Flash Gordon Left Me The Keys


Tuesday, April 22, 2003

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Iraq War Action Figures Become Hot Items
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) -- Emil Vicale's business really began to surge when he put Osama bin Laden in a pink dress.

His new hit is Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, who comes in two versions, "dumb" and "dumber." The dumber one talks.

Vicale's Danbury-based company, Herobuilders.com, makes action figures of notables in the Iraq war and the war on terrorism, from President Bush to Saddam Hussein.

For those who find bin Laden too menacing in military fatigues, Herobuilders offers another outfit.

"We made him a nice pink dress," Vicale said Friday. "The demand was so much we had to look for a seamstress who specializes in these little clothes."
Vicale ran a design firm when he acquired toybuilders.com, a maker of custom toys, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He said he was inspired by President Bush's speech at Ground Zero, when he declared, "The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." Vicale made a doll of Bush that speaks those words.

He then decided to make a bin Laden figure, and discovered the villain was a big seller.

Vicale, 42, won't provide exact figures, but says he has sold thousands of the dolls, mostly in the United States and Britain.

"It's just unbelievable," Vicale said.

As he talked, the phone at his small company rang continually and orders came in over the Internet. One employee took orders while another sculpted the action figures.

Doll parts were placed on shelves under signs that marked the different products, including "Dirty Terrorist," "Saddam Insane," and "Ally," for British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The talking doll of al-Sahhaf, who gained notoriety by steadfastly denying coalition gains as U.S. troops stormed toward Baghdad, includes audio clips from him such as "There are no American infidels in Baghdad, Never!"

Vicale has a long list of new dolls he's planning, including the leaders of France, Russia and Germany, who opposed the Iraq war.

Action figures are a $1.2 billion annual industry in the United States, said Chris Byrne, an independent toy consultant. Herobuilder's novelty items are a small but profitable part of the business, he said.

"It's sort of capitalizing on what's going on right now," Byrne said. "It's a very jingoistic time right now for the United States. People express themselves through the toys they buy."

Vicale gets his share of hate mail, which he publishes on his Web site. One critic said the dolls capitalize on tragedy, while others call them racist.

Vicale denies those charges, saying he is poking fun at America's enemies while nonviolently venting his anger over terrorism.

"There's another way to do this - that's to put the leader of al-Qaida, in a nice dress on the Internet where his picture will be viewed forever. At the end of the day it's probably more therapy for me," he said.

Gladiators March in Rome for Anniversary

ROME (AP) -- Hundreds of gladiators sporting chain-mail, wolf-skins and swinging grappling nets marched by the ruins of ancient Rome on Monday in a birthday celebration for the city, which legend says was founded 2,756 years ago.

The make-believe gladiators - some from as far away as France and Hungary - poured off buses, sporting steel helmets and daggers swinging from scabbards.

"We're all here today because it's the birthday of Rome, so we celebrate the foundation of the city like good Romans," said Giorgio Franchetti, the spokesman of the Roman Historic Group, who himself was geared up for battle.

Franchetti was delighted by the attendance of foreign gladiatorial enthusiasts.

"The beautiful thing is that to feel Roman, you don't necessarily need to have been born in Rome," he said.

Legend has it that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus on April 21, 753 B.C., after the twin brothers built a settlement in what is now Italy's capital.

In modern Rome, dress-up gladiators hang around the Colosseum, asking for exorbitant fees from tourists who take their pictures. The city is working on regulating the practice to cut down abuses.

The Zoo Animal found relief from Kwait... no info found
Cadets Train to Fight Cyber Attacks

WEST POINT, New York (AP) -- The cyberattacks hit after sunup.

A stream of hostile data packets flooded a Web server. Cadets in camouflage fatigues moved double-time shouting about mail servers and passwords.

Cadet Dan Jeffers calmly tracked the action on his computer screen, wondering about the enemy's next move.

"I'm sure they're just surfing around, looking for something right now," said Jeffers, examining long gray lines of scrolling script.

The Cyber Defense Exercise conducted last week among the service academies in the United States is a new kind of drill to prepare a new kind of military. The flanking maneuver Jeffers worried about didn't come from a tank column. It stemmed from hackers ramming his computer defenses.
"The battle may be raging, but it's happening in cyberspace," said Lt. Col. Daniel Ragsdale of the U.S. Military Academy here.

The third annual drill, which ran Monday through Thursday, included computer specialists from the country's three major military academies as well as institutions like the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

At the West Point academy, a "blue team" of a few dozen cadets in a camouflage-draped computer lab faced off against a "red team" of hackers from the National Security Agency, the federal intelligence agency that specializes in electronic intelligence gathering and cryptography.

Red team's basic mission was to bore through each academy's Internet firewall and probe for weaknesses that could give them access to secure data.

The exercise fits in the military's recent emphasis on "network-centric warfare" - linking commanders, soldiers, weapons and intelligence into an overarching computer grid. Such real-time battlefield information is supposed to cut through the confusion that leads to the oft-cited "fog of war."

Gone are the days when soldiers took pride in their lack of technological expertise, said Ragsdale, who directs West Point's Information and Technology Operations Center.

"Somehow, you were more of a soldier if you were a technophobe," Ragsdale said. "You know, `Give me a grease pencil and a piece of acetate, and I'll give you a battle plan.'"

These days, cyberattacks - and defense - are an important part of the Pentagon's arsenal.

"We're doing network attacks, we are hacking into e-mail systems of adversaries," said Dan Goure of the Lexington Institute, a military think tank. Goure noted reports of U.S. intelligence operatives e-mailing Iraqi generals during the war.

Modern information warfare involves not just attempts to disable enemy networks with cyberattacks but also to penetrate them and plant bogus information.

The Pentagon is thus going to lengths to protect its own systems, relying on tools ranging from encryption to special programs that hunt for computer worms, Goure said.

At West Point four years ago, Ragsdale said there was no talk about "information assurance" warfare. Today, data security is key to the cyberexercise, which has grown in scope since it began in 2001.

On Day Two of this year's exercise the cyber attacks continued all day - literally hundreds of thousands in the form of "malicious packets."

"They'll try everything they have. They'll unload their arsenal on us," said Maj. Scott Lathrop, the academy's information warfare instructor.

The academy that musters the best defenses gets a trophy from the National Security Agency. West Point has won the last two years. While cadets weren't hanging up "Beat Navy Hackers" banners, the inter-academy rivalry is intense.

A number of Army cadets stayed up into the wee hours after Monday's initial attacks to refortify their local area network. Cadets ate sandwiches at their terminals as one companion rested his head on a table.

Cadet Shaun Baker of Houston said the intense pace was worth it, even if it sapped him for physical training later on.

"We have a PT test tomorrow that I have to get some sleep for," he said. "That's not happening."

Court to Revisit Scope of Miranda Warning
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court will re-examine the familiar legal warning beginning, "You have the right to remain silent," to answer whether police always must read suspects their rights before seizing drugs or other evidence they plan to use at trial.

At issue is a potential loophole that arises when a suspect tells police not to bother with the warning, or when a suspect owns up to a crime before police have a chance to read all the "Miranda rights."

The court's eventual ruling also could address arrests in which an officer fails to read the rights but a suspect talks anyway.

A lower court concluded that if police find physical evidence after such an encounter it cannot be used against the suspect in court.

The case is a follow-up to a major ruling three years ago in which the high court underscored that police must warn suspects that they do not have to cooperate or answer questions. That ruling reaffirmed the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona decision that gave the warnings their name.
The Bush administration asked the high court to look at the case of a Colorado man arrested in 2001 for violating a domestic restraining order. Samuel Patane cut off a detective who started to read him his rights, and then voluntarily directed police to a Glock pistol in his bedroom. Patane, who had a felony record, was charged with illegal possession of a gun.

Patane's lawyer argued the lower court got it right, and there is no reason for the Supreme Court to get involved.

Solicitor General Theodore Olson, the administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, said officers should not be penalized for taking Patane at his word that he already knew his rights, or in other cases where "warnings may be omitted during a fast-moving investigation."

"The question whether Miranda requires exclusion not only of the suspect's unwarned statement but also its tangible fruits thus arises with some frequency," Olson wrote in asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Deanne Maynard, a Washington lawyer who wrote a friend of the court brief for criminal defense lawyers in the 2000 police warnings case, said the court has touched on the issue with earlier rulings but never squarely ruled on it.

The case the court agreed to hear next fall partly turns on how lower courts have applied earlier Supreme Court rulings. A federal appeals court found that the 2000 ruling undermined two earlier decisions in which the Supreme Court allowed evidence to be used at trial.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the gun could not be used as evidence against Patane because it was the tainted "fruit" of a statement made without a Miranda warning.

Olson said the lower court ruling threatens to hamstring prosecutors.

The high court should step in "because the suppression of probative physical evidence in such cases imposes serious costs on the administration of justice," Olson wrote.

In another case, the court agreed to take a fresh look at police rules for searching stopped cars. The court agreed to hear an appeal from Arizona involving the 1999 arrest of a man who had just parked his car in a driveway.

A search of Rodney Gant's car turned up cocaine and drug paraphernalia. A state appeals court ruled that the evidence could not be used against Gant, because he did not know police were after him when he parked the car.

The cases are United States v. Patane, 02-1183, and Arizona v. Gant, 02-1019.

Rumsfeld: Iraq Should Not Be Theocracy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States expects an eventual government of Iraq to be a democracy where the rights of minorities are guaranteed, not a theocracy run by clerics such as in neighboring Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says.

"There should be a country that is organized and arranged in a way that the various ethnic groups and religious groups are able to have a voice in their government in some form," Rumsfeld said Monday at a Pentagon news conference. "And we hope (for) a system that will be democratic and have free speech and free press and freedom of religion."

Some demonstrators in Iraq, particularly from the Shiite Muslim majority, have called recently for an Islamic republic similar to Iran, where top Shiite clerics known as ayatollahs have the final say. Rumsfeld said such a government would not be truly democratic.

Meanwhile, Rumsfeld said the United States will not keep its military forces in Iraq longer than necessary to stabilize the country. He denied a news report that the United States was planning a long-term military relationship with Iraq that would grant American access to air bases in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country.

"It's flat false," Rumsfeld said, adding that the subject had not even been raised with him.

"The likelihood of it seems to me to be so low that it does not surprise me that it's never been discussed in my presence, to my knowledge," he said. "Why do I say it's low? Well, we've got all kinds of options and opportunities in that part of the world to locate forces. It's not like we need a new place. We have plenty of friends" in that area.

Rumsfeld was responding to questions about remarks in Sunday's New York Times attributed to unidentified senior Bush administration officials.

U.S. forces control numerous airports and military bases in Iraq, including the international airport on the outskirts of Baghdad, the Rasheed air base in southeastern Baghdad, H-1 airfield in western Iraq, Tallil air base in southern Iraq and Bashur airfield in the north.

The presence of U.S. forces in Arab states is a highly sensitive topic, especially in Saudi Arabia, which permitted American commanders to run the air portion of the Iraq war from a command post at Prince Sultan air base but did not allow U.S. aircraft to launch offensive strikes from Saudi soil.

The United States has kept ground and air forces in Kuwait since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and it also has a military presence in Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which is home to the Navy's 5th Fleet.

Rumsfeld said he could not speculate about a future U.S. military relationship with Iraq because there is no Iraqi government to discuss it with. He did say, however, the future U.S. military presence in the Gulf region will be considered once the Iraq war is over and the issue will be discussed with leaders of the countries involved.

Although no decisions have been made, Rumsfeld said it was possible over the long term that the United States would withdraw some forces from the Gulf region.

"I would personally say that a friendly Iraq that is not led by a Saddam Hussein would be a reason we could have fewer forces in the region, rather than more. I mean, just logically," he said.

He asserted that because there is sporadic, small-scale fighting still going on in some parts of Iraq, the war is not over and it's too soon to know when it will be safe for U.S. troops to leave.

Appearing with Rumsfeld, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Marines came under fire at the Mosul airfield in northern Iraq on Monday and returned the fire. One Marine was wounded, he said.

"The attackers escaped and we have no idea who they were," he said.

More Virginia Troops Deployed in Iraq
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) -- Army Spc. Jacob Stanley stood in a gymnasium at Fort Eustis, his 1-year-old son, Tershawn, on his arm and his M-16 rifle slung over his shoulder.

"I'm going to miss you," Stanley told his wife, Johnnetta. "You've got to stay motivated for whatever is to come."

The war in Iraq may be all but over, but troops from Virginia to California are still being sent overseas, to transport supplies and relieve the battle-worn.

Stanley was among nearly 200 soldiers who said farewell to their families Monday afternoon at Fort Eustis before boarding buses to nearby Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, where they took a commercial flight Monday night.

The soldiers are from the 155th Transportation Company, a cargo transfer company, and they're headed to Kuwait.
The late deployers are more than just "the clean-up crew," said Stanley, 27, an Army truck driver from Jacksonville, Fla. There are still things to do - such as moving vehicles and supplies - and dangers remain, he said.

"Anything could happen at any time," Stanley said, adding, "I plan on coming back, all 10 fingers and 10 toes."

The open-ended deployment should remind people that the war isn't over, his wife said.

"It's not going to be over until everybody pulls out and goes home," Johnnetta Stanley said.

The soldiers had been ready to go since November, so they were relieved to finally deploy, said 1st Lt. Shane Lucker, 35, of Brosser, Wash., leader of one of three platoons.

"We have a lot of forces in theater still that are still going to be there and need food, water, medicine, maybe some humanitarian aid," Lucker said. "We have to sustain the forces there."

Michael Branch said he was less worried about his wife, 35-year-old Pvt. Wendy Branch of Silver Spring, Md., now that the fighting basically is over.

"But it's still in the back of my mind that something could happen. There's all this talk about suicide bombing," Michael Branch said.

"I'll be all right," his wife told him.

More than 300 family members gathered inside a gymnasium at Fort Eustis for a departure ceremony that included a prayer by a chaplain and words of praise for the soldiers' courage.

The soldiers shouted "One, five, five all the way!" as they stood in formation. Then they filed out of the gym as families sitting in the bleachers applauded.

Outside, some soldiers stuck their arms out of the windows of the parked buses to touch the outstretched hands of crying family members.

The 155th Transportation Company is part of the 10th Transportation Battalion of the 7th Transportation Group. More than 2,000 soldiers from the 7th Transportation Group - more than half - are deployed.

Last week, as the Pentagon prepared to bring home troops, about 325 sailors from the USS Benfold flew from Coronado, Calif., to Singapore to trade places with the crew of the Persian Gulf-bound USS Higgins. The Higgins was one of several San Diego-based battleships that launched a massive Tomahawk missile attack on Baghdad on the third day of the war.

Sailors appeared more worried about getting homesick than coming under enemy fire, but the Benfold's commander, Cmdr. Randy Hill, cautioned the sailors to be ready for anything.

"If things flare up, we could be called into action," said Petty Officer Adlai Cotton, 36, of New Orleans.

Also last week, 155 New Jersey National Guard members from the 253rd Transportation Company boarded a plane at New Jersey's McGuire Air Force Base, headed to the Middle East war zone. And about 160 Arkansas Army National Guard soldiers left Fort Polk, La., for an undisclosed location in support of the war in Iraq.

On April 13, about 100 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment - a unit known for rockets that explode with a downpour of "steel rain" - boarded a civilian jumbo jet at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. The unit's destination was Iraq.

"With the firepower we've got, I wish we'd have been there earlier helping take care of business," said Sgt. Brandon Neff, 25.

Manufacturing is down, but engineering, research have taken its place
Mike Giorgetta didn't want to seem overtly jubilant when the Persian Gulf War began, and scores of Tomahawk cruise missiles slammed into Baghdad.

It didn't seem right to feel excited about something so ferociously destructive. Still, those opening salvos were the first time Tomahawks had been fired in combat.

"You don't jump up and down with joy," said Giorgetta, who worked on the Tomahawk program for nine years. "But inside, you're going 'Yeah!' "

That was 1991.

Now Tomahawks are flying again, but there is little that's familiar about the landscape of San Diego's defense industry.

About half of the 284 Tomahawks used in the 1991 war against Iraq were assembled at the General Dynamics plan in Kearny Mesa. Each of those was fueled and armed with a 1,000-pound warhead in Sycamore Canyon, near Scripps Ranch.

Today GD's big factories are gone, along with thousands of employees who once constituted the area's single biggest work force.

Now Giorgetta is the co-owner of L&N Industrial Tool and Supply in Poway, and his only knowledge of the current war in Iraq is what he reads in the newspapers.

Despite General Dynamics' disappearance, though, overall defense spending in San Diego County has remained fairly constant, according to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The $10 billion spent here on Pentagon contracts, military pay and pensions in 2001 was, when adjusted for inflation, a 9 percent decline from the $8.5 billion spent a decade earlier.

But the mix of Pentagon spending in San Diego County has changed dramatically.

"Manufacturing has declined over the years," said Kelly Cunningham, research director for the chamber. "What's come up is the professional engineering, scientific and technical work, including computers, computer programming, research and development."

Julie Wright, chief executive of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., said, "We are a more high-tech place today than we were 12 years ago, just because of the sheer amount of engineering we do now."

The change reflects the Pentagon's shifting emphasis on "force transformation" that emphasizes the use of remote surveillance, intelligence, communications and precision-guided weapons.

In San Diego, perhaps nothing has embodied this change in strategy and technology more than SAIC, or Science Applications International Corp., the research and engineering conglomerate.

With more than 38,000 employees around the world, SAIC now dominates the regional defense industry in much the same way that General Dynamics did in the 1980s.

Of the $3.8 billion in defense contracts executed in San Diego County in 2001, Cunningham said, SAIC did $1.1 billion – or nearly 29 percent. And that was just in San Diego.

For the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31, SAIC reported $5.9 billion in revenue, with more than 55 percent of that derived from Pentagon contracts.

Stealthy profile
For all its success as a defense contractor, SAIC maintains a decidedly stealthy profile. For example, spokesman Ben Haddad acknowledged that the company is deeply involved in the current war in Iraq, but he refused to discuss how. Many of SAIC's long-standing defense contracts involve supporting the command and control centers for U.S. military or intelligence agencies. In March, for example, the U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Ga., awarded a services-and-support contract worth as much as $650 million to a team led by SAIC.

In October, the super-secret National Security Agency awarded a $280 million contract to SAIC and four other companies to modernize the NSA's electronic eavesdropping capabilities.

"It is spook stuff," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Web-based institute focused on defense, aerospace and national security issues. "The part that's visible to me is mainly the communications, intelligence and imagery intelligence stuff."

Yet SAIC is enormously diversified, Pike added. Its businesses range from commercial telecommunications products and government health services to training local paramedics and police in how to respond to weapons of mass destruction.

The chamber's Cunningham credits funding from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Command, or SPAWAR, for accelerating the change in San Diego's defense economy.

SPAWAR, which moved its headquarters here in 1997, provides more than $1 billion in funding each year – mostly for contracts related to what it calls "network centric" warfare.

