Swine Flu Outbreak Map

16 July 2009


Dear Mr. President
from Ares by Nicholas Fiorenza

A year is a long time in politics and this is especially true in Central and Eastern Europe. A year ago, the Bush administration was in difficult negotiations with the Czech Republic and Poland on basing a missile defense system in their territory. Granted, Poland was trying to obtain concessions in other areas, but Czech opposition to the missile defense system was real (and still is), despite the pro-US stance of its government then.

Now Czechs and Poles are among the 22 Central and Eastern European politicians who have signed an open letter to the Obama administration, which appeared in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, expressing concerns about its rapprochement with Moscow. The signatories read like a who's who in Central and Eastern European politics, including Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa.

They worry that "NATO today seems weaker than when we joined" and that "Russia is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods." Among their recommendations is a call for "a renaissance of NATO as the most important security link between the United States and Europe."



New Audio from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri: “A Message to My Muslim Brothers and Sisters in Pakistan”
from Counterterrorism Blog by Evan Kohlmann

The NEFA Foundation has obtained a new audio recording produced by Al-Qaida's As-Sahab Media Foundation of Al-Qaida Deputy Commander Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri titled, "A Message to My Muslim Brothers and Sisters in Pakistan." During the recording, al-Zawahiri appealed to Muslims in Pakistan to support Al-Qaida and the Taliban, urging, "It is the individual duty of every Muslim in Pakistan to join the Mujahedeen, or at the very least, to support the Jihad in Pakistan and Afghanistan with money, advice, expertise, information, communications, shelter and anything else he can offer. It is also the duty of every noble person in Pakistan’s army and security agencies to give the orders of Allah and His Messenger precedence over the orders of the Crusaders’ slaves, and to refrain from killing, pursuing or harming in any way Muslims and Mujahedeen." Nonetheless, Dr. al-Zawahiri boasted of "a solid, cohesive Jihadi nucleus taking form in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This emerging jihadi force is resisting – by the grace of Almighty Allah – all efforts to eliminate and extinguish it. The treasonous Pakistan army has tried much, but by the grace of Allah, it has all been in vain."



Solid-State Laser Ready For On-Board Tests
from Defense Tech by lowe

This article first appeared in AviationWeek.com.

A U.S. Navy plan to test a high-power laser against the small-boat threat to its warships provides the first real opportunity to transition electric lasers from the laboratory to the field, says Northrop Grumman, which has won a $98-million contract for the Maritime Laser Demonstration (MLD).

Within 12-18 months, a prototype laser weapon system is to be installed on a ship and tested against a remotely controlled small boat in a representative at-sea environment. The system will use technology from the Defense Dept.'s Joint High Power Solid-State Laser (JHPSSL) program, under which Northrop Grumman in March achieved an output of 105 kw. by optically combining the beams from a chain of laser modules.



CIA Assassin Program Was Nearing New Phase
from washingtonpost.com - Intelligence by Joby Warrick

CIA officials were proposing to activate a plan to train anti-terrorist assassination teams overseas when agency managers brought the secret program to the attention of CIA Director Leon Panetta last month, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the matter.



Yemen braced for al-Qaida attacks
from United Press International - International Security - Emerging Threats - Briefing

SANAA, Yemen, July 16 (UPI) -- Yemeni forces increased their security presence around the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa as a preventive measure against a possible al-Qaida attack.



Pakistan nabs 13 al-Qaida suspects
from United Press International - International Security - Emerging Threats - Briefing

QUETTA, Pakistan, July 15 (UPI) -- Pakistani authorities detained 13 members of a suspected al-Qaida outfit carrying suicide vests and a bomb in the southern province of Baluchistan.



Washington, Colombia near deal on base access
from The Terrorism Research Center

The United States and Colombia are nearing agreement on expanding the U.S. military's presence in this conflict-torn nation, likely basing several hundred Americans in a central valley in support of Air Force drug interdiction missions.

Both sides say they hope a fifth round of talks slated for later this month in Bogota will seal a 10-year lease deal.



Mexico's 'La Familia' cartel declares war on police
from The Terrorism Research Center

The powerful "La Familia" drug cartel has unleashed one of the most spectacular murder offensives in recent years against Mexican authorities, boldly targeting President Felipe Calderon's home state. No drug cartel has ever gone so far or dealt such a harsh blow to the federal police -- not even in the country's northern reaches near the US border, often the scene of unspeakable violence, or in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's crime capital.



WHO: Swine Flu Fastest Spreading Pandemic Ever
from Newsmax

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that the H1N1 flu pandemic was the fastest-moving pandemic ever and that it was now pointless to count every case.

The United Nations agency, which declared an influenza pandemic on June 11, revised its requirements so that national health authorities need only report clusters of severe cases or deaths caused by the new virus or unusual clinical patterns.

"The 2009 influenza pandemic has spread internationally with unprecedented speed. In past pandemics, influenza viruses have needed more than six months to spread as widely as the new H1N1 virus has spread in less than six weeks," it said in a statement on the new strain, commonly known as swine flu.



Haqqani Network threatens to execute captured US soldier
from The Long War Journal

A senior commander in the Haqqani Network has threatened to kill a captured US soldier unless Coalition forces end operations in two districts in Paktika and Ghazni provinces in eastern Afghanistan.

Abdullah Jalali, a spokesman for Mullah Sangeen Zadran, who claimed to have captured the soldier in late June, said the US military must end the search operations in the Giro district in Ghazni province and the Khoshamand district in Paktika or the soldier would be killed. Jalali made the statement in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

But Jalali also said the fate of the soldier will ultimately be decided by Mullah Omar, the overall leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.




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