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Archive for the ‘Weapon News.’ Category

Kerry: China Willing to Pressure NKorea on Nukes.


Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday China is willing to exert more pressure to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

He told reporters in Beijing he was pleased that China “could not have more forcefully reiterated its commitment” to the goal of denuclearizing North Korea.

The reclusive Asian state has defied international warnings not to build atomic bombs and long-range missiles. It is believed to have enough fissile material to build up to 10 nuclear bombs, but most intelligence analysts say it has yet to master the technology to deploy such weapons.

“I encouraged the Chinese to use every tool at their disposal, all of the means of persuasion that they have, building on the depths of their long and historic and cultural and common history (with North Korea),” he said.

“They made it very clear that if the North doesn’t comply and come to the table and be serious about talks and stop its program … they are prepared to take additional steps in order to make sure their policy is implemented,” Kerry said, adding the United States and China were now discussing “the specifics of how you do that”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kerry China would work with all parties concerned, including the United States, to play a constructive role for the region’s peace and stability.

“China will never allow chaos or war on the Korean Peninsula,” Wang said, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

North Korea was raised during Kerry’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Foreign Ministry said, with Xi “setting forth China’s stance”. It gave no other details.

The East and South China Seas featured prominently on Kerry’s agenda too, with him calling for a “more rule of law based, less confrontational regime”.

The United States is uneasy about what it sees as China’s effort to gain creeping control over waters in the Asia-Pacific region, including its Nov. 23 declaration of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) in an area of the East China Sea that includes islands at the centre of a dispute with Japan.

China claims about 90 percent of the 3.5 million square km (1.35 million square mile) South China Sea, depicting what it sees as its area on maps with a so-called nine-dash line, looping far out over the sea from south China.

China and the Association of South East Asian Nations have been discussing a code of conduct for the South China Sea, and Kerry said he believed China was ready to achieve that goal.

“That would help reduce tensions that stem from the territorial and maritime disputes and, in the meantime, it’s very important that everybody build crisis management tools and refrain from coercive or unilateral measures to assert whatever claims any country in the region may have,” he said.

Wang said China was committed to a peaceful resolution for both the East and South China Seas disputes, but urged the United States not take sides and said China had an “unshakable resolve” to protect its sovereignty.

The United States should “respect historical facts and China’s sovereign interests, adhere to an objective and impartial stance and take tangible actions to promote mutual trust in the region so as to safeguard regional peace and stability”, Wang said.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims over the South China Sea, or parts of it.

Kerry said he told China it would be a bad idea to establish an air defence identification zone in the South China Sea, similar to the one it set up over the East China Sea late last year, which prompted protests from Washington, Tokyo and Seoul.

“We have made it very clear that a unilateral, unannounced, unprocessed initiative like that can be very challenging to certain people in the region, and therefore to regional stability,” he said.

Wang said China was confident it could maintain peace in the South China Sea by working with ASEAN, and denounced efforts by “certain people internationally” to hype up tensions and “spread untruths”. “China is resolutely opposed to this,” Wang said, without elaborating.

Climate change was also on the agenda of Kerry’s talks.

“We need to see if working together we could identify any further steps that we may be able to take, specifically with respect to arrival at meaningful targets with respect to the 2015 climate change conference that will take place in Paris in December of next year,” Kerry said.

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

More Gun Buyers OK’d Under Obama Than Clinton or Bush.


More gun purchases are being approved after federal background checks under the Obama administration than the previous presidential tenures of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, The Washington Times reported.

Figures obtained by the newspaper reveal that nearly everyone who applies for a gun from a federally licensed dealer and is vetted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is handed the weapon, regardless of what party is in power.

The security system was introduced in 1998 to prevent potential buyers with criminal records or mental illness from obtaining guns. Sales of firearms by private sellers don’t require background checks unless required by state law.

In 1999 and 2000, during Clinton’s presidency, 0.83 percent of applicants, fewer than one in 100, were denied firearms, according to statistics obtained by the Times under the Freedom of Information Act. And from 2001 to 2008 under Bush’s tenure, the percentage of refusals was even less at 0.67 percent, also less than 100.

Under the current Obama administration, the average denial rate is just 0.46, or fewer than one in 50 applicants, which is nearly half of Clinton’s numbers and also much lower than Bush’s.

The statistics show that the percentage of denials was even lower than 0.46 in the six months directly after the Sandy Hook school massacre by deranged shooter Adam Lanza.

The rampage resulted in an outcry from gun control advocates, including President Barack Obama, for stricter gun controls and an expansion of the background check system.

Astonishingly, there were just over 171,028,000 federal background checks carried out on potential gun buyers run from Jan. 1, 1999, to June 30, 2013 — with about 1,024,000 denied. The factors that prevent would-be buyers getting firearms include a criminal history, illegal immigration, or a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Thomas Baker, assistant professor of criminology at the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the number of gun applicants has increased rapidly in recent years because of the fierce political controversy surrounding gun controls that could result in them being barred from getting a weapon.