11,800 contracts
Including SPAWAR and other Pentagon sources, Cunningham says, more than 11,800 prime contracts of at least $1,000 were executed in San Diego in 2001, which is the last year for which data are available.

"Of course, we'd expect 2002 and 2003 to be higher still," Cunningham said.

That increase in federal funding for defense, national security and homeland security has flowed to many San Diego companies.

In recent months, San Diego-based Cubic Corp. has reorganized its operations to consolidate its communications business and to seek more defense-related orders for "software-defined radios." Such technology uses software to change the function of modular transceivers.

Much of the growth in Cubic's defense business has come from the company's battlefield simulation and ground and air combat training systems.

At about the same time SAIC won its NSA contract, for example, the spy agency awarded a separate contract to San Diego-based Titan Corp. for $533 million. Under the contract, Titan will assist the NSA in developing technologies to sift through the information overload collected by its network of listening posts.

"When you're collecting information worldwide, you collect a lot of it," said Gene Ray, Titan's chairman and chief executive. "So how do you go about making decisions based on that information?"

Like SAIC, Titan has grown dramatically over the past decade – with revenue of $146.5 million in 1991 growing to $1.4 billion in 2002. Much of Titan's work has focused on defense communications, including specialized radios used by the Navy.

Robotic aircraft
One of the biggest changes in San Diego's defense technologies has been the advent of robotic surveillance aircraft called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs.

"For reasons I've not been quite able to understand, San Diego has become the Hollywood for UAVs," said Pike of GlobalSecurity.org.

Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk, which was developed in San Diego, uses sensors and radar imaging to provide a strategic "big picture" for military commanders.

The swath viewed by the Global Hawk can be as wide as 78 miles, but the sensors are sensitive enough to distinguish a milk carton on a picnic table from 65,000 feet.

The Predator, made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, also has gained fame for its ability to "loiter" above hostile territory for up to 40 hours, using its video camera, infrared imaging and radar to spy on the enemy.

Some Predators equipped with anti-tank missiles have also pounced on what the Pentagon calls "targets of opportunity."

Even so, the billions spent on the war in Iraq doesn't necessarily translate to immediate revenue for defense firms in San Diego.

"Most people don't appreciate just how long-term-oriented the defense business is," said Jon Kutler of Quarterdeck Partners, a Los Angeles investment firm. "Even if a contract officer wants to open the spigot wider on a specific weapon, it takes a long time to get those weapons from paperwork, through the factory floor and into the field."

At Cubic Applications, President Gerald Dinkel agreed, saying, "Cubic booked nearly $400 million in defense this fiscal year, but that was not due so much to the current conflict as to Sept. 11 and the buildup afterward."

The Mideast Arms Race
Washington - The United States has repeatedly condemned Syria in the past week for possession of chemical weapons. But experts say the Middle East arms race in weapons of mass destruction has long been fueled by Israel's nuclear weapons program.

Israel refuses to confirm its possession of nuclear weapons. But according to numerous sources, it made a strategic decision in the mid-1950s that, surrounded by hostile Arab countries, it needed a nuclear bomb as a deterrent. Now it is thought to have 100 to 200.

Intelligence sources say Israel also has chemical weapons, which arms control experts say provide Israel with a less drastic deterrent than a nuclear bomb.

Arms control experts say Syria, as well as Egypt, Iran and Iraq began to develop chemical weapons only after it became known that Israel had or was working on "the bomb." They believed that Israel would not use nuclear weapons on Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad if it knew they could respond with a chemical attack against Tel Aviv.

"I think that the Israelis decided very early on that a robust nuclear deterrent was the ultimate guarantor of their survival and that most of the other major states in the region have sought some combination of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in order to offset that Israeli nuclear and chemical capability," said John Pike, director of the nonprofit GlobalSecurity.org.

Syrian diplomats, though claiming Syria does not have chemical weapons, have said repeatedly in the past week they would forswear the development of any weapons of mass destruction if every country in the region - including Israel - did the same. Last week, it proposed that the UN Security Council establish a Middle East zone with no weapons of mass destruction.

Egypt, which like Syria is thought to have developed chemical but not nuclear weapons, has long stated that despite at times intense U.S. pressure, it would not sign an international treaty banning development or use of chemical weapons as long as Israel continues to refuse to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Israeli Embassy was closed most of last week for Passover, but Israel has always refused to respond to questions about its nuclear weapons program.

"The Israeli security strategy is to have a full spectrum of responses and to insure that Israel would always be able to provide a more devastating response than any potential adversary," Pike said.

Congressional sources say Libya has also shown signs in recent years of working on a chemical weapons program.

While there is a somewhat lopsided equilibrium between Arab chemical weapons capability and Israeli nuclear capability, attempts by Iraq and Iran to match Israel, or perhaps each other, with nuclear weapons has spurred the potentially deadly arms race.

Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear research facility outside of Baghdad in 1981 to prevent it from developing the bomb. But Iraqi scientists who have since defected say that Saddam Hussein redoubled his efforts after the attack.

But with Iraq under UN sanctions starting in 1991, it has been Iran that has been best able to pursue both nuclear and chemical weapons, and intelligence sources say its programs in both areas are the strongest in the Middle East outside of Israel. And there are concerns that if Iran got the bomb, its Persian Gulf rival, Saudi Arabia, which is alleged by some to have financed nuclear research in Iraq, and more recently Pakistan, would have one soon thereafter.

Newsday reported in November that Iran is covertly trying to produce weapons-grade uranium or plutonium, which would likely allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb.

"Iran actually is everything that they just claimed Iraq was," Pike said with a roar of laughter. "Iran is the real deal, OK?"

Some Middle East analysts think the U.S. is more likely to end up in a confrontation with Iran than Syria in the coming months.

When the nuclear issue is combined with tensions over Iranian influence in southern Iraq, "the opportunities for Iran and the U.S. to get into a train-wreck relationship in the next 18 months are too numerous to enumerate," Pike said.

An Uneasy Relationship
While not part of President Bush's "axis of evil," Syria has been on the U.S. list of sponsors of terrorism since the list's 1979 inception.

1986: The U.S. withdraws its ambassador to Syria in response to alleged Syrian involvement in a plot to blow up an Israeli airliner.

1987: The U.S. ambassador returns after Syria expels terrorist Abu Nidal's organization.

1990-91: Syria joins the U.S.-led coalition opposing Iraq's invasion of Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War.

1991: Syrian President Hafez Assad agrees to begin U.S.-sponsored peace negotiations with Israel over the disputed Golan Heights.

1998: U.S. officials warn that Syria has an active chemical weapons program, including weapons that could spread sarin nerve gas.

2000: After 30 years in power, Assad dies. His son, Bashar, 34, replaces him. U.S.-sponsored peace talks between Syria and Israel break down due to West Bank violence.

2001: The U.S. State Department reports that Syria continues to provide support for Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups.

Sept. 11, 2001: Assad sends Bush a cable condemning the attacks in New York and Washington.

2002: Syria supports U.S.-sponsored Resolution 1441 in which the United Nations Security Council warns of "serious consequences" if Iraq does not disarm.

2003: Syria opposes the U.S. bid for a new UN resolution specifically authorizing force against Iraq.

March 23, 2003: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accuses Syria of selling military goods to Iraq, and says such "hostile acts" will have consequences.

SOURCES: CIA World Factbook; U.S. State Department; Congressional Research Service

GRAPHIC: Getty Images Photo - Syrian soldiers walk over a bridge yesterday in Damascus, Syria. Arms control experts say Syria, along with Egypt, Iran and Iraq, began to develop chemical weapons only after it became known that Israel had or was working on a nuclear bomb. They believed that Israel would not use nuclear weapons on Cairo, Damascus or Baghdad if it knew they could respond with a chemical attack against Tel Aviv.

US prepares for strike by Hezbollah...
AMERICAN military planners have been told to draw up options for possible retaliatory action against Hezbollah and other Middle Eastern terrorist groups in the event of suicide attacks on US forces in Iraq, according to official sources in Washington. Intelligence specialists have concluded that the greatest threat to US military bases in Iraq may come from groups operating out of Syria.

Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, is expected to warn Damascus that Washington will no longer tolerate the use of Syrian-controlled territory as a "safe haven" for terror groups. US officials said last week they had already acquired evidence that Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim group based in southern Lebanon, plans to attack embassies and other American targets in the region.

Powell said he intended to visit Syria soon as part of a "very vigorous diplomatic exchange" that has so far focused on American complaints that Damascus has been harbouring high-ranking Iraqi fugitives and has been developing chemical weapons.

At least seven senior Iraqis were yesterday reported to be hiding in Syria, among them Kamal al-Tikriti, a senior Republican Guard commander who is number eight on the Pentagon's most wanted list.

Amid speculation that President George W Bush was adding Syria to his "axis of evil" - making it a candidate for enforced regime change - there were signs of a climbdown in Damascus as Syrian officials welcomed Powell's planned visit.

Diplomatic talks were "much quieter and much more constructive" than public accusations, said the Syrian foreign ministry.

It was also reported that Syria had assisted in the arrest of Jaffar al Jaffer, head of Iraq's nuclear programme, who surrendered to US forces last week.

But Damascus has not yet responded to American demands that other Iraqi leaders be expelled. Alongside al-Tikriti, Iraqi fugitives in Syria are believed to include Farouk Hijazi, a former official in the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service, and Saddam Hussein's first wife, Sajida Khairallah Telfah.

Syrian officials made it clear they were not planning any radical action against Hezbollah or other terror groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which maintain offices in Damascus.

Israel has warned Washington that any of these groups may attempt to disrupt negotiations over a promised American "road map" that could ultimately lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. But Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, the son of Hafez al-Assad, the late Syrian president, appears to have a closer relationship with Hezbollah than his father.

Encouraged by their victory in Iraq, hawks close to the Bush administration are now pressing for a crackdown on Syria to isolate Islamic radicals.

The looming showdown is heightening concern that either side could provoke an incident that might spiral into war. If Hezbollah concludes that its days in Lebanon's Beka'a valley are numbered, it might try to provoke an American military attack on Damascus as a means of igniting international outrage.

"The opportunities for mischief-making that might make a pretext for escalation have just multiplied enormously," said John Pike, a military specialist with globalsecurity.org, a Washington think tank.

The influx of American troops had presented the region's terrorists with "a target-rich environment", Pike said. Anti-American operations might include border incursions by Hezbollah guerrillas or groups operating out of Iran, and car or truck bomb attacks on US targets in Baghdad. Other sources said that if Hezbollah went on the offensive, the Pentagon would respond in kind.

o Israeli forces backed by dozens of tanks, armoured vehicles and attack helicopters pushed into the Rafah refugee camp in Gaza last night.

They entered the camp from three directions. Witnesses said five Palestinians were killed, including a 15-year-old boy, and at least 40 injured.

Earlier in the day Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian cameraman during clashes with stone throwers and gunmen in the West Bank town of Nablus.

Japan's spy satellite launch under fire...
Pyongyang, April 10 (KCNA) -- Martin Lotscher, chairman of the Swiss Committee for Supporting Korea's Reunification, in a statement issued on April 1 condemned Japan's launch of spy satellites as a hostile act of threatening the sovereignty of the DPRK and the security of its people. By launching those satellites Japan betrayed its true colors as a faithful stooge and follower of the U.S. imperialists in their moves to provoke the second Korean war, he said.
In a protest letter he sent to the Japanese Prime Minister on the same day he said that Japan's launch of spy satellites poses a direct threat to the DPRK and the Korean people and is a breach of the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration signed by the prime minister himself.
He urged Japan to stop acts of violating the security and sovereignty of the DPRK and its unreasonable nuclear racket.

Improved 'Dragon Lady' still seeks, finds today's prey...
04/11/03 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- The 48-year-old U-2 "Dragon Lady" still reigns supreme as the leader among manned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

Even with newer, unmanned aerial vehicles like Global Hawk and Predator -- welcomed by increasing numbers of warfighters, and now joining the U-2 in ISR missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom -- the Dragon Lady remains unique among Department of Defense manned systems.

"The airframe is definitely not the same one flown by Francis Gary Powers over Russia in the 1960's," said Col. Joe Chang, director of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance directorate for the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. "It's 40 percent larger, has modern avionics, improved data-links, better fiber-optic electronics, and new General Electric F-118-101 engine, with all-glass cockpit slated for installation on the entire fleet." Today's U-2 also has improved electro-optical, infrared and radar sensors, Chang said.

Traditionally the U-2 has been known for its ability to capture crystal-clear film images of potential enemy areas of interest, which are brought back after missions then processed, developed, analyzed and interpreted by intelligence specialists, Chang said.

"That capability still exists, but has been augmented by the additional, upgraded sensors - plus the U-2's ability to download data in real time via satellite to multiple ground stations located around the world, which transmit the data directly to warfighters," he said.

