February 12, 2017

Hamburg Airport evacuated ‘after pepper spray leaked into the air conditioning system’ leaving 68 injured

  • Fifty people being treated for breathing problems, coughing and burning eyes
  • It’s understood toxic chemicals were spread through the air conditioning system
  • Emergency services were called to the scene to reports of a ‘nasty odour’ 
  • All flights are grounded with the fire brigade having taken over the terminal

Hamburg Airport is on lockdown after the entire building was evacuated as pepper spray leaked into the air conditioning system.

German officials said 68 people were coughing, suffering breathing problems and burning eyes after the incident and nine were taken to hospital.

It is thought a canister of the substance used to control riots was set off in a bin near the security check-in desks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216828/Hamburg-airport-lockdown-building-evacuated.html

 

North Korea test-fires ballistic missile

The missile, which sources said landed in the Sea of Japan, was fired as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited President Trump in the United States.
“North Korea’s most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable. North Korea must fully comply with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” Abe told a news conference at Palm Beach, Florida.

French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon and his British-born wife Penelope will be indicted for fraud this week

  • 62-year-olds under investigation for range of charges including embezzlement
  • Mrs Fillon has been fighting to prove she was parliamentary attaché for decades
  • Indictment of the couple could prove fatal to politician’s presidential campaign

French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon and his British-born wife Penelope will be indicted for fraud this week and could be sent for criminal trial immediately.

The 62-year-olds are currently under investigation for a range of charges including embezzlement after helping themselves to hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of taxpayers’ cash by setting up a series of allegedly fake jobs.

Mrs Fillon, a solicitor’s daughter from Wales, has been ‘fighting tooth and nail’ to prove she was secretly a high-powered parliamentary attaché and literary consultant for decades.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216634/Francois-Fillon-wife-Penelope-indicted-fraud.html#ixzz4YTWDc5gC

U.S. Army: 95% of Brigade Combat Teams Unprepared to Fight Immediately

WASHINGTON — Only three of the 58 U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) are capable of immediately joining the fight in the event of a major conflict, Gen. Daniel Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, told lawmakers.

According to the general, about one-third of the 58 BCTs in the Army, the largest U.S. military branch, are deemed ready, but “only three” of those “could be called upon to fight tonight in the event of a crisis.”

The rest would require about 30 days to prepare. That means only about five percent of brigade combat teams are ready to engage in immediate combat in the event of a major conflict.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/07/us-army-95-percent-brigade-combat-teams-unable-fight-immediately/

 

How the Royal Navy is all at sea over an appeal to ancient mariners to crew its new £6.2 billion aircraft carriers

  • £6.2 billion aircraft carriers could be crewed by mariners aged 60 and above
  • Naval chiefs are to appeal to ex-sailors to apply to key posts due to manpower crisis
  • In 2015 a recruitment drive aimed to bring in 4,000 additional personnel but only a few hundred new sailors were hired

Britain’s two new £6.2 billion aircraft carriers have been heralded as the beginning of an exciting era in naval warfare – but due to a manpower crisis, they will be crewed by some of the saltiest sea dogs of modern times.

The Mail on Sunday can reveal that this week the Ministry of Defence will begin a recruitment drive begging ex-sailors who have retired or been made redundant to come back to man the ships.

Normally, only sailors aged up to 59 are considered for duty. But a shortage of personnel has led naval chiefs to appeal to mariners aged 60 and above to apply for key posts.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4216096/Manpower-crisis-sees-6-2-billion-ships-lacking-sailors.html#ixzz4YTXQJSQo

German firm refuses key component for US grenade launcher over 1868 international law

German firm refuses key component for US grenade launcher over 1868 international law
A German arms producer has refused to deliver key components for a new US grenade launcher, citing an 1868 convention prohibiting grenades being fired straight at a person. The German company is now facing penalties.

Mass production of the US, state-of-the-art, shoulder-fired grenade launcher XM25 has stalled since German company Heckler & Koch (H&K) has refused to deliver a key detail, fearing the weapon would hit people directly in violation of the 19th century international treaty, DPA reported.

Heckler & Koch is referring to 1868 St Petersburg international law convention that says grenades can’t be fired directly at a person. According to the document, grenades may be thrown at a building or near a person, but not straight at them.

https://www.rt.com/news/377084-germany-usa-grenade-launcher/

Get Ready, Russia: Britain Is Sending Warships to the Black Sea

Is Britain girding for a fight in Russia’s backyard? For the first time since the Cold War, Britain is sending a warship to the Black Sea on a military mission.

This time, the goal is to send a message to Russia: don’t invade Ukraine. The question is whether Russia will—or even should—bother to take the warning seriously.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/get-ready-russia-britain-sending-warships-the-black-sea-19397

The Army’s More Lethal M1A2 SEP v4 Abrams Tank Variant Will Start Testing in the 2020s

KRIS OSBORN

Tuesday at 10:00 AM

The Army is now engineering a far-superior M1A2 SEP v4 Abrams tank variant for the 2020s and beyond –designed to be more lethal, faster, lighter weight, better protected, equipped with new sensors and armed with upgraded, more effective weapons.

The Army is now engineering a far-superior M1A2 SEP v4 Abrams tank variant for the 2020s and beyond –designed to be more lethal, faster, lighter weight, better protected, equipped with new sensors and armed with upgraded, more effective weapons, service officials said.

Advanced networking technology with next-generation sights, sensors, targeting systems and digital networking technology — are all key elements of an ongoing upgrade to position the platform to successfully engage in combat against rapidly emerging threats, such as the prospect of confronting a Russian T-14 Armata or Chinese 3rd generation Type 99 tank.

The SEP v4 variant, slated to being testing in 2021, will include new laser rangefinder technology, color cameras, integrated on-board networks, new slip-rings, advanced meteorological sensors, ammunition data links, laser warning receivers and a far more lethal, multi-purpose 120mm tank round, Maj. Gen. David Bassett, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Systems, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1728632-new-army-m1a2-sepv4-abrams-tank-for-2020s

China Tells India To Stay Off Its Indian Ocean ‘Colony,’ Sri Lanka

I cover global markets, business and investment strategy

After claiming South China Sea to be its own sea, telling America to stay off its islands, China is reaching for the Indian Ocean, telling India to stay off its own colony, Sri Lanka.

That’s something investors in Southeast Asian markets should keep a wary eye on, as it opens yet another front between the two Asian giants, raising the geopolitical risk of investing in the region.

Markets, for the time being, seem to be ignoring these risks.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2017/02/11/china-tells-india-to-stay-off-its-indian-ocean-colony-sri-lanka/#7a4ff4875f3a

India’s own interceptor missile soars high

An indigenously developed interceptor missile on Saturday successfully destroyed an incoming ballistic missile in a direct hit, demonstrating the capability of India’s Ballistic Missile Shield (BMD), which is under development.

“At 07.45 hrs today, India successfully conducted a test wherein an incoming ballistic missile target was intercepted by an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the Bay of Bengal,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. As part of the test, a target missile mimicking an enemy ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km was launched from an Indian Navy ship stationed in the Bay of Bengal and the missile travelled towards the coast, reaching a very high altitude, officials said. It was engaged and destroyed at a height of over 50 km.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/India%E2%80%99s-own-interceptor-missile-soars-high/article17290456.ece

Sweden’s Saab offers high-tech jet production to India

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to build a state-of-the-art fighter jet factory in India should it seal a lucrative deal to supply hundreds of military jets to New Delhi.
Saab and its US competitor Lockheed Martin have emerged as the frontrunners to supply around 250 single-engine combat planes to India’s air force which wants to revamp its Soviet-era military hardware.
The Saab proposal would see “the world’s most modern” military aircraft factory roll out the Gripen E fighter not just for India but the global market.

Russia steps up cyber-attacks on Britain

Inside GCHQ: security chiefs are expecting a ‘category 1’ incident, the most seriousREX FEATURES

Britain is being hit by 60 significant cyber-attacks a month, including attempts by Russian state-sponsored hackers to steal defence and foreign policy secrets from government departments, the new cyber-security chief has revealed.