And he noted that people unlikely to be approved for a gun purchase are getting around the federal system by buying firearms privately.

“The unfortunate fact is that political rhetoric on gun control is likely increasing firearm purchases by those legally prohibited from owning firearms, too,” said Baker. “The only difference is that with the private-sale loophole, these sales go entirely undetected.”

Earlier this week in New Hampshire, a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales and transfers to include gun shows, the Internet, and flea markets was killed by the state’s Legislature, The Associated Press reported.

The bill would have required most private sellers to conduct background checks through federally licensed dealers. State Rep. Richard Meaney, a Republican, said the bill infringed upon New Hampshire gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Drew MacKenzie

Israel Unveils ‘Iron Beam’ Laser Defense System.


Israel yesterday unveiled its anticipated missile shield known as Iron Beam that uses a laser to “superheat” the warheads of short-range rockets, mortar bombs, and drones and blow them up in flight.

The first-of-its-kind system was shown off for the first time at the annual Singapore Air Show, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

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Israel-based developer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said Iron Beam will be operational next year.

Iron Beam is designed to handle threats that fly on too small a trajectory for longer-range Iron Dome, the Rafael-developed interceptor credited with an 80 percent success rate against rockets fired by Palestinian militants, The Jerusalem Post reported.

With its maximum interception range of 4.5 miles, Iron Beam would intercept rockets, mortar and artillery shells, and drones coming from Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon — a vital capability for the security of vulnerable towns and kibbutz settlements along the border, the Free Beacon noted.

American funding was involved, the newspaper said, and has been tested successfully.

Advantages for Iron Beam are that it can be mounted on a single truck operating with another truck carrying the radar equipment, and that each laser blast costs several hundred dollars compared with Iron Dome anti-rockets that cost tens of thousands of dollars each, the Free Beacon reported.

Israel is also developing an interceptor known as David’s Sling for medium-range rockets, and the Arrow System against ballistic missiles like those in Iran’s arsenal, the Free Beacon reported.

The U.S. Navy has announced a laser system will be installed this year on a transport vessel, the USS Ponce, for testing. A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command, Chris Johnson, told the Free Beacon if the Navy moves forward on the project “the first operational weapons could enter the fleet between 2017 and 2021.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Court: California Concealed-Weapons Rules Violate 2nd Amendment.


A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California concealed-weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

The 2-1 ruling of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California counties were wrong to require law-abiding applicants to show “good cause” beyond self-defense to receive a concealed-weapons permit.

California prohibits people from carrying handguns in public without a concealed-weapons permit. State law requires applicants to show good moral character, have good cause and take a training course. It is generally up to the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs to issue the permits, and the vast majority require an applicant to demonstrate a real danger or other reasons beyond simple self-defense to receive a permit. The 9th Circuit on Thursday said that requirement violates the 2nd Amendment.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said those requirements were too strict and ran afoul of a 5-4 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban and said law-abiding citizens are allowed to have handguns in their home for self-defense.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Chuck Michel, an attorney who represented several San Diego County residents who were denied a permit and who filed a lawsuit in 2009, praised the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling.

“This decision is a very dramatic confirmation of the Supreme Court ruling,” Michel said.

O’Scannlain wrote that the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s requirement that applicants must provide documentation such as a restraining order to show a “special need” for a permit ” wrongly infringes on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.”

The ruling reversed a lower-court decision tossing out the lawsuit and ordered the judge to rule in favor of the applicants.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore could let the ruling stand and change his policy; ask that a special panel of 11 judges of the 9th Circuit rehear the case; or he could petition the Supreme Court to take it.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said it was consulting with lawyers and declined comment.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun-control advocacy group in Washington D.C., said it hopes the decision will be overturned. It filed a “friend of the court” brief in the case urging the court to keep the current permitting policy in place.

“Neither history or precedent supports this aberrant, split decision that concocts a dangerous right of people to carry hidden handguns in public places to people whom law enforcement has determined that they have no good cause or qualifications to do so,” center spokesman Jonathan Lowy said.

Judge Sidney Thomas dissented, writing that the good-cause requirement limited the number of people carrying concealed handguns in public to those legitimately in need.

“It limits the risk to public safety by reducing the number of guns in public circulation, but allows those who will most likely need to defend themselves in public to carry a handgun,” Thomas wrote.

The ruling on Thursday also disagreed with three other federal appeals courts that have upheld permit rules similar to the one in California.

The Supreme Court often takes cases when federal appeals courts issue conflicting rulings.

Several other lawsuits have been filed across the nation, and Michel and others believe the Supreme Court will take up the issue because of the conflicting rulings.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Obama Makes Secret Deal With Iran To Allow Nuclear Production To Continue.


There is no bigger, stronger or more vocal advocate for the furthering of Iranian nuclear ambitions than Barack Hussein Obama. When Iran finally finishes building the nuclear bombs they lust after for much, the signature of the president of the United States of America will be on each and every one of them.

WASHINGTON – Key elements of a new nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers are contained in an informal, 30-page text not yet publicly acknowledged by Western officials, Iran’s chief negotiator said Monday.

obama-makes-secret-deal-with-iran-nuclear-bomb-making-no-sanctions-january-2014

Abbas Araqchi disclosed the existence of the document in a Persian-language interview with the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

The new agreement, announced over the weekend, sets out a timetable for how Iran and the six nations, led by the United States, will implement a deal reached in November that is aimed at restraining Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

U.S. officials said Sunday that Iran would be allowed to continue existing research and development projects and with pencil-and-paper design work, but not to advance research with new projects. Araqchi, however, implied that the program would have wide latitude.

“No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative and nuclear research will be expanded,” he said. “All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue.”

The research and development issue has been an important one for many U.S. lawmakers, who fear that Iran will try to forge ahead with its nuclear program while the negotiations are underway. At an administration briefing for senators Monday, members of both parties raised concerns about the centrifuge research issue, aides said.

President Obama on Monday again hailed the implementing agreement and appealed to Congress not to impose new sanctions on Iran, for fear of driving the country from the bargaining table.

“My preference is for peace and diplomacy, and this is one of the reasons why I’ve sent the message to Congress that now is not the time for us to impose new sanctions; now is the time for us to allow the diplomats and technical experts to do their work,” Obama said. “What we want to do is give diplomacy a chance and give peace a chance.” source – LA Times.

by NTEB News Desk

China Tests High-Speed Missile Designed to Evade US Defenses.


China’s military last week launched the first test flight of an ultra-high speed missile vehicle intended to deliver warheads that could get through U.S. missile defenses.

According to unnamed Pentagon officials, the test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle, also known as WU-14, was carried out on Jan. 9 and marks a major advancement in China’s secret missile programs, The Washington Free Beacon reports.

The Pentagon has confirmed the test, but declined to give further details.

“We routinely monitor foreign defense activities and we are aware of this test,” Marine Corps Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pool, a spokesman, told the Free Beacon.

“However, we don’t comment on our intelligence or assessments of foreign weapon systems. We encourage greater transparency [by China] regarding their defense investments and objectives to avoid miscalculation,” he added.

The weapon appears to have been designed to be launched on one of China’s intercontinental ballistic missiles which then moves at speeds of up to 10 times the speed of sound near space on its way to its target.

Hypersonic weapons use cutting edge technology and could mark an advantage for China to compensate for its overall weaker military, challenging the current capabilities of U.S. missile defenses.

“With the integration of strategic analysis and planning into technical research, China’s pursuit of hypersonic and high-precision weaponry promises to be faster and more focused than that associated with its previous [anti-satellite] and [ballistic missile defense] related research and programs,” Lora Saalman, a specialist on Chinese strategic systems with the Carnegie Endowment, told The Washington Times. 

“This recent test is a manifestation of this trend,” she said. And in a recent speech, Saalman said that hypersonics and precision guidance “are growth areas within China in terms of what they are intending to do with their military,” the Times reports.

The United States has its own hypersonic program, and Russia recently admitted that it, too, was developing hypersonic weapons. Experts predict it will be the next chapter in the international arms race, akin to the development in the 1950s of atomic weapons.
“If there is a great power war in this century, it will not begin with the sound of explosions on the ground and in the sky, but rather with the bursting of kinetic energy and the flashing of laser light in the silence of outer space,” Ian Easton, a researcher, said in a report published by the Project 2049 Institute, according to the Times.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melanie Batley

Iran Nuclear Deal to Take Effect on Jan. 20.


Iran’s interim nuclear deal with six major powers will come into force on Jan. 20, the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the European Union said on Sunday.

“Capitals have confirmed the result of the talks in Geneva . . . the Geneva deal will be implemented from January 20,” Marzieh Afkham, spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Tehran, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also confirmed the date, and said the sides would now ask the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to verify the deal’s implementation.

“We will ask the IAEA to undertake the necessary nuclear-related monitoring and verification activities,” she said in a statement.

Ashton represents the six powers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – in contacts with Iran related to its controversial nuclear programme.

Senior officials from the European Union and Iran met in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to iron out remaining practical questions related to the implementation of the Nov. 24 deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its most sensitive nuclear work in return for some relief from Western economic sanctions.

EU spokesman Michael Mann said on Friday that any agreements would need to be validated by the governments of Iran and the six powers.

The accord is designed to last six months and the parties hope to use the time to negotiate a final, broad settlement governing the scope of Iran’s nuclear program.

Western powers suspect Iran has been trying to develop the ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Iran says its program is aimed purely at civilian electricity generation and other civilian purposes.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

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