 24 hours (in game time) after the first. This second strike seemed to encapsulate the war game for Israel. Its boldness rewarded and Iran simply unable to respond in kind: limited to firing missiles at Israel, many of which were intercepted - largely by itself.

By the game’s end, Iran’s nuclear facilities had been almost totally destroyed. Hezbollah and Hamas had done nothing more than launch a few token rocket salvos at Israel, while Iranian missiles had been of only limited effect. Iran had also failed in its attempts to have the sanctions on it removed and, thanks to US cover in the UN Security Council, it had also failed to have sanctions placed on Israel. It was the game’s clear loser.

Yehuda Ben-Meir, the former deputy foreign minister of Israel, who had played Netanyahu, summed the situation up. “The principal insight we gained was that following an Israeli attack the entire world was interested in calming the region down.

"Before the attack everyone had something to say on a possible attack but once it became a fait accompli the world wanted to know what would happen next, and everyone’s goal was to contain the situation and to prevent escalation.”

I had seen Israel’s perspective on a possible attack and now wanted an Iranian view, so I caught a flight to Istanbul to put the game’s results to Hossein Mousavian, a former member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team. He believed the game was deeply flawed.

Dismissing the limited nature of Iran’s response, Mousavian argued that in reality Iran would respond ‘by all means’, employing the total power of its armed forces to draw Israel into a long-term war. Perhaps, more importantly, Mousavian argued that Iran would see the US as complicit.

Iranians, he said, are convinced that Israel is too small to attack Iran unilaterally Iran. "They see Israeli as just a baby,” he said. “One that would never act without US assistance.”

The attack would also have huge regional consequences, he continued. Most obviously, Iran would use its status as the symbol of resistance against Israel in the Middle East to stoke the high levels of anti-Americanism that already exist there. Even groups like Al Qaeda, he argued, who are Iran’s enemies, would use “inflamed Muslim sentiment to launch attacks at American citizens across the world and on US soldiers on the many American bases in the region.”

At the end of our interview, he leaned forward, took my arm and looked me right in the eyes. He recalled the Israeli strikes on an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 and a Syrian reactor in 2007.

“This is the big mistake that people make,” he told me. “To think if Israel attacks Iran, like it attacked Iraq and Syria, the Iranians would not retaliate.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/an-israeli-war-game-simulated-a-strike-on-iran-three-days-after-the-us-election-2012-11#ixzz2BNL9XhDu

Iran opens 5th naval base in Persian Gulf

BANDAR LENGEH, Iran, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Iran on Sunday inaugurated its fifth naval base in the Persian Gulf, which will provide security for islands within its operational range, officials said.

The base, named Imam Mohammed Baqer, is situated in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh on the Persian Gulf coast, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy Rear Adm. Ali Fadav said the base will cover a region in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz.

"The fifth naval zone was started to provide operational coverage for the Naze'aat Islands, bring about a turning point and start a new trend in the region," Fadav said.

The base will also host the largest number of IRGC marines, FARS news agency reported.

IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said due to the defensive nature of the area "the largest number of the IRGC marines will be stationed in the fifth naval zone."

"The IRGC's fifth naval zone is a very sensitive and strategic zone and is a front line in defending the Islamic Iran," Jafari said.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/11/04/Iran-opens-5th-naval-base-in-Persian-Gulf/UPI-43191352065510/#ixzz2BNIY7V6b

Mayor Bloomberg says up to 40,000 may need relocation

Shivering victims of Superstorm Sandy went to church Sunday to pray for deliverance as cold weather settling in across the New York metropolitan region — and another powerful storm forecast for the middle of the week — added to their misfortunes and deepened the gloom.

With overnight temperatures sinking into the 30s and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still without electricity six days after Sandy howled through, people piled on layers of clothes, and New York City officials handed out blankets and urged victims to go to overnight shelters or daytime warming centers.