In his first key interview, Ciaran Martin, head of GCHQ’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), warned there had been a “step change” in Russia’s online aggression against the West as well as more attacks on “soft targets” such as local councils and charities to steal personal data, and universities to steal research secrets. The Queen will open the new cyber-centre on Tuesday.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-steps-up-cyber-attacks-on-uk-rl262pnlb

‘Get out of France’: Paris police tear gassing refugees and stealing blankets in freezing conditions, report reveals

Exclusive: ‘Alarming’ research shows almost two thirds of migrants ‘violently’ forced to move

Refugees sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions in Paris are having their blankets and sleeping bags stolen by police while being “violently” forced to move on, a report has found.

Research exclusively published by The Independent shows that men, women and children are being beaten and tear gassed by officers in the French capital, despite government pledges to shelter vulnerable people.

Eritrean families said they were told to “get out of France” as police tore away children’s blankets, leaving them without protection as the bitter temperatures plummeted to -7C

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/refugee-crisis-paris-migrants-france-police-sleeping-bags-blankets-violence-refugee-rights-data-a7575376.html

German defense minister during U.S visit calls American demands about NATO ‘fair’

BERLIN — Germany’s defense minister agrees with America’s call for European NATO members to shoulder more of the burden in the alliance.

Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Friday that the Trump administration’s call — which echoes long-standing U.S. policy — is “a fair demand.” Von der Leyen met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Washington to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/german-defense-minister-calls-american-nato-demands-fair-during-us-visit

Mattis heading to Europe while mulling changes in Afghanistan, anti-Islamic State fight

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meets with Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s defense minister, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2017.

JETTE CARR/U.S. AIR FORCE

By DAN LAMOTHE | The Washington Post

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will depart Tuesday on his first trip to Europe as Pentagon chief, meeting with defense ministers from numerous countries as Washington mulls deploying thousands more troops to Afghanistan and altering its strategy to more aggressively counter the Islamic State.

The trip will include stops in Brussels to meet with European counterparts and in Germany to participate in the Munich Security Conference, a gathering of hundreds of ministers, heads of state and academics focused on bolstering global security. In Brussels, Mattis also will host a separate meeting of senior officials in the coalition fighting the Islamic State, as the Pentagon works to provide a new plan to President Donald Trump within weeks

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/mattis-heading-to-europe-while-mulling-changes-in-afghanistan-anti-islamic-state-fight-1.453582

US beefing up Red Sea presence

Washington — Responding to a growing number of dangerous incidents in waters around Yemen, the US Navy is expanding its presence in the Red Sea, especially around the Bab el Mandeb strait at the southern entrance to the waterway.

The destroyer Cole was tasked on Feb. 3 with patrolling in the region, days after a suicide boat attack by Yemeni Houthi rebels on the Saudi frigate Al Madinah off the port of Al Hudaydah killed two sailors on the warship. Two other suicide boats in the attack were driven off by gunfire.

Now, Pentagon sources say two more destroyers are likely to be stationed in the Red Sea, patrolling opposite ends of the 1,400-mile long body of water. A US assault ship also is staying in the region, carrying attack aircraft and Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/us-beefing-up-red-sea-presence

Turkey-backed rebels push into Syrian IS group stronghold of al-Bab

Saleh Abo Ghaloun, AFP |
Turkey-backed-opposition fighters regroup as they advance on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of al-Bab in a bid to enter the city and retake control of it from the Islamic State (IS) group on February 9, 2017.

Video by Adam PLETTS

Latest update : 2017-02-12

Turkish troops and Syrian rebels on Saturday entered the strategic northern Syrian town of al-Bab, held by the Islamic State (IS) group, a local monitor said, as government forces also moved closer to the jihadist bastion.

Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency quoted military sources as saying one Turkish soldier was killed and another wounded in clashes with IS group militants in al-Bab.

http://www.france24.com/en/20170211-turkish-troops-syrian-rebels-push-stronghold-al-bab-group

Tensions flare between Greece, Turkey over Cyprus

By Eric DuVall
Feb. 11 (UPI) — Tensions flared between Greece and Turkey over the divided island of Cyprus after Greek officials accused the Turkish military of violating its air space and the Greek-controlled Cypriot Parliament passed a law the island’s Turks deemed offensive.

The twin military and political clashes come a month after United Nations-backed reunification negotiations failed to resolve the decades-long conflict.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/11/Tensions-flare-between-Greece-Turkey-over-Cyprus/7771486852069/

Swedish, Danish citizens arrested on terror accusations in Turkey: reports

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