Pakistan expresses solidarity with Germany, offers to ‘partner’ over efforts against Islamophobia


February 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has offered assistance to Germany and other ‘like-minded’ states in fighting Islamophobia, after a recent attack on shisha bars in which a suspected far-right extremist shot down nine people, including at least five Turkish nationals.

The Foreign Office, in a statement today, said that Pakistan strongly condemned the heinous attacks in Germany’s Hanau, expressing deep concern over rise in Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racial hatred.

Pakistan remains deeply concerned at the rising tide of Islamophobia, xenophobia and racial hatred sweeping across many parts of the world. The attacks once more underscore that violent extremism knows no race, religion or nationality. We reiterate our call for concerted efforts to root out ideologies of hate, as well as address the underlying causes of hate crimes,” read the statement.

In the statement, the FO also extended offer to aid Germany and ‘like-minded states’ in countering Islamophobia and promoting ‘inter-religious and inter-civilizational harmony’.

The FO said that Pakistan stands with the government and people of Germany, particularly the bereaved families.

We also express our deep condolences to the Turkish Government over the loss of innocent Turkish lives in the shootings. We wish the injured speedy recovery,” said the FO.

The attack late on Wednesday targeted two shisha bars in Hanau, a town close to Frankfurt in the western state of Hesse.

Police chased a car used to leave the scene of one shooting to its owner’s address, where they found the bodies of a 43-year-old German man and his 72-year-old mother, Hesse interior minister Peter Beuth said.

German federal prosecutors said they had taken charge of the case due to indications that the attack had an extremist motive, and newspaper Bild said the suspect had expressed far-right views in a written confession.

Source: geo.tv “Pakistan expresses solidarity with Germany, offers to ‘partner’ over efforts against Islamophobia”

Note: This is geo.tv’s report I post here f


US No Longer World Leader in Weapon Development


China showcased its DF-17 hypersonic missile in service at its 2019 military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of PRC. Russia has also showcased its hypersonic weapons. The US, however, plans to deploy its first hypersonic weapon by 2028.

Hypersonic weapons are the weapons of future, but the US began research of such weapons much later and allocated much less funds than China and Russia in the research and development of such weapons while wasting lots of resources in developing useless Zumwalt destroyers and LCSs and troublesome F-35s. It began to attach importance to the development of hypersonic weapons only after China and Russia have deployed such weapons. That proves that the US is no longer world leader in weapon development.

Note: the Global Strike described in Popular Mechanics’ article will be HGV (hypersonic glide vehicle) the same as DF-17. As HGV is fast enough to strike anywhere within a couple of hours why shall it be deployed in a submarine to make development more complicated.

A DF-17 is deployed on a mobile truck that can be hidden in China’s 5,000-km tunnels more secure than in a submarine.

China is now developing hypersonic aircraft powered by jet, scramjet and rocket that can take off and land on conventional airfield. It, however, will take years for the US to obtain HGV missiles.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Popular Mechanics’ article “One of the Pentagon’s First Hypersonic Weapons Will Ride on Submarines”, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a31004425/global-strike-hypersonic-submarine/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=022020&utm_campaign=nl19490819&src=nl.


Images show PLAAF J-16 armed with YJ-83K anti-ship missile


Andreas Rupprecht, Mainz – Jane’s Defence Weekly

18 February 2020

A still taken from CCTV video footage showing a PLAAF J-16 multirole fighter aircraft carrying an YJ-83K anti-ship missile. Source: CCTV-7

For the first time images have emerged showing a People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) J-16 multirole fighter armed with the radar-guided, 180 km-range YJ-83K anti-ship missile: an indication that China has enhanced the capabilities of this aircraft.

The images, which were part of a 16 February report by state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) focusing on new equipment, show a J-16 belonging to the PLAAF’s 40th Air Brigade at Nanchang-Xiangtan carrying two YJ-83Ks. It is unclear, however, when the images were taken.

The turbojet-powered missile, which is armed with a 165 kg high-explosive, semi-armour piercing warhead, cruises at speeds of Mach 0.9 at an altitude of 20-30 m before descending to 5-7 m during the terminal phase (sea-skimming capability).

There have also been reports of the J-10C fighter being armed with the 5.3 m-long missile, but no images of this have yet emerged.

The J-16 had been seen carrying the KD-88 air-to-surface missile in the past, but not the YJ-83K, which in PLA Navy Air Force service is the standard anti-ship missile carried by all JH-7s and JH-7A fighter-bombers, H-6G bombers and J-15 carrier-borne fighters.

In addition to the radar-guided YJ-83K, an improved version called YJ-83KH has been developed featuring an imaging-infrared seeker. The weapon has a stated maximum range of 230 km.

Source: Jane’s “Images show PLAAF J-16 armed with YJ-83K anti-ship missile”

Note: This is Jane’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources


Karen Freifeld, Alexandra Alper

February 16, 2020 / 4:48 AM / Updated an hour ago

(Reuters) – The U.S. government is considering whether to stop General Electric Co from continuing to supply engines for a new Chinese passenger jet, according to people familiar with the matter, casting uncertainty over China’s efforts to enter the civil aviation market.

FILE PHOTO: China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet taxis after landing on its maiden flight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China May 5, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

The potential restriction on the engine sales – possibly along with limits on other components for Chinese commercial aircraft such as flight control systems made by Honeywell International Inc – is the latest move in the battle between the world’s two largest economies over trade and technology.

The issue is expected to come up at an interagency meeting about how strictly to limit exports of U.S. technology to China on Thursday and at another meeting with members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet set for Feb. 28, sources said.

The White House and the U.S. Commerce Department, which issues licenses for such exports, declined to comment, as did a GE spokeswoman. The departments of Defense, State, Energy and Treasury did not respond to requests for comment.

For years, the United States has supported American companies’ business with China’s budding civil aviation industry.

The government has provided licenses that allow those companies to sell engines, flight control systems and other components for China’s first large commercial aircraft, the COMAC C919. The narrow-body jet has already engaged in test flights and is expected to go into service next year. COMAC is an acronym for Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd [CMAFC.UL].

But the Trump administration is weighing whether to deny GE’s latest license request to provide the CFM LEAP-1C engine for the C919, people familiar with the matter said, though GE has received licenses for the LEAP engines since 2014 and was last granted one in March 2019.

The CFM LEAP engine is a joint venture between GE and France’s Safran Aircraft Engines. The proposal to halt the deliveries of the engines was also reported on Saturday by the Wall Street Journal.

Safran did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and French government officials could not be reached for comment.

Aside from aircraft engines, flight control systems are up for discussion at the February meetings. Honeywell International has received licenses to export flight control systems to COMAC for the C919 for about a decade, and one was approved in early 2020, according to a person familiar with the matter.

But future permission for such sales for COMAC’s passenger aircrafts may be up for debate. Honeywell also has been seeking a license for flight control technology to participate in the development of the C929, China’s planned wide-body jet venture with Russia, the person said.

The flight control system operates moving mechanical parts, such as the wing flaps, from the cockpit.

A spokeswoman for Honeywell declined to comment.

An aerospace trade group official said his organization would like to weigh in on any policy shifts.

If there are any changes, we would hope they would engage with us, as they’ve done before,” said Remy Nathan, vice president for international affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association.

At the heart of the debate over a possible crackdown on the sale of U.S. parts to China’s nascent aircraft industry is whether such shipments would fuel the rise of a serious competitor to U.S.-based Boeing Co or boost China’s military capabilities.

People familiar with the matter said some administration officials are concerned the Chinese could reverse engineer some items, though others say an abundance of LEAP engines in China has not brought that about to date.

If the United States were to move ahead with the measure, one person familiar with the matter said, China could retaliate by ordering more planes from Airbus SE, rather than crisis-hit Boeing, which relies on China for a fourth its deliveries.

The Trump administration’s meetings about technology issues also are set to include a discussion of whether to impose further restrictions on suppliers to Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, which is on a U.S. trade blacklist.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Alexandra Alper; additional reporting by Tim Hepher in Paris; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Source: Reuters “U.S. weighs blocking GE engine sales for China’s new airplane: sources”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


‘Publish it, let the world see it,’ says Huawei on US evidence of alleged crimes


C. Scott Brown February 14, 2020

@c_scottbrown

Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice filed a formal indictment against Chinese tech giant Huawei. The indictment accuses Huawei of some serious crimes, including racketeering, theft, and obstruction. Although the accusations are serious, the indictment doesn’t provide much evidence to support them.

Now, Huawei is calling for the US to make any of its evidence against the company public. Huawei maintains that is innocent of all crimes.

We just say: ‘Don’t hide it, don’t be shy. Publish it, let the world see it’,” said Huawei’s cybersecurity chief John Suffolk.

