Friday, December 28, 2012
Just the Facts?: Pentagon Prepares For China -- Saudi Police Foil Christmas Celebration -- Woman Assaults TSA Agents
Pentagon prepares to contain China by 2017
Shifting its military power to the Asia-Pacific region, the United States has started a five-year process of deploying its three types of stealth warplanes to bases near China.
Air Force F-22s and B-2s and Marine Corps F-35s will be stationed at bases around China as Beijing tests its own radar-evading jet fighters, Wired magazine reported Dec. 26. Earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration unveiled a new defense strategy that envisages a shift of focus from Iraq and Afghanistan toward the Pacific while addressing the increasing threats from China. Washington also announced in June the repositioning of its Navy fleet with the majority of its warships, 60 percent, to be assigned to the Asia-Pacific by 2020.
The announcements of new Pacific deployments of three warplanes have come in recent weeks starting with the 8th Air Force Cmdr. Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson’s remarks on redeployment of B-2s, most probably to the Guam air base of the Pentagon.
‘Guam as strategic hub’
Wilson, who controls the Air Force’s 20 B-2 fleet normally based in Missouri, said “small numbers” of B-2s would begin rotating into the Pacific and other regions starting next year, speaking to Air Force magazine in early November. “Our B-2s will rotate to forward operating locations all over the world in small numbers for a few weeks at a time, a couple of times a year,” Wilson said in a Nov. 7 interview.
F-22s, normally based in Florida, Virginia, Alaska and Hawaii, are already regular visitors to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and, more frequently, the Pentagon’s Kadena base in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, the report said. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also said recently there would be “new deployments of F-22s … to Japan.”
“Over the past year, we reached major agreements with Japan to realign our forces and jointly develop Guam as a strategic hub,” Panetta said. Panetta announced the first planned overseas basing of the still-in-development F-35 in the same speech. The Defense Department is “laying the groundwork” for F-35s to deploy to Iwakuni, Japan, in 2017, Panetta said.
Obama held his first foreign trip since his re-election to the region in November, saying the region was critically important.
“As the fastest-growing region in the world, the Asia-Pacific will shape so much of our security and prosperity in the century ahead, and it is critical to creating jobs and opportunity for the American people. That’s why I’ve made restoring American engagement in this region a top priority as president,” Obama told reporters during his visit to Bangkok. - Hurriyet Daily News
Obama and China's Rise: An Insider's Account of America's Asia Strategy
Red Star over the Pacific: China's Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime Strategy
Woman hit 2 TSA agents during security checkpoint
An American Airlines passenger was arrested at Orlando International Airport on Wednesday after police say she hit two Transportation Security Administration agents while going through a security checkpoint.
According to the police report, Hyunjoo Kim, 39, of South Korea, was coming through the west passenger screening checkpoint at OIA on Wednesday morning when she became upset that she had to be patted down during the screening process.
When she was told she had prohibited items, she became enraged, swinging several times at a TSA officer and slapping her on the face, according to the report. Kim then shoved another TSA officer in the chest several times in an attempt to get her bag, police said.
Kim was yelling profanities at the TSA officers when police arrived and denied hitting anyone, despite multiple witnesses telling police they saw the incident. She was booked into the Orange County Jail on two counts of battery on transit agents.
TSA released a statement on Thursday, saying, “TSA takes the safety of our Officers very seriously and any physical assault on our Officers will be referred for criminal prosecution."
This incident marks the fourth time a passenger has assaulted a TSA agent. Back in April, a Bonita Springs woman angered by a pat-down she received assaulted an officer at the security checkpoint at Southwest Florida International Airport. She was convicted in July of battery against a TSA employee.
In July 2011, a passenger flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport refused a TSA screening and groped the female supervisor. The 61-year-old woman pleaded guilty to assault and disorderly conduct last week. - Click Orlando
Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security
TSA and Me: A Light-hearted Look at Travel Today
Amazing Christmas Daytime UFO Video In Pennsylvania
Rick Phillips offers an interesting video at UFO Disclosure Countdown Clock. Apparently, similar objects have been seen at other locations nationwide.
Englishman wakes up from stroke speaking fluent Welsh
Alun Morgan, 81, was evacuated to Wales during the Second World War but left 70 years ago.
During his time there he was surrounded by Welsh speakers but never learned the language himself.
He left the country aged 10 and lived his life in England and recently suffered a severe stroke.
But when Mr Morgan regained consciousness three weeks later, doctors discovered he was speaking Welsh and could not remember any English.
It is thought that the Welsh Mr Morgan heard as a boy had sunk in without him knowing and was unlocked after he suffered the stroke.
Mr Morgan, who is retired and lives with his wife Yvonne in Bathwick, Somerset, is now being taught to speak English again.
"I'd not lived in Wales since I was evacuated there during the war. Gradually the English words came back, but it wasn't easy,'' he said.
Mr Morgan had been watching the lunchtime news when his wife noticed he was not responsive and called an ambulance.
He was rushed into hospital where he spent three weeks being stabilised and assessed.
Doctors diagnosed Mr Morgan with aphasia, a form of brain damage which causes a shift in the brain's language centre.
He was helped by the Communication Support Service, run by the Stroke Association in Bath.
In 2012 grandmother Kay Russell, 49, of Bishop Cleeve in Gloucestershire, suffered a migraine and began speaking in a French accent.
Sarah Colwill, 35, of Plymouth, Devon, also suffered a migraine and began speaking with a Chinese accent.
Doctors say they suffered Foreign Accent Syndrome, a condition which damages the part of the brain that controls speech and word formation.
More than 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK, and a third end up with aphasia as a result.
Chris Clark, Stroke Association’s UK Director of Life After Stroke Services said:
“Stroke can have a big affect on individuals and lead to personality and physical changes. With a stroke, blood supply to the brain is cut off and in the areas starved of oxygen, brain cells die and damage can be caused.
“Aphasia is caused by damage to the areas of the brain responsible for language.
"As a result, individuals who were previously able to communicate through speaking, understanding, reading and writing become more limited in their ability to do so." - Telegraph
Saudi police foil plot to celebrate Christmas
The religious police in Saudi Arabia have raided a house in the Al Jawf Province and arrested 41 people, who were “plotting to celebrate Christmas,” a police statement said.
The police said that the detainees were Christian guests of an Asian diplomat, reports the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.
There were also a Saudi Arabian and an Egyptian, both Muslims, present at the gathering. The police account says the host and the two Muslim guests were “severely intoxicated.”
It is unclear whether or not the people detained in the Wednesday night raid were released or face further prosecution.
Saudi Arabia outlaws any religious practice except those in line with a strict version of Sunni Islam, the state religion in the theocratic monarchy. The authorities usually turn a blind eye to private ceremonies, but this policy is neither set in law nor observed at all times.
The “virtue and vice” police, which enforce religious norms in the country, regularly launch crackdowns on Christians and Hindus living in Saudi Arabia.
The attitude is encouraged by religious leaders, who justify the persecutions. Saudi Arabia's head mufti Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah had previously condemned “invitations to Christmas or wedding celebrations,” the newspaper says. - RT
The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims
Islam Vs. The United States