Archive | Military

Nuevo Laredo: 140 Inmates Escape from Mexican Prison

About 140 inmates have escaped from a prison in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico Friday in the most significant Mexican prison break since President Felipe Calderon began his crackdown on drug trafficking four years ago.

The northern Mexico town is located across the border from Laredo, Texas.

Reuters reported that inmates exited through the main vehicle entrance of the prison. The country’s federal interior department is pointing the finger at local authorities for not providing adequate security of the facility.

Later in the day Friday, an SUV exploded outside a police station on the outskirts of the wealthy business hub Monterrey. Authorities have not yet commented on whether the two incidents may be linked.

The blast injured two people and knocked out power in the small town of Zuazua, a major battlezone in the war between drug gangs and police.

Posted in International Relations & Treaties, Laws & Regulations, Military, Politics & Politicians0 Comments

Cyberwarfare Worries on Ethical Grounds

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 14 (UPI) — Cyberwarfare is here, researchers warn, and there are no Geneva Convention-type limitations or ethical constraints on the new kinds of virtual attack.

Cyber attacks have been around for decades, researchers at the New State University at Buffalo, N.Y., say, and the most serious escalation has seen countries launch attacks on other nations, like the Stuxnet nuclear plant-disrupting computer worm the Iranians have blamed on Israel and the United States.

University military ethicist Randall R. Diper says this is worrisome because cyber attacks are almost entirely unaddressed by traditional morality and laws of war.

“The urge to destroy databases, communications systems and power grids, rob banking systems, darken cities, knock manufacturing and health-care infrastructure off line and other calamitous outcomes are bad enough,” Dipert says. “But unlike conventional warfare, there is nothing remotely close to the Geneva Conventions for cyberwar. There are no boundaries in place and no protocols that set the standards in international law for how such wars can and cannot be waged.

“For instance, traditional rules of warfare address inflicting injury or death on human targets or the destruction of physical structures,” he says. “But there are no rules or restrictions on ‘soft-’ or ‘cyber-’ damage, damage that might not destroy human beings or physical structures as objects.

“But intentional destruction or corruption of data and/or algorithms and denial-of-service attacks could cause tremendous harm … that could make entirely civilian systems that are necessary for the well being of the population inoperable for long periods of time.

“I would predict that what we face today is a long Cyber Cold War,” Dipert says, “marked by limited but frequent damage to information systems, while nations, corporations and other agents test these weapons and feel their way toward some sort of equilibrium.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Nuclear, Other0 Comments

China Keeps Up Busy Space Launch Schedule

BEIJING, Sept. 23 (UPI) — In the latest effort in China’s feverish pace of space exploration activities, it has successfully launched a secret military payload, authorities said.

It was the fifth launch in less than two months for China and the second launching in that time period of a clandestine Yaogan reconnaissance satellite, SPACE.com reported Thursday.

China’s recent rush to space includes a mysterious orbital rendezvous, an upcoming lunar probe and preparations for continued human missions.

Wednesday’s blastoff of a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan space center in the desert of northwestern China placed Yaogan 11 and two smaller satellites on a path nearly 400 miles above Earth.

The Yaogan 11 will conduct scientific experiments, survey land resources, estimate crop yields and contribute to natural disaster response efforts, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The Yaogan satellites are believed to provide the Chinese military with high-resolution reconnaissance imagery, experts say.

Next year, China plans to send its Tiangong 1 module to space.

A series of unmanned and manned Shenzhou capsules will visit the module, forming a modest space station for long-duration research missions by Chinese astronauts, SPACE.com said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Other0 Comments

Military Better at Treating Brain Injuries

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) — U.S. military physicians say they are breaking new ground in identifying and treating traumatic brain injuries and mental health issues.

Dr. David Williamson, medical director for the Inpatient Psychological Heath and Traumatic Brain Injury program at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and staff say roadside bombs and other blasts cause physical changes in the brain and how it functions, the Department of Defense reports.

“When you are in a blast, there are actually neuron-cognitive changes that occur in how the brain and the synapses and the brain connections — the wiring of the brain — actually work,” said.

Vice Adm. Adam M. Robinson Jr., the U.S. Navy surgeon general says except in the case of severe traumatic brain injury — involving a penetrating head wound — these wounds can be difficult to diagnose and symptoms often aren’t immediate.

“When you break your arm, I can do an X-ray and can show you the break,” Robinson says. “We have finally, as a military and as a medical service — Army, Navy and Air Force — come to grips with the fact that war creates injuries that are not seen, injuries that are just as life-changing and as devastating as amputations and other physical injuries that come back.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Other0 Comments

Robots Programmed to Deceive

ATLANTA, Sept. 9 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they’ve given robots the ability to lie — or at least to deceive — in what they say could be a valuable capability.

Georgia Institute of Technology scientists have conducted experiments in what is believed to be the first detailed examination of robot deception, a university release said.

Robots capable of deception could be useful in several different areas, including military and search-and-rescue operations, the researchers say.

A search-and-rescue robot might need to deceive panicking victims in order to calm them or receive cooperation, they say.