"The last 10 years have really been the critical time in the life of the U-2," said Maj. Michael Glaccum, U-2 program manager at Air Combat Command headquarters at Langley AFB, Va. His office is responsible for monitoring system assets and funding improvements for the 34-airplane U-2 fleet.

"When Operation Desert Storm kicked off, the U-2 still was primarily a Cold War platform doing some tactical work," Glaccum said. "But then it gained exposure as a tactical, integrated platform that worked closely with aircraft engaged in ground operations, as well as providing significant amounts of battlefield imagery to the Army and others on the ground."

Aeronautical Systems Center's U-2 program office here also provides research and development for future improvements to U-2 systems, said Lt. Col. Bruce Giesige, development systems officer.

A new Dual Data Link System will allow the U-2 to simultaneously 'feed' two ground-based, airborne or space-based sites with data, Giesige said. "It will probably be a year or two before we field this capability, but we think the future of the U-2 program depends on this new ability to beam critical information straight to another platform out there, to dramatically shorten the warfighter's kill chain," he said.

Another significant improvement to the U-2 is network-centric collaborative targeting, where battlefield information from various ISR sensors will be captured and managed at a central location, Glaccum said.

"Ultimately, we want to be included with a feed to the (future Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft) platform, re-designated the E-10," Glaccum said. "Imagine a battlefield area, with ground units, lower-flying fighters, strike-type airplanes, and ISR platforms...ringing the battlefield in various places. Then above it all, you have the U-2, able to feed air-to-air platforms and ground stations simultaneously for maximum interoperability."

Development of direct threat warning for other, nearby aircraft is another U-2 program goal, according to Glaccum.

"We're working to enable our ground stations to broadcast threat warnings to airplanes in theater that may be within the U-2's high-altitude line of sight, but not within LOS of another command/control platform or ground station," he said.

According to Bob Becker, U-2 acquisition program manager at ASC, the program office will soon be fielding an advanced defensive system that will improve situational awareness for U-2 pilots. Another new capability will transmit threat information directly to the cockpit, Glaccum said.

The new glass cockpit is a "complete replacement" of the 1960's-vintage cockpit instruments with three, multi-function, full-color displays, Glaccum said. "These displays put all flight information - plus current status of the engine, avionics, sensors and moving map - right in front of the pilot, which makes it a lot easier to avoid information overload."

The first glass cockpit-equipped U-2 was delivered to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, Calif., in April 2002, Glaccum said. The entire fleet will have glass cockpits by about 2008, he said.

Predator is headache for enemy...
04/18/03 - OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM (AFPN) -- One of the most formidable aircraft in the Operation Iraqi Freedom arsenal does not even carry a pilot. Appearing almost toy-like at a mere 27 feet long, the RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator is an unmanned aerial vehicle that remains a huge headache for enemy forces.

Operated remotely by a pilot and sensor operator from a satellite-linked ground control station, the Kevlar-skinned UAV can remain aloft on marathon missions of 20 hours or more. The Predator uses its powerful surveillance cameras to give the theater air component commander continuous real-time surveillance of the battlefield. Besides its highly potent reconnaissance ability, it can carry Hellfire anti-tank missiles. The Predator lives up to its menacing name.

At an air base near the Iraqi border, a particularly important aspect of the overall weapon system that ensures the Predator lives up to its deadly reputation -- the maintainers of the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron. The team includes crew chiefs and specialists in avionics, ground equipment, communications, satellite communications, munitions, supply and contracting. Their efforts are especially noteworthy, given the extremely high operational demand on their relatively small Predator fleet.

"With the enormous amount of hours we fly, our down time is almost nonexistent," said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffery Duckett, 46th ERS maintenance superintendent. "What that means is that everyone has to perform top-notch maintenance every day to sustain our wartime taskings. Take away any one of these components, and our mission effectiveness degrades significantly."

According to Senior Airman Jason Biselx, a 46th ERS crew chief, the demands of the 24-7 mission translate to a challenging maintenance tempo.

"The main challenge of 24-hour ops with long-endurance missions is the amount of periodic and phased maintenance needed," said Biselx, a native of Kaukauna, Wisc. "Time-change items come up faster, phases arrive quicker, and major engine overhauls start to really stack up. During a one-week period early in Operation Iraqi Freedom, we had major engine overhauls every night. Another key challenge is fine tuning a small, dual-carbureted engine for high-altitude, long-endurance flight."

The roughly 1,700-pound Predators are designated RQ-1 in purely reconnaissance configuration and MQ-1 when carrying munitions. Duckett, a native of New Orleans, said the single-propeller UAVs are essentially powered by a glorified snowmobile engine -- a four-cylinder, 113-horsepower Rotax 914 powerplant.

Like aeronautical vampires, unassembled Predators are packed in crates called "coffins," because of their obvious shape. They are pulled from the "morgue" at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nev., the unit's home station, and airlifted to the theater of operations.

Operating at this desert base during the plentiful enemy missile threats and alarm-red conditions presented the maintainers some unique challenges in keeping their Predators fully mission capable.

"It's a long run to a bunker when you're launching an aircraft from (a distant aircraft shelter) in MOPP 4," said Staff Sgt. Kevin Strickland, a crew chief. The Beaufort, S.C., native is currently on his second deployment with the Predator unit for operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom.

Another challenge facing the maintainers is an environmental one, thanks to Mother Nature's powerful and frequent sand and dust storms. But that never halts the action inside the maintenance hangar.

"If the weather gets a little ugly, and we can't get airborne, the troops instinctively know to step up the maintenance to take advantage of this down time, while simultaneously preparing to launch again the second the weather breaks, Duckett said.

Learning to adapt to and overcome wartime and harsh weather conditions is something the maintainers say they can pass along to their comrades back at Indian Springs.

"I've learned great lessons in teamwork, improvising and troubleshooting," Biselx said. "There are certain situations and conditions these aircraft are exposed to that you just don't see at home station. Experience is gained in leaps and bounds in deployed locations. It's critical for us to pass along these experiences to maintain a well-prepared maintenance team."

Duckett summarized a common feeling of pride his maintainers share in their ultimate role in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Just look at the news. (The Iraqi regime has been defeated,) and rest assured, this unit played a huge role in making that happen," he said.

BAGHDAD, IRAQ—Reflecting on his time as Iraq's president in a pre-taped television address, Saddam Hussein expressed pride Tuesday that, despite the success of the U.S. invasion and the civilian casualties it has inflicted, he still has killed far more Iraqis than President Bush.