At the same time, government leaders began to grapple with a daunting longer-term problem: where to find housing for the tens of thousands of people whose homes could be uninhabitable for weeks or months because of a combination of storm damage and cold weather.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 30,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers may need to be relocated — a monumental task in a city where housing is scarce and expensive — though he said that number would probably drop to 20,000 within a couple of weeks as power is restored in more places.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday federal agencies are looking for apartments and hotel rooms for people displaced by Superstorm Sandy, Reuters reports.

"Our goal is to try to get people out of the shelters," Napolitano said at a news conference in New Jersey with Governor Chris Christie.

In a heavily flooded Staten Island neighborhood, Sara Zavala spent the night under two blankets and layers of clothing because the power was out. She had a propane heater but turned it on for only a couple of hours in the morning. She did not want to sleep with it running at night.

"When I woke up, I was like, `It's freezing.' And I thought, `This can't go on too much longer,"' said Zavala, a nursing home admissions coordinator.

Nearly a week after Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline in an assault that killed more than 100 people in 10 states, gasoline shortages persisted across the region, though odd-even rationing got under way in northern New Jersey in an echo of the gas crisis of the 1970s. More than 900,000 homes and businesses were still without power in New Jersey, and nearly 700,000 in New York City, its northern suburbs and Long Island.

With more subways running and most city schools reopening on Monday, large swaths of the city were getting back to something resembling normal. But the week could bring new challenges, namely an Election Day without power in hundreds of polling places, and a nor'easter expected hit by Wednesday, with the potential for 55 mph gusts and more beach erosion, flooding and rain.

"Well, the first storm flooded me out, and my landlord tells me there's a big crack in the ceiling, so I guess there's a chance this storm could do more damage," John Lewis said at a shelter in New Rochelle, N.Y. "I was hoping to get back in there sooner rather than later, but it doesn't look good."

Voting machines in hundreds of locations will be operating on generator power, some polling stations are being moved and there are likely to be delays in reporting election results in a few closely contested races because of extended deadlines for counting ballots cast by mail.

Churchgoers packed the pews Sunday in parkas, scarves and boots and looked for solace in faith.

At the chilly Church of St. Rose in Belmar, N.J., its streets still slippery with foul-smelling mud, Roman Catholic Bishop David O'Connell said he had no good answer for why God would allow such destruction. But he assured parishioners: "There's more good, and there's more joy, and there's more happiness in life than there is the opposite. And it will be back."

In the heart of the Staten Island disaster zone, the Rev. Steve Martino of Movement Church headed a volunteer effort that had scores of people delivering supplies in grocery carts and cleaning out ruined homes. Around midday, the work stopped, and volunteer and victim alike bowed their heads in prayer.

In the crowd was Stacie Piacentino. After a singularly difficult week, she said, "it's good to feel God again."

After the abrupt cancellation of Sunday's New York City Marathon, some of those who had been planning to run the 26.2-mile race through the city streets instead volunteered their time, handing out toothbrushes, batteries, sweatshirts and other supplies on Staten Island.

Thousands of other athletes from around the world ran anyway inside Central Park, where a little more than four laps around it amounted to a marathon. "A lot of people just want to finish what they've started," said Lance Svendsen, organizer of a group called Run Anyway.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York state is facing "a massive, massive housing problem" for those whose neighborhoods or buildings are in such bad shape that they won't have power for weeks or months.

"I don't know that anybody has ever taken this number of people and found housing for them overnight," Bloomberg said. "We don't have a lot of empty housing in this city," he added. "We're not going to let anybody go sleeping in the streets. ... But it's a challenge, and we're working on it."

The mayor and the governor gave no details of where and how the victims might be housed.

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita smashed the Gulf Coast in 2005, hundreds of thousands of victims were put up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in trailers, hotels, cruise ships and apartments across several states for months and even years.

George W. Contreras, associate director of the emergency and disaster management program at Metropolitan College of New York, speculated that large encampments of trailers might be set up at a stadium, in a park or in some other open space in the city — something he couldn't recall being done in New York ever before.