Battlefield robots with the power of deception would be able to hide and mislead the enemy to keep themselves and their valuable information safe.

“Most social robots will probably rarely use deception, but it’s still an important tool in the robot’s interactive arsenal because robots that recognize the need for deception have advantages in terms of outcome compared to robots that do not recognize the need for deception,” Georgia Tech research engineer Alan Wagner said.

But creating robots with the capacity to deceive raises ethical implications that need to be considered, the researchers admit.

“We have been concerned from the very beginning with the ethical implications related to the creation of robots capable of deception and we understand that there are beneficial and deleterious aspects,” Ronald Arkin, a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing, said.

“We strongly encourage discussion about the appropriateness of deceptive robots to determine what, if any, regulations or guidelines should constrain the development of these systems,” he said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Other0 Comments

Ancient Roman Mill Uncovered in U.K.

LONDON, Aug. 26 (UPI) — British archaeologists say they’ve discovered a Roman “industrial park” that may have been home to a famous missing legion.

The unearthed site in North Yorkshire includes the remains of a water-powered flour mill used to grind grain and produce food, clothes, graves and pottery for the soldiers, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The site was excavated as part of a $494 million upgrade of a major U.K. highway.

The newly uncovered site is close to a ruined fort at Healam Bridge, part of the Roman frontier in northern England 2,000 years ago.

It is believed the military outpost was used by the Roman Ninth Hispanic Legion, which disappeared sometime in the 2nd Century AD.

“We know a lot about Roman forts, which have been extensively studied, but to excavate an industrial area with a mill is really exciting,” team leader Blaise Vyner said.

“We hope it can tell us more about how such military outposts catered for their needs, as self-sufficiency would have been important.”

The industrial area comprised a series of large timber buildings, mostly on the north side of a mountain stream that powered the mill, researchers said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Buildings, Military, Other0 Comments

Violence Mars African Anti-poaching Effort

MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 17 (UPI) — Some conservation programs in Africa are willing to use shoot-to-kill campaigns against poachers to protect endangered species, a British researcher says.

An academic at the University of Manchester in England says private security firms and mercenaries are being used to train game rangers to mount military-style campaigns against poachers, the BBC reported Monday.

Professor Rosaleen Duffy, who has researched the issue for 15 years, says the development of nature tourism has meant international pressure to save high-profile species is intense and has led to extreme protection efforts, including killing poachers outright.

“Because private military operations and also park rangers are given authority to shoot on sight the suspected poachers, then they can shoot first and ask questions later,” Duffy said.

In the escalating war over wildlife, local people may be mistakenly regarded as threats, she said.

“I think what happens then is that local people get justifiably very angry about people being shot because they’re suspected of poaching whereas in fact what they might be doing is simply taking a short cut through a national park or they might be collecting grass for thatch,” she said.

Duffy concedes that some poachers are heavily armed professionals — often former members of security forces — who are only too willing to open fire themselves.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Conservation, Military, Other0 Comments

China Builds Spacecraft for New Mission

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (UPI) — China has completed building its first unmanned space module and is testing its electronic, mechanical and thermal properties, a Chinese military source said.

The Tiangong-1 space module is expected to take part in China’s first space docking with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which will be launched after the Tiangong-1 in the second half of 2011, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The Shenzhou-8 is currently under construction and testing of the Long March II_F launch rocket is under way, Xinhua said.

Chinese astronauts, including two females, are reportedly undergoing training for the space docking.

Two other spacecraft, the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10, will be launched in 2012 and will also dock with Tiangong-1, the source said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Other0 Comments

Military Satellite Set for Saturday Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) — An Atlas rocket was rolled to a launch pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral in preparation for the launch of a new military communications satellite, officials said.

The launch, scheduled for Saturday, will put into orbit the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency spacecraft, intended to handle the most critical military communications even in the event of a nuclear war, Florida Today reported.

The 13,500-pound satellite is the first in a $6.5 billion program intended to replace the U.S. Air Force’s aging Milstar satellites.

Forecasters at Cape Canaveral say conditions for Saturday’s launch window appear good, with an 80 percent chance of weather acceptable for launching.

If the launch of the 19-story-tall rocket, with its three strap-on solid boosters, is scrubbed for any reason, officials say, the next attempt would be Monday.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Nuclear, Other0 Comments

China Launches Possible Spy Satellite

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (UPI) — China launched a secret reconnaissance satellite with a Long March rocket Monday, the sixth satellite it has launched this year, authorities said.

The mission lifted off aboard a Long March 4C rocket from the Taiyuan launching center in northern China’s Shanxi province, SPACE.com reported.

Independent tracking data showed the three-stage booster placing the satellite in an orbit about 380 miles high.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the satellite would conduct scientific experiments, make land surveys, estimate crop yields and help respond to natural disasters.

But observers say it is likely a military high-resolution optical and radar reconnaissance satellite, SPACE.com said.

The Yoagon series of satellites began launching in 2006, and a recent launch in March included three spacecraft believed to be naval observation satellites.

In a move typical of China’s policy regarding military payloads, the launch was announced less than 24 hours in advance, SPACE.com said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Military, Natural Disasters, Other0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement