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Russia, Vietnam to Jointly Manufacture Anti-Ship Missiles

February 15, 2012 Comments off

rian.ru

Russia and Vietnam are planning to start in 2012 joint production of a modified anti-ship missile, head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev said on Wednesday.

“We are planning to build facilities in Vietnam for the production of a version of the Russian Uran [SS-N-25 Switchblade] missile in a project that is similar to joint Russian-Indian production of the BrahMos missile,” Dmitriyev said.

The Uran subsonic anti-ship missile can be launched from helicopters, surface ships and coastal defense batteries. It has a range of up to 250 kilometers (135 nautical miles) and carries a 145-kilogram high explosive warhead.

Russian-Indian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace Ltd, set up in 1998, manufactures supersonic cruise missiles based on the Russian-designed NPO Mashinostroyenie 3M55 Yakhont (SS-N-26).

Sea- and ground-launched versions have been successfully tested and put into service with the Indian Army and Navy.

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Death toll from Madagascar cyclone rises to 16

February 15, 2012 Comments off

dailystar.com

Photo Credit: NASA Modis

ANTANANARIVO: At least 16 people were killed and 10,000 forced from their homes when Cyclone Giovanna pounded Madagascar, the disaster management bureau said Wednesday as it continued assessing the damage.

The storm struck in the early hours of Tuesday, lashing the towns of Tamatave and Brickaville on the east coast before drenching the capital Antananarivo about 220 kilometres (135 miles) inland.

By Wednesday morning, the storm had passed over the vast Indian Ocean island nation, leaving one person dead in the capital, eight in Brickaville and seven in Moramanga, 114 kilometres east of Antananarivo, according to officials.

The disaster management bureau said the death toll could still increase. Of the 592 communities hit by the storm, contact had been restored with just 80.

Officials said 65 people had been Full article here

Arctic Warming Continuing, Approaching Tipping Point?

February 15, 2012 Comments off

enn.com

Last year the Arctic, which is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth due to global climate change, experienced its warmest twelve months yet. According to recent data by NASA, average Arctic temperatures in 2011 were 2.28 degrees Celsius (4.1 degrees Fahrenheit) above those recorded from 1951-1980. As the Arctic warms, imperiling its biodiversity and indigenous people, researchers are increasingly concerned that the region will hit climatic tipping points that could severely impact the rest of the world. A recent commentary in Nature Climate Change highlighted a number of tipping points that keep scientists awake at night.

“If set in motion, [tipping points] can generate profound climate change which places the Arctic not at the periphery but at the core of the Earth system,” Professor Duarte, a climatologist with the University of Western Australia’s Ocean Institute and co-author other paper, said in a press release. “There is evidence that these forces are starting to Read more…

As US Navy shrinks, China launches more, better war ships

February 15, 2012 Comments off

gmanetwork.com

HONG KONG — As looming budget cuts force the Pentagon to plan for a smaller US navy, China is accelerating the launch of new, increasingly capable warships as part of a sustained drive to become a major maritime power.

Shanghai’s Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company late last month launched the fourth of China’s new 071 amphibious landing ships according to reports carried by Chinese military web sites and the state-controlled media.

While most attention has been drawn to the ongoing sea trials of China’s first aircraft carrier, military analysts say the expanding fleet of 20,000-ton landing ships, the biggest domestically designed and built vessels in the Chinese navy, delivers a far more immediate boost to Beijing’s global influence.

“Having a significant fleet of large amphibious assault vessels clearly suggests a desire for power projection,” says Christian Le Miere, a maritime security researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

“If you want the surgical insertion of forces, for a range of reasons, then you need amphibious response ships.”

Military rivalry

China’s naval buildup comes amid mounting Read more…

Mount Cleveland Lava Dome Grows 25%

February 15, 2012 2 comments

accuweather.com

The lava dome covering Mt. Cleveland volcano in Alaska has grown by 25 percent since last week. The dome was reported to be 40 meters across on Monday Feb. 6., and has now increased to 50 meters in size, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO).

“We got indications from satellite data that the dome had grown slightly,” Alaska Volcano Observatory Research Geologist Matt Haney said. “The recent expansion shows that growth has not ceased.”

The current lava dome is much smaller than the dome was before the last eruption of Mt. Cleveland.

“The previous lava dome that was removed by explosive activity on Dec. 25 and Dec. 29 covered most of the 200-meter-diameter summit crater. So, indeed it was larger than the current dome,” said Haney.

Given that the current lava dome is still significantly smaller than the dome in December, does that mean the explosion would be smaller if it happened from this smaller lava dome?

“No, a larger dome doesn’t necessarily mean a larger yield from the explosion,” said Haney. “We’re still expecting the same type of altitude for the ash cloud. It should interrupt Trans-Pacific Read more…

Officials: Eastern Europe’s cold snap kills more than 600

February 15, 2012 Comments off

freep.com

 Workers clear a path Monday in Macedonia’s capital Skopje. Since the end of January, Eastern Europe has been pummeled by a record-breaking cold snap. / By Boris Grdanoski, AP

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — More than 600 people in Eastern Europe have died during a record-breaking cold snap that has brought the heaviest blizzards in recent memory and trapped thousands behind walls of snow, officials said Wednesday.

Authorities in Russia said 205 people have died in the deep freeze that began in late January, while in Ukraine there have been 112 fatalities, and in Poland 107 people lost their lives due to the frigid weather. There were 35 deaths in Hungary, 20 in Serbia, and 10 in Kosovo.

In hard-hit Romania, some 23,000 people remain isolated in 225 communities where more than week of heavy snowfall has blocked roads and wreaked havoc on the rail network.

Nearly 4,000 people cut off for more than a week said Wednesday they were short of food water, and medicine. Authorities said seven people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 86 deaths.

Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”

February 15, 2012 Comments off

carolinajournal.com

This pink extruded substance, known as MSC, is precursor to many manufactured chicken products.

RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said Full article here