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SOF World Report

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

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.

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.

Military Assesses Haiti Disaster, Readies for Response

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2010 – Defense Department officials are coordinating with their State Department counterparts to provide life-saving assistance in Haiti as quickly as possible after a devastating earthquake struck near the capital of Port-au-Prince yesterday afternoon.  U.S. Southern Command is coordinating with the State Department and U.S.

Sri Lankan President Woos Tamils

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Tuesday that the government will spend billions of dollars this year to rebuild infrastructure in the war-shattered north and east. He also is offering to consider political demands of the minority Tamil community, such as power sharing-arrangements in parliament and greater autonomy in Tamil dominated areas.    The promise comes just days after the president visited Jaffna in the north -- the heartland of the Tamils.  The government has taken other steps, in recent weeks, to improve conditions for Tamil civilians, who were affected by the military cam

Venezuela Protests to US Over Alleged Violation of Airspace

Venezuela has sent a formal letter of protest to the United States, alleging a U.S. military plane violated Venezuelan airspace last week after taking off from the nearby Netherlands Antilles.  The Venezuelan government Monday presented the formal protest to U.S. diplomats in Caracas.  The U.S. denies the accusation. Late last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept what he said was a U.S. P-3 aircraft over his country.  He said the American plane twice entered his country's airspace from the Netherlands Antilles. Washington has said the U.S.

Three Days of Violence in Karachi Kill 35

Three days of violence in Pakistan's commercial hub, Karachi, have killed at least 35 members of various political parties. The French News Agency (AFP) on Sunday quoted an anonymous senior security official as saying the targeted killings by unidentified gunmen began Thursday after police discovered the headless body of a worker from the city's dominant political party, the Mutahida Qaumi Movement. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the killings are the handiwork of those who want to undermine the provincial government and "destabilize the country." British Foreign Secretary David M

Rival Somali Islamic Militias Clash in Power Struggle

After two days of clashes, a military commander for the Sufi militia, Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jamaa, says his forces have seized the town of Beledweyne in the Hiran region from Hizbul Islam rebels. The commander, Aden Mohamoud, says both sides took heavy casualties in what residents describe as among the worst fighting there in recent months.  Mohamoud says Ahlu-Sunna forces are in full control of Beledweyne and the town is now calm. The fighting broke out Sunday after Ahlu-Sunna fighters and local clan militias launched an offensive to capture Beledweyne, a strategic town near the border with

Mexico Making Progress in War on Drug Cartels

On December 16, Mexican marines stormed a luxury apartment in Cuernavaca, near Mexico City, and killed Arturo Beltran Leyva, head of one of the country's largest drug trafficking organizations. A couple of weeks later, authorities arrested his brother, Carlos, further disrupting the command structure of the criminal enterprise. These were portrayed as important victories for Mexican President Felipe Calderon, whose war on drug gangs has been blamed for a wave of violence across the country in the past few years.

Four Killed in Suspected US Drone Strike in Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say at least four people have been killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in the militant stronghold of North Waziristan. Officials say missiles hit a house and a vehicle near Miranshah, Friday.  The region is near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The attack comes a day after President Asif Ali Zardari warned that U.S. drone strikes were undermining Pakistan's "national consensus" in his country's war against militants.   However, visiting U.S. lawmakers told Pakistani officials the U.S.

AU to Ask UN to Focus on Somalia's Global Terrorism Role

The African Union is urging the United Nations to boost its support for Somalia's fragile government in view of the rise of terrorist activity in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula. AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping calls the overall security situation in the Horn of Africa nation "unstable, volatile and challenging'. In a report to the AU Peace and Security Council Friday, Ping notes several tragic security breakdowns in the past few months.