"The amount of actual units the city might have in buildings is probably very limited, so I think people will be in FEMA shelters for a while," he said.

On a basketball court flanked by powerless apartment buildings in the Far Rockaway section of Queens, volunteers for the city handed out bagels, diapers, water, blankets and other necessities. Genice Josey stuffed a blanket into a garbage bag.

"Nights are the worst because you feel like you're outside when you're inside," said Josey, who sleeps under three blankets and wears longjohns under her pajamas. "You shiver yourself to sleep." She added: "It's like we're going back to barbaric times where we had to go find food and clothing and shelter."

On Staten Island, emergency management officials distributed leaflets urging people to take shelter from the cold. But "people are apprehensive and don't want to leave their houses. It's a definite problem," said Fred Melendez, who helped run a shelter at Tottenville High School that was nearly empty of storm victims Sunday afternoon.

Fearing looters, Nick Veros and his relatives were hoping to hold out in their storm-damaged Staten Island home until power was restored. He figured the indoor temperature would plunge into the 40s.

"If we get two consecutive below-freezing days, I'm probably going to have to drain the water out of the pipes," he said, "and then we'll have to get out of the house."


After Sandy, 'We Are Returning To A New Normal'

Days after Superstorm Sandy downed power lines, flooded homes and crippled transportation in the Northeast, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said his state is "returning to a new normal," despite a looming nor'easterthis week that could bring further damage to the devastated area.

"I can do lots of things, I can't change the weather," Christie said Sunday.

Nearly all New Jersey state roads have been cleared, Christie said, though a new storm would be more trouble for the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in the middle of this week.

Homes without power and plunging temperatures remain a problem for more than two million people. Nearly a million are powerless in New Jersey at last count.

A steadfast Christie said he would continue to use gentle persuasion on the power companies to restore electricity for residents.

"We will get this done," he said.

The storm could bring temperatures as low as the 20s and "strong gusty winds," rain and coastal flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

With overnight temperatures dropping, the 874,000 customers without power in New York state, most of them in New York City, Long Island and the northern suburbs, were urged to go to shelters for heat. The city also planned to hand out blankets to residents who refuse to leave their homes despite the lack of power and heat.

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"I spoke with many people who were worried and frustrated and cold," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "There is no power there and temperatures are dropping. Even those who have generators are having a hard time getting fuel."

Click for Photos: Sandy's Swath of Destruction

Five days after Sandy, dangers still lurk in the cleanup process.

A sanitation worker was taken to the hospital after being shocked by a downed power line today, Bloomberg said.

"There is still danger out there," Bloomberg said.


Adding to the anguish are fuel shortages and long lines at gas stations.

It's a short-term issue, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today, "but that does not mean there will be a total alleviation of the problem in the immediate future."

Gov. Christie signed an executive order Friday night to ration gasoline for cars in 12 New Jersey counties, after more than half the stations in New Jersey and Long Island shut down because of the storm, resulting in hours-long lines for customers and threatening a gas shortage. Under Christie's order, car owners with odd numbered license plates can get gas on odd days, and car owners with even numbered license plates can get gasoline on even days. If one's license ends with a letter, Christie said it would be regarded as an odd number would be.

"This system will ease the strain on those gas stations still operating, while we work to bring more online for the public to access fuel, in a manner that is fair, easy to understand, and less stressful," Christie said.

First responders were given free fuel by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA said it also sold gasoline to filling stations in some places.

Christie met today with Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to review recovery efforts in the ravaged areas.

Economic damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy could reach $50 billion

Economic damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy could reach $50 billion, according to new estimates that are more than double a previous forecast. Some economists warned on Thursday that the storm could shave a half percentage point off the nation’s economic growth in the current quarter.

New York CityThere are still about 108,000 customers without power.

Losses from the storm could total $30 billion to $50 billion, according to Eqecat, which tracks hurricanes and analyzes the damage they cause. On Monday, before the storm hit the East Coast, the firm estimated $10 billion to $20 billion in total economic damages.

