Archive for September, 2009

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DEBKAfile‘s military sources report that at least one of two Dolphin-class U212 submarines on order for the Israeli Navy from the German HDW shipyards in Kiel was delivered this week, bringing the Navy’s total number of this type of sub to four. According to foreign military sources, the Dolphin is capable of carrying cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

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A powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia Wednesday, trapping thousands under collapsed buildings — including two hospitals — and triggering landslides. Priyadi Kardono, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, told Reuters that up to 200 people are dead on the island of Sumatra.
The magnitude 7.6 quake struck at 5:15 p.m. local time, just off the coast of Padang city the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was along the same fault line that spawned the massive 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
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A tsunami that hit the Samoan islands may have killed up to 100 people, and left many more injured, Samoa’s disaster management office fears.
Towering waves, sparked by a powerful earthquake more than 100 miles away in the Pacific Ocean, smashed ashore flattening villages in their path.
The quake, which measured 8.3 on the Richter scale, caused waves around 1.5 metres tall to strike American Samoa and Western Samoa.
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The Afghan immigrant suspected of planning to turn common beauty chemicals into weapons of mass destruction and use them to blow up trains in New York City pleaded not guilty to the alleged terrorism plot on Tuesday.
Najibullah Zazi, 24, had help from at least three accomplices whose whereabouts and level of involvement haven’t been revealed, prosecutors say.
Authorities believe it had the potential to be the worst terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11.
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The top general in Iraq is sending home thousands more U.S. troops by the end of October as the American military pulls
back from the six-year war.
Gen. Ray Odierno says in prepared congressional testimony that the number of U.S. soldiers
in Iraq will total about 120,000 over the next month.
He said that will mean about 4,000 fewer troops than are in Iraq
now — about the size of an Army brigade.
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(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

A suspected U.S. missile strike killed three Taliban militants in restive northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, intelligence officials said, the latest attack in the region plagued by violence in recent days.
An unmanned U.S. drone targeted a Taliban compound in the South Waziristan tribal region and killed the insurgents, the two intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
The missile attack occurred in Sararogha village, the base of former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in an Aug. 5 strike by an American drone.
“]An Apache attack helicopter flies over the desert in Afghanistan [Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]clipped from
A retired Royal Marines helicopter pilot, now a reservist, says there is still some life in the old dog yet and has just deployed to Afghanistan to fly the fearsome Apache attack helicopter.
Lieutenant Commander Bill O’Brien, 54, is now part of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) Air Branch. He has deployed to Afghanistan for four months with a 155-strong team from 663 Squadron Army Air Corps who are based at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk.
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Britain’s top general in Afghanistan backed calls for more troops, insisting it would be impossible to deny al-Qaeda their terrorist safe havens by “simply patrolling from the skies”. In an exclusive interview with The Times, Lieutenant-General Jim Dutton, said yesterday that he supported a formal request made by his boss, General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander, for up to 40,000 new troops.
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Iran’s defense minister warned Israel again on Monday against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic, shortly after Iran test fired missiles reportedly capable of hitting Israel.

“If this [Israeli attack] happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime’s last breath,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on state television.
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Russia has called on the international community to show restraint after Iran successfully test-fired a missile said to be capable of hitting Israel.
“We should not give way to emotions now,” the Russian foreign ministry source said.
“We should try to calm down and the main thing is to launch a productive negotiations process (with Iran).”
English-language Press TV said the surface-to-surface Shahab-3 was launched during manoeuvres by the elite Revolutionary Guards.