Suffolk is specifically referring to evidence related to the allegations that the company uses so-called “backdoors” to spy on network communications performed by other countries. However, he also references the allegations that Huawei steals trade secrets in order to bolster its own brand.

On the latter charge, Suffolk pointed out that, if these allegations were true, Huawei’s competitors would be growing at a significant rate. He posits that if there are lucrative trade secrets Huawei has stolen from competitors, then these other companies should be growing as much as Huawei has.

Before the Huawei ban began, the company’s smartphone division was poised to overtake Samsung and become the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Even now, the company still sits comfortably in second place, above even the likes of Apple.

The faith of our customers — and you can see this in the results over the past 30 years — gives an indication of what our customers think of those allegations,” Suffolk said.

Source: Android Authority “‘Publish it, let the world see it,’ says Huawei on US evidence of alleged crimes”

Note: This is Android Authority’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority


First Lt. Tracy Tyson reads the Stars and Stripes in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, while waiting for a flight to Forward Observation Base Wolverine, Oct. 5, 2009. (U.S. Navy photo/Ernesto Hernandez Fonte)

14 Feb 2020

Stars and Stripes | By Corey Dickstein

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday defended the Pentagon’s effort to strip Stars and Stripes of all of its federal funding as part of its fiscal year 2021 budget request, telling reporters in Brussels that the independent news organization is not a priority.

“So, we trimmed the support for Stars and Stripes because we need to invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues,” Esper said during a news conference at NATO headquarters. He listed space, nuclear programs, hypersonic missiles and “a variety of systems” as places the money — slightly more than $15.5 million — could be reinvested in the $705.4 billion Defense Department spending proposal.

Pentagon officials acknowledged Wednesday for the first time that the budget proposal completely cuts the subsidy that the department provides Stars and Stripes to print and distribute newspapers to troops deployed around the world, including remote and often-dangerous locations in places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Stars and Stripes receives about $8.7 million annually in operations and maintenance funds and about $6.9 million in contingency operations funds, said Marine Lt. Col. Chris Logan, a spokesman for Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist.

The cut to Stars and Stripes’ annual Pentagon subsidy equals about half of the news organization’s annual funds to pay expenses. Stars and Stripes’ remaining money comes from sales, subscriptions and advertising.

Pentagon officials confirmed Monday that the budget request would cut at least some funding to Stars and Stripes, but they declined to provide monetary figures attached to the proposal. Stars and Stripes’ leadership was informed of the proposed cuts by Pentagon leadership also Monday, after The Wall Street Journal reported the news organization was eyed for a funding reduction.

Stars and Stripes first appeared during the Civil War, and it has been published continuously since World War II. It produces daily newspapers for U.S. military troops around the world and operates a website that is updated with news 24 hours per day. Though it is part of the Pentagon’s Defense Media Agency, Stripes retains its editorial independence and is congressionally mandated to be governed by First Amendment principles.

In Logan’s statement Wednesday, he acknowledged Stars and Stripes’ value during its seven decades of continuous service to the U.S. military community.

“Their hard work and dedication in reporting on issues that matter the most to the military community continues to be of value,” he said. “However, as we look forward to the current budget proposal and beyond, the DOD must prioritize spending to support our warfighters in the most critical areas of need. Therefore, the department has made the difficult decision that, beginning in fiscal year 2021, it will no longer provide appropriated funds to Stars and Stripes.”

The news organization’s value to American troops has been proven, said Ernie Gates, Stars and Stripes’ ombudsman. He said the newspaper not only provides service members “a little piece of home” or a “welcome diversion” from tough missions, but it also provides independent, free-flowing information that they need to exercise their rights as Americans.

The proposal has received pushback from varying directions, including a former commander, lawmakers and a key journalism advocacy-and-education organization, the Society of Professional Journalists.

SPJ called on Esper to rethink the funding cut to Stars and Stripes, which it said would be “a huge disservice to the men and women who serve our country” who rely on the physical newspaper in areas where they cannot access the internet.

“Since it was first published during the Civil War, Stars and Stripes has been a balanced and objective source of information for members of the military,” SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry said Wednesday in the statement. “Its ability to inform troops about issues important to them must not be hindered.”

Military veteran lawmakers Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-Calif., and Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., tweeted their support for Stars and Stripes this week.

“Stars & Stripes was a link to home when I was in Iraq and Okinawa,” wrote Gallego, a Marine veteran. “It’s an A+ indie take on everyday DoD news, f*** ups, and Administration & General Officer BS. No wonder this President wants to cut it. He’s got a fight on his hands.”

