Swine Flu Outbreak Map

20 July 2009


Defense Secretary Gates: North Korea's Army Is Starving
from mystateline.com

(Washington, DC) -- North Korea's army is being described as one "that's starving" and less of a threat to the U.S., due to its famine.

That's the assessment by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who made the remarks while speaking to troops at Fort Drum in New York.

Gates said the famine in the communist nation during the mid-1990s has effected the physical and intellectual development of those eligible for service in North Korea now.

As many as one-million people of the country's population of 22-million perished during the famine.



Company Says No 'Flesh-Eating' Ground Drones
from Defense Tech by lowe

The Pentagon has shown it has a great appetite for drones and robots -- everything from missile-firing UAVs to prototype patrol-bots guarding air base perimeters.

But a Maryland company working on a program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, has the idea of giving the robots their own appetites, letting them feed on biomass as a means of fueling themselves.

But as the image of flesh-eating drones refueling off the battlefield dead has spread in recent days, Cyclone Power Technologies of Florida, the company developing the robot's engine, has issued a statement about the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot's -- aka EATR -- diet.

It is vegetarian, the company said in a press statement released Thursday, in response to stories with headlines such as "Dawn of the corpse-eating robots?" and "Pentagon contracts company for flesh-eating robots."



'Cross Strait' Relations Changing
from Defense Tech by lowe

Despite recent at-sea incidents off the coast of China -- such as Chinese harassment of the U.S. research ships Impeccable (T-AGOS 23) and Victorious (T-AGOS 19), and alarmist press coverage of the Chinese anti-ship ballistic missile effort -- the probability of conflict involving China is decreasing rapidly. The threat of a Chinese assault against the island of Taiwan, some 100 miles offshore, has long been considered a threat that could ignite a major conflict in the Western Pacific.

With little fanfare, a passenger-cargo ship departed the Chinese mainland from the port of Mawei in Fujian Province on 13 July bound directly for Taiwan. The voyage -- of approximately ten hours -- marked the inauguration of regular merchant ship service between the "two Chinas." On board the New Golden Bridge II were 630 passengers plus cargo bound for "Nationalist China."




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