The flooding of New York’s subways and roadway tunnels and the extensive loss of business as a result of utility failures across the region were behind the sharp increase in the estimate, the firm said.

“The geographic scope of the storm was unprecedented, and the impacts on individuals and on commerce are far larger,” said Tom Larsen, Eqecat’s senior vice president and product architect. “Lost power is going to contribute to higher insurance losses.”

Eqecat predicted that New York would bear 34 percent of the total economic losses, with New Jersey suffering 30 percent, Pennsylvania 20 percent and other states 16 percent. That includes all estimated losses, whether covered by insurance or not. The estimates and the share that will be covered by insurers are far from certain at this point, as government officials, property owners and insurance adjusters struggle to assess the destruction.

While the stock market, banks and other financial institutions regained some of their stride on Thursday, other sectors like retailing, transportation and leisure and hospitality face a much longer and more difficult recovery. With fuel in short supply in many areas and utilities warning that power may not be back for a week or more in some areas, businesses found themselves preparing for the equivalent of a long siege.

FedEx, for example, was trying to rent fuel tankers for its trucks in New York and New Jersey as commercial gas stations ran dry.

“We’re reaching out to everyone who has a gasoline tanker that we can move to these areas,” said Shea Leordeanu, a spokeswoman for the company. While FedEx had stocks of oil in advance of the storm for generators, it was not prepared for the gas shortages that caused long lines at stations on Wednesday and Thursday.

“There has not been an impact yet, but this is something we can see as an issue and we’re concerned,” she said.

As logistical problems mounted, and damage estimates surged, economists raised their estimates of the storm’s impact.

“I think the effect will be quite big,” said Julia Lynn Coronado, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas. “In the fourth quarter, we’re probably looking at an impact of half a percentage point.”

She said some of those losses would be made up in the first quarter of 2013, as insurance reimbursements were distributed and homeowners and businesses rebuilt.

Hurricane Sandy will rank high among disasters in terms of economic impact but will not be at the top of the list, said Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics. He estimated that the losses would be less than half of those suffered because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and from Hurricane Katrina.

Moody’s Analytics also put the impact in the $50 billion range, with about $12 billion in losses falling in the New York City metropolitan area.

About $20 billion of that total is from lost economic activity like meals not served in restaurants, canceled plane flights and bets not placed in casinos, Mr. Zandi estimated. The rest, about $30 billion, will be from property destruction, including damage to homes, cars and businesses, Mr. Zandi said.

Eqecat said it believed that various forms of insurance would cover $10 billion to $20 billion of the total cost. Other losses will be borne by individuals and businesses, or covered by federal government programs like the National Flood Insurance Program. Much of the federal spending will be used to repair damaged public infrastructure, rather than for private property.

Eqecat said that if insured costs remained at the lower end of its predicted range, at $10 billion, then about 60 percent of the losses would be covered by homeowners’ and, to a lesser extent, auto insurers. The remainder would be covered by commercial and industrial insurance.

The firm’s officials said that if total insured losses rose to the higher end of its predicted range, it would be because of costs like business-interruption losses — and in that case, commercial insurers pay more.

They said this possibility would depend to a great extent on how long power failures continued. They said there were no solid data yet on the number of transformers and power lines that had been knocked out. They added that in some cases, power might not be restored until well into December.

Moody’s issued a report on Thursday stating that the large nationwide insurers had “diversified exposures and strong capital bases to withstand” payouts related to the storm. It added, however, that the costs could disrupt the capital bases of smaller regional insurers.

State Farm, the largest writer of home and auto insurance in the region, reported having received nearly 25,000 homeowners’ claims and 4,000 auto claims as of Wednesday. Those numbers are probably a fraction of the eventual totals. Some of the losses will not be recouped. Lost Halloween sales will be especially painful for some retailers, according to a separate analysis by Moody’s.

“As shoppers in the affected regions focus on the storm, other discretionary spending will fall and not be recouped,” Moody’s said.