"George Bush believes he is so powerful, so strong," Saddam said. "But even with all of his bombs and missiles and Marines, he has not even come close to killing as many Iraqis as I did."

While estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians killed by the U.S. ranges from 500 all the way to 10,000, Saddam and his associates are believed to have murdered somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 civilians since 1968.

"The international press counts off on their fingers every Iraqi that dies by Bush's missiles," Saddam said. "The papers make a big story of it when six Iraqi civilians are killed by American GIs near Basra, or when 15 Iraqi civilians are killed in air strikes on Baghdad. What paltry death tolls. I cannot even begin to add up how many died in Basra upon my orders, how many in Baghdad I killed with my own gun."

Throughout his presidency, Saddam said he routinely had political opponents arrested and put to death without trial, sometimes along with their entire families. He also summarily executed countless citizens for crimes as minor as petty theft and "monopolizing rationed goods."

"The race between myself and Bush is not even close," Saddam said. "I easily killed 100 times more men than Bush, not to mention women and children. That's right—women and children."

In his suppression of the Shiite Muslims alone, Saddam said he can lay claim to thousands more Iraqi kills than Bush.

"My officers did more damage rounding up students at [the Shiite Muslim theological institution] al-Hawza al-'Ilmiya in al-Najaf than the entire American 3rd Infantry did roaring through all of southern Iraq in their billion-dollar tanks," Saddam said. "And my men did not put down their guns just because someone asked for mercy. They finished the job like soldiers. They did not serve food to their enemies as if they were women at a picnic."

Saddam boasted that the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Iraqi Kurds added another 50,000 to his tally.

"In Anfal, we rounded up the battle-age men and put them in front of firing squads," Saddam said. "Even today, when you travel through rural Kurdistan, you notice the high proportion of women. That is not because of the U.S. Army. That is not because of the 101st Airborne Division. It is because of me—Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, the Glorious Leader, the Anointed One, Direct Descendant of the Prophet, Great Uncle to the People."

In his campaigns against the Kurds, Saddam crushed unrest with chemical-weapons strikes against civilian populations—a tactic he said Bush "would never have the nerve to do."

"I remember the day my cousin [Commander of Southern Forces] Ali [Hassan al-Majid] dropped chemical weapons on the town of Halabja," said Saddam, referring to the March 1988 slaughter of 5,000 Kurds. "That is how he got his nickname, 'Chemical Ali.' Much better nickname than 'Dubya,' wouldn't you say?"

"The total number of Kurds we killed could be as high as 110,000, and that is not just an idle boast," Saddam said. "The United Nations Sub-Committee on Human Rights has been keeping extensive records of my actions for years."

In fairness to Bush, Saddam conceded that he has had a significant head start killing Iraqis, beginning his political career in the late '60s as a torturer for the Ba'ath party.

"Back in 1969, I turned the execution of 14 alleged anti-government plotters into a major public event, hanging them in a town square and leaving their bodies on display," Saddam said. "Already everyone knew my name, and this was still a good 10 years before I would carry out the wave of executions that signaled my rise to power."

In addition to killings, Saddam said he bests Bush in the torture department.

"There is a certain type of torture, which is called al-Khaygania—so named in honor of its creator, former security director al-Khaygani—in which the victim is handcuffed and suspended on a piece of wood between two chairs like a chicken," Saddam said. "Then, we attach an electric wire to the man's penis and toes. Can you see Bush doing this? Can you see Bush smashing a man's skull with a brick? Can you see him calling for the deaths of his own family members? Pah, he is too weak."

Saddam closed with harsh words for his American rival.

"I recently heard a critic of President Bush say he is a dictator," Saddam said. "That made me laugh. George Bush, a dictator! My sons Uday and Qusay showed more viciousness at 10 years of age."

"Bush has a long way to go before he can match me," Saddam added. "My hands are red with the blood of the innocent. His are merely a light pink."

The Onion Strikes Again
Electro-magnetic railguns: fire-support revolution
It happens during every revolution in military technology. One technology begins to offer diminishing returns compared to the investment put in and another more promising system steps in to replace it. That, US Navy officials said, is occurring with today's gun-launched weapons that rely on explosive charges for propulsion.

Russia deploys naval squadron to Indian Ocean
Russian warships from the Pacific and Black Sea fleets have left port to begin a long-planned deployment into the Indian Ocean, culminating in a major exercise with the Indian Navy early next month.
Latest US unmanned aircraft design unveiled
First there was the 'kite'. Now there is the 'cranked kite', with Northrop Grumman unveiling the air vehicle design that it will bid for the US Navy's Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV-N) programme.
JDAM-compatible platforms expand
The number of aircraft cleared to use Boeing's global positioning system (GPS)-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) family continues to increase. On 1 March, Grumman F-14D Tomcats of the US Navy (USN) dropped their first GBU-31(V)4/B JDAM 'in anger', and on 31 March the US Air Force (USAF) started flight testing the GBU-38 version of JDAM on its Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
Canada takes command of Task Force 151
As part of the war on terrorism, the US Navy has assigned Canada command of a coalition task force, Task Force 151, in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. When Cdre Roger Girouard took command on 7 February 2003, there were nine ships in the task force, including two Canadian Halifax-class frigates HMCS Montreal and HMCS Winnipeg. However, that number had dropped to between five and eight as JNI went to press.
US Army eyes fast intra-theatre logistics vessel
Spurred by the success of proof-of -concept trials with leased commercial fast ferries, the US Army's Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is planning to acquire a new class of Objective Theater Support Vessel (TSV) for the rapid intra-theatre movement of troops, vehicles and other military equipment.
Raytheon claims airborne mine neutraliser prize
Raytheon, teamed with BAE Systems, has won out in the competition to supply the US Navy's (USN's) Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS), displacing Lockheed Martin - incumbent for the prototype phase - from the follow-on system development and demonstration (SDD) activity.


