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Report Finds Shortfalls in Countering Internal Threats

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2010 – The shooting spree allegedly perpetrated by a self-radicalized soldier of Muslim faith has revealed shortcomings in the Defense Department’s ability to counter dangerous outside influences on the military, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today.  Gates disclosed this and several other key findings of a broad review he ordered after Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly killed 13 people in a Nov. 5 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas.

Cobra Gold 2010 to build on 29 years of dynamic training

Cobra Gold, the largest multinational exercise in the world, begins its 29th year of joint training and cooperation among six countries in the Asia-Pacific Theater in Thailand on Feb. 1. Participating nations include Thailand, the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea. "Thailand is one of our closest friends and partners in Asia, as well as being our oldest ally in Asia," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, commander, U.S. Army, Pacific.

Snohomish County Council ignores state statute

What happens when governments ignore the law? The Snohomish County Council is ignoring the fact that a long-standing state preemption statute has nullified the county's 1971 parks handgun ban.

International Relief Operations Under Way in Haiti

International aid agencies report emergency operations for earthquake victims in Haiti are slowly gathering steam.  But, they say they are working under severe constraints and it will take time before essential, critical needs are met. The United Nations reports the airport is open, but is congested and good coordination will be necessary to move relief goods to affected areas.

Pirate Attacks Off Somalia Nearly Double

The International Maritime Bureau in London reports piracy incidents on the high seas increased nearly 40 percent in 2009 from a year ago.  Pirate activities off the coast of Somalia accounted for more than half of all attacks worldwide. In its annual report, the maritime watchdog said the number of attacks off the coast of Somalia doubled in 2009 from 111 to 217.   According to the bureau, pirates successfully hijacked 47 of those vessels and took 867 crew members hostage, earning them untold millions in ransom payments. The director of the International Maritime Bureau, Captain Potteng

China Says Cyber Hacking Is Against Law

China says cyber hacking is against Chinese law and that it welcomes international companies to operate in China.  This comes one day after Internet giant Google said it is considering pulling out of China because of cyber attacks and because of mandatory censorship requirements.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu faced numerous questions about Google's announcement that it is ready to leave China because of cyber attacks and censorship rules. She told reporters at a briefing Thursday that China's Internet is, in her words, "open." Jiang says Chinese law prohibits cyber at

IJC Operational Update, Jan. 14

An Afghan-international security force searched a compound in the village of Gorgerah Ghar, in the Sabari District of Khowst and captured a Haqqani facilitator responsible for the delivery of weapons, IED's, mines and ammunition to other militant factions. The joint force also detained another insurgent. The assault force recovered a rocket propelled grenade, a hand grenade and machine gun ammunition. No shots were fired and no Afghan civilians were harmed in the operation. A local citizen saved lives yesterday when he directed an Afghan-international force to an IED in Kandahar.

Iraqi Police pursue AQI explosives-cell network, arrest 3

Iraqi Police arrested three suspected terrorists Tuesday during a joint security operation targeting a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) explosives-device cell member in Hammam al-Alil, located approximately 23 km south of Mosul. Acting upon a warrant issued by an Iraqi court, Iraqi Police and U.S.

Soldiers see through walls

Entering a building and clearing rooms may become much safer for Soldiers in combat as Army scientists continue to develop Sense-Through-the-Wall technology to increase situational awareness. Research, Development and Engineering Command technicians demonstrated Sense-Through-the-Wall radar imaging and many other high-tech gadgets at the Army Strong Zone outside the Alamodome during the buildup to the 2010 All-American Bowl Jan.

Vinson Deploys to Respond to Haiti Earthquake

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) has been ordered to deploy to Haiti to conduct Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) missions Jan. 13. Currently, Vinson is underway in the Atlantic Ocean, and will briefly loiter off the coast of Mayport to receive equipment and supplies. Along with Vinson, USS Bataan (LHD 5) embarked with Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU 22), USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43), and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) were ordered to get underway as soon as possible. Additionally, USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS John L.

WA anti-gun senators introduce 'assault weapons ban' bill

Anti-gun WA senators introduce 'assault weapons ban' legislation Largely based on cosmetics, this legislation goes after pistols, rifles and shotguns, and a county sheriff says this kind of law won't prevent violent felons from getting guns. <

Civil Rights Group Seeks Enforcement of Ruling Declaring Zimbabwe’s Land Distribution Illegal and Racist

A South African civil rights group is taking legal action to try to enforce a court ruling that labeled Zimbabwe’s land distribution program illegal and racist.     Under the policy, farms owned or operated by white farmers were seized and turned over to blacks, who had been denied land under white rule.     The ruling condemning that policy was handed down by a South African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in 2008.  But the group Afriforum says it has not been enforced and the practice continues.     “Afriforum had been approached by Zimbabwean farmers about six months ago.  At th

Guinea's Injured Military Leader Moves to Burkina Faso

Guinea's injured military leader is in Burkina Faso where he is expected to meet with members of his ruling council, Wednesday.

Jordanian Bodyguard for Al-Qaida Reported Killed in Pakistan Drone Strike

The brother of a Jordanian militant who was a top bodyguard for al-Qaida says he was killed last week in an apparent U.S. drone (pilotless aircraft) strike in Pakistan. News reports quote a man, Omar Mahdi Zeidan, identified as the brother of Mahmud Mahdi Zeidan as saying he was a bodyguard for a top al-Qaida field commander, Mustapha Abulyazid.