NY Times

Islamists protest in Cairo, call for Islamic law

More than 1,000 Islamists rallied in Cairo on Friday and called for the implementation of sharia Islamic law, highlighting divisions in society as rival factions jostle to shape the new Egypt.

Liberals have locked horns over the role of Islam with Islamists who dominate a 100-strong assembly that is drawing up a new constitution, which must be approved in a referendum before a new parliamentary election can be held.

"Islamiya, Islamiya," the protesters chanted in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak who spent 30 years keeping a tight lid on Islamists.

The turnout at Friday's demonstration was smaller than had been expected after some of the main groups that espouse the ultraconservative Salafi school of Islamic thinking backed out. Some groups said they would demonstrate next Friday.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which propelled President Mohamed Mursi to power earlier this year and which takes a less conservative approach, was also not involved in the protest.

Unlike many of the rallies since the fall of Mubarak that have packed the square, Friday's numbers were modest and traffic flowed with relative ease even as the demonstration went on.

"No to liberalism, no to secularism, I don't want anything other than sharia," the protesters also chanted, some waving black flags emblazoned with Islamic slogans.

Drafts of the constitution drawn up by the assembly so far indicate it will have more Islamic references than the previous constitution, worrying more liberal-minded Egyptians and Christians, who make up about a tenth of the nation of 83 million. They fear the imposition of social restrictions.

A key article stating that "the principles of sharia" are the main source of legislation has until now remained unchanged from the old constitution but a new article seeks to spell out what those principles are in Islamic terms.

However, that is not enough for many Salafis who want an unequivocal call to implement sharia rather than wording that they say liberals will use to water down the meaning.

"I want Islamic sharia to be the only source of legislation, not the 'main source'," said Hany Mohamed Ahmed, a 38-year-old Finance Ministry accountant, who was among those demonstrating.


Reality Report WHDT World News

China tests second generation fighter jet

China conducted the flight tests of the state-of-the-art fifth-generation fighter jet. Following the U.S., China has thus become the second country in the world that simultaneously develops two models of this type of aircraft. As in the case of another prototype of the fifth-generation fighter, the leak of information about the plane that has not been officially presented yet occurred during the exacerbation of Beijing's relations with neighbors.

The test flight, according to officially confirmed information, took place on October 30th. The flight of the J-31 fighter jet (journalists named the aircraft so for its code - 31001) produced by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation lasted for about 10 minutes. The fighter was accompanied by its "younger relative," the J-11 BS, reports China Military News.

The first pictures of the state-of-the-art fighter appeared on the Internet in mid-September. The J-31, also known as the F-60 and J-21, was photographed as it was being transported to a military airport.

According to reports, the J-31 uses the stealth technology, which makes it hardly noticeable to enemy's radar. Judging from the photos, the new aircraft is a medium type fighter. Its wingspan is about 10 meters. It is a single-seat aircraft equipped with two engines. According to the Chinese Military Review, the J-31 has RD-93 turbojet engines installed. The engines were designed by JSC Klimov (Russia).

Judging from the photos, the plane does not have the capabilities of short takeoff and vertical landing. The fighter, most likely, will be optimized to take off from the deck of the aircraft carrier "Shi Lang" (formerly the Varyag aircraft carrier).

The positioning of air intakes on the fuselage of the Chinese fighter makes it similar to the American F-35, experts note. In general, it is believed that the J-31 has been created in opposition to the F-22 Raptor. It should be noted that should the information about the tests of the latest fighter be confirmed, China will then become the second country in the world after the United States that has two types of fifth-generation fighters.

The first ground tests of the other model - J-20 - made headlines only eighteen months ago. Experts pointed out that the new aircraft was quite capable of competing with Russian aircraft-makers on the international market, as it would be significantly cheaper. The aircraft had a number of disadvantages too: insufficient engine power, inability to fly at supersonic speeds, as well as imperfections of the radar system and stealth technology. The fighter was rather an aircraft of the "4 +" generation.