Cisneros, a Navy veteran, wrote Stars and Stripes “provides a crucial voice on the DOD, VA, and other military matters.”

“We need their reporting,” he tweeted.

Other members of Congress reached this week for comment said they needed to take a close look at budget documents before speaking. One member expected to be briefed on the Stars and Stripes funding proposal this week.

In an email, a former top commander of American and NATO troops in Europe defended Stars and Stripes.

“Every day in my office as commander [of] U.S. European Command, I would read Stars and Stripes,” said retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, who served as EUCOM chief and NATO Supreme Allied Command from 2009 to 2013. “It was an invaluable, unbiased, and highly professional source of information which was critical to me in my role overseeing U.S. military throughout Europe.”

–Stars and Stripes reporters Slobodan Lekic and John Vandiver contributed to this report.

Source: military.com “Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority”

Note: This is military.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Pelosi warns US allies: ‘Don’t go near Huawei’


Published Fri, Feb 14 20202:54 PM EST

Updated Fri, Feb 14 20207:45 PM EST

Amanda Macias

@amanda_m_macias

Key Points

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday warned nations against doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei and called on other nations to work with the U.S. as the globe races to develop 5G networks.

  • This is the most insidious form of aggression, to have that line of communication, 5G, dominated by an autocratic government that does not share our values,” Pelosi told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.

  • Her comments come as the Trump administration works to isolate Huawei from developing a larger foothold in U.S. partner countries.

Speaker of the House of Represenatives Nancy Pelosi speaks during a discussion at the Munich Security Conference on February 14, 2020 in Munich, Germany.
Kuhlmann | Munich Security Conference

MUNICH — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday warned nations against doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei and called on other nations to work with the U.S. as the globe races to develop 5G networks.

Her comments come after the Justice Department brought new charges against Huawei, accusing it of racketeering and plotting to steal trade secrets from U.S. companies.

This is the most insidious form of aggression, to have that line of communication, 5G, dominated by an autocratic government that does not share our values,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told an audience at the Munich Security Conference.

If you want to build a collective conscience of values and respect for human rights and the rest, don’t go near Huawei and instead, let’s internationalize and build something together that will be about freedom of information,” she added.

Pelosi’s hard stance against Huawei represents one of her few areas of agreement with President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is working to isolate Huawei from developing a larger foothold in U.S. partner countries. The administration has specifically worked to keep members of the “five eyes” intelligence-sharing group — the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand — from working with Huawei.

Last month, the Trump administration expressed disappointment after the U.K. announced it would allow Huawei to have limited access to some British 5G mobile networks. “The United States is disappointed by the U.K.’s decision,” a senior Trump administration official wrote in a Jan. 28 emailed statement to CNBC. The official added that the Trump administration will work “with the U.K. on a way forward that results in the exclusion of untrusted vendor components from 5G networks.”

U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and that it threatens national security. China maintains that it does not engage in intellectual property theft.

I’ve been tracking China for 30 years on trade, intellectual property and the rest of it, and I tell you unequivocally, without any hesitation: Be very careful … unless you want to end up with a society like China or an economy like China, which is not in the free enterprise mode,” Pelosi said, reiterating that countries need to work with the U.S. on 5G development.

A White House official told a small group of reporters on the sidelines of the Munich forum that the U.S. wants to develop partnerships with the telecom industry in order to counter Huawei’s offerings.

Robert Blair, White House special representative for international telecommunications policy, also called on the U.K. to take a “hard look” at its decision to use Huawei equipment.

Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC last week that London’s decision could jeopardize trade talks between the U.K. and the United States.

We’re anxious to build our economic ties, but we have made it clear to Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson and to officials in the U.K., that as we expand opportunities to build out 5G across this country … we want to see our companies meet the needs in the United States and U.K. and among all our allies without the compromise of privacy and the compromise of security that necessarily comes with Huawei and control by the Chinese Communist Party,” Pence told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost.

When asked about the issue by CNBC on his first day as secretary of Defense, Mark Esper said he was “very concerned about Chinese technology getting into our systems or the systems of our allies.”

Huawei is the poster child right now for that,” Esper said, adding that the U.S. trade war with China is as much about national security as it is about the economy.

In 2018, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world, citing potential security risks. Huawei and ZTE have previously denied allegations that their products are used to spy on Americans.

Source: CNBC “Pelosi warns US allies: ‘Don’t go near Huawei’”

Note: This is CNBC’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.