Be that as it may, many experts agree that the pace, at which China develops its arms, is impressive. Interestingly, the information on the J-20 was unveiled during the period of aggravation of China's relations with the United States. This time, the first photos of the J-31 appeared during China's territorial dispute with Japan in the East China Sea. As experts suggest, it should serve a signal of the readiness of the Chinese armed forces to defend national interest.


Mega Mosque in UK: Fears of Sharia ghetto & extremism on the rise

Iron Dome battery upgraded

The Iron Dome rocket defense system had undergone an upgrade that will soon bolster its presence on the ground, Ynet learned Sunday.

The fifth Iron Dome battery, which will be deployed soon, features ungraded response time and interception rage, both of which successfully graduated tests that took place last week.
The battery will become operational within several weeks. Another battery will be become operational by the summer of 2013.

Iron Dome's development has continued throughout the year, as several of its batteries became operational and were deployed in southern Israel.

The upgraded battery was also engaged in the recent joint Israel-US military exercise. Defense establishment officials said they were pleased with the test's results.

Since Iron Dome first became operational, in April 2011, the system has intercepted over 100 Grad and Qassam rockets, fired by Gaza terrorists at Israel's south.

"This is another outstanding achievement by all those involved in the system's upgrade," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

"The defense establishment invests huge amounts in Israel's multilayered missile defenses, which is supposed to provide protection for all of Israel in the next few years."

Iron Dome's seventh and eights batteries will be funded mostly by US aid funds in 2013. Some $70 million have already been appropriated to the project and an additional, similar, sum is due next year.

Air Force officials have said in the past that about 13 Iron Dome batteries could offer Israel optimal coverage against short-rage rocket fire.

The defense establishment is also pursuing the development of the David's Sling missile defense system, also known as "Magic Wand."

David's Sling is meant to counter mid-range missiles and armed drones and is likely to become operational by 2016.

Israel's aerial defenses include the Iron Dome and Patriot systems, as well as the Hetz 2, which counters long-range missiles. The Hetz 3 system is currently under development.


Rockets hit Libyan Supreme Security Committee building

At least five people have been injured after several rocket-propelled grenades targeted the Libyan intelligence Headquarter in the oil-rich country’s capital, Tripoli.

The violence on Sunday was triggered by an exchange of fire between rival militant groups near the building of the Supreme Security Committee.

At least three police officers were also wounded as a result of a blast that hit a police station in the northern city of Benghazi.
The city has been hit by a series of bombings and attacks targeting international convoys and government buildings this year.

The US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi came under attack on September 11, after protesters gathered outside the building to voice opposition to a blasphemous anti-Islam film made in the United States that disrespects Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in the incident.

Press TV

Iranian experts have succeeded producing the first vertical takeoff and landing drone

Iranian experts have succeeded in producing the world’s first vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone, which will be unveiled in the near future.

This Iranian drone enjoys ultra-advanced technology and has been manufactured for the first time in the world, an Iranian expert in the research team in charge of building the drone, Abbas Jam, told Mehr news agency on Saturday.

He added that the drone would be tested on Saturday and would be unveiled during the 10-Day Dawn celebrations, which will begin on January 31, marking the 34th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

He noted that the hushed drone does not require runways at all and can take off and land vertically.
Jam added that NASA has confirmed the manufacturing of this unmanned aerial vehicle and its information.

Iranian researchers have recently designed and built a new radar-evading drone, named Liko, with the capacity of carrying 100 kg of cargo for 100 kilometers.

It is also capable of non-stop flights for three hours. The 53-kg UAV can fly at an altitude of 16,000 feet and requires the shortest landing runway length.

Karrar, Iran’s first indigenous long-range drone unveiled in August 2010, is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets, flying long distances at a very high speed, and gathering information.

The country’s indigenous unmanned aerial vehicle, Shahed 129, unveiled in September 2012, can carry out combat and reconnaissance missions with its 24-hour nonstop flight capability.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.

Press TV