Russia's own goal
RUSSIA WATCHERS are wondering what can be salvaged from President Vladimir Putin's blunder in aligning Russia with France and Germany against the Anglo-American intervention in Iraq. US accusations that Russian companies continued to supply Iraq with military equipment -- including night-combat goggles -- in defiance of UN sanctions seem to have put the final nail in the coffin of the Russia-US entente. Can things get better?
April 15, 2003

No time for fumblers
WHEN Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AK) came to power late last year, there was relief in Western capitals and financial markets. For the first time in almost a generation, Turkey would have a strong, single party government, one that would not have to waste time building and maintaining coalitions to sustain itself in power. AK promised a pro-Western agenda, with European Union (EU) accession a priority and good relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other Western institutions.
March 25, 2003



Solving the Kurdish question
MOST countries reacted with relief that the Iraq war proved so short. One of them was Turkey where prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has pledged to help in reconstruction, describing Turkey's status as a democratic Muslim state as an excellent example for the dictatorship-weary Iraqis to follow. In reality, however, the mood in Ankara is one of extreme anxiety.
April 15, 2003

Oil from Iraq
An Israeli pipedream?
April 15, 2003

Crisis in Nicaragua
Crisis in Nicaragua
April 15, 2003

Very poor and getting poorer
PATIENCE with Haiti's president Jean-Bertrand Aristide is fast running out within the Organization of American States (OAS) as the country's political impasse grinds...
April 08, 2003



Nigeria shapes its destiny
PRESIDENTIAL and legislative elections due in Nigeria in mid-April are one of the most important political developments in Africa since the republic of 130 million people made its transition from military to civilian rule four years ago. If successful, this would mark the first occasion since independence in 1960 that a civilian administration has organised elections without prompting a military takeover. Really?
April 01, 2003

In sensational Swaziland
IF YOU were reading this story as fiction, you would not believe it. But it is true. It all starts in the tiny southern African kingdom of Swaziland (see map) when, in accordance with custom, King Mswati III chose his tenth wife, 18-year-old Zena Mahlangu, earlier this year.
January 21, 2003


Jane's Foriegn Report Sponsor


America West detail management changes
America West Airlines will reduce its employee numbers by approximately 250 and the following personnel have resigned: Senior Vice President Human Resources - Lonnie Bain, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leisure Company - Greg Garger, Vice President Labor Relations, Patrick Sakole - Vice President Safety and Mark West - Vice President Purchasing and Fuel Administration. The airline has now reduced approximately 20 per cent of its positions at director level or above.
Asia Pacific airline cuts
A number of Asia-Pacific airlines have announced temporary capacity reductions citing the emergence of Serve Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) conflict in Iraq and weak demand. Cathay Pacific has temporarily cut scheduled passenger flights by more than one in three with 19 destinations affected. Dragonair has reduced its April schedule affecting 16 destinations. Air New Zealand has cancelled 21 return services on its international network in May and June 2003. Singapore Airlines has temporarily suspended all Guangzhou flights and reduced service to 23 destinations through 31 May 2003. Other airlines making cuts include All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Thai Airways.
Earnings from recent terminal acquisitions has helped Hutchison Port Holdings, the world's biggest port operator, post a 17 per cent surge in earnings before interest and tax to HK$6.8bn ($874m) last year. The stellar result contributed to a 19 per cent rise in net income, to HK$14.3bn ($1.8bn), for parent company, Hutchison Whampoa.
French banks: few players, big share of the market
Despite current economic conditions, French air finance banks are robust enough to compete effectively in today's market. Anthony O'Connor reports.


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26, 2013   Sep 27, 2013   Oct 1, 2013   Oct 3, 2013   Oct 4, 2013   Oct 8, 2013   Oct 9, 2013   Oct 11, 2013   Oct 15, 2013   Oct 18, 2013   Oct 23, 2013   Oct 26, 2013   Oct 28, 2013   Oct 29, 2013   Nov 2, 2013   Nov 7, 2013   Nov 8, 2013   Nov 15, 2013   Nov 19, 2013   Nov 23, 2013   Nov 25, 2013   Nov 28, 2013   Nov 30, 2013   Dec 2, 2013   Dec 3, 2013   Dec 4, 2013   Dec 6, 2013   Dec 10, 2013   Dec 11, 2013   Dec 13, 2013   Dec 16, 2013   Dec 20, 2013   Dec 21, 2013   Dec 28, 2013   Dec 30, 2013   Jan 2, 2014   Jan 3, 2014   Jan 7, 2014   Jan 8, 2014   Jan 9, 2014   Jan 10, 2014   Jan 11, 2014   Jan 16, 2014   Jan 18, 2014   Jan 20, 2014   Jan 21, 2014   Jan 22, 2014   Jan 23, 2014   Jan 25, 2014   Jan 27, 2014   Jan 28, 2014   Jan 30, 2014   Feb 4, 2014   Feb 5, 2014   Feb 8, 2014   Feb 10, 2014   Feb 11, 2014   Feb 12, 2014   Feb 13, 2014   Feb 14, 2014   Feb 17, 2014   Feb 18, 2014   Feb 21, 2014   Feb 24, 2014   Feb 25, 2014   Feb 27, 2014   Feb 28, 2014   Mar 3, 2014   Mar 10, 2014   Mar 11, 2014   Mar 12, 2014   Mar 13, 2014   Mar 15, 2014   Mar 17, 2014   Mar 19, 2014   Mar 20, 2014   Mar 21, 2014   Apr 1, 2014   Apr 3, 2014   Apr 7, 2014   Apr 10, 2014   Apr 14, 2014   Apr 16, 2014   Apr 22, 2014   Apr 23, 2014   Apr 24, 2014   Apr 29, 2014   May 3, 2014   May 5, 2014   May 7, 2014   May 8, 2014   May 10, 2014   May 12, 2014   May 14, 2014   May 15, 2014   May 16, 2014   May 20, 2014   May 21, 2014   May 23, 2014   May 26, 2014   May 29, 2014   May 31, 2014   Jun 3, 2014   Jun 5, 2014   Jun 9, 2014   Jun 10, 2014   Jun 16, 2014   Jun 17, 2014   Jun 20, 2014   Jun 21, 2014   Jun 24, 2014   Jun 25, 2014   Jun 30, 2014   Jul 2, 2014   Jul 3, 2014   Jul 5, 2014   Jul 7, 2014   Jul 8, 2014   Jul 9, 2014   Jul 10, 2014   Jul 11, 2014   Jul 12, 2014   Jul 15, 2014   Jul 17, 2014   Jul 19, 2014   Jul 21, 2014   Jul 22, 2014   Jul 23, 2014   Jul 26, 2014   Jul 29, 2014   Aug 1, 2014   Aug 4, 2014   Aug 12, 2014   Aug 15, 2014   Aug 22, 2014   Aug 29, 2014   Sep 5, 2014   Sep 9, 2014   Sep 11, 2014   Sep 13, 2014   Sep 16, 2014   Sep 18, 2014   Sep 29, 2014   Sep 30, 2014   Oct 1, 2014   Oct 2, 2014   Oct 4, 2014   Oct 6, 2014   Oct 15, 2014   Oct 16, 2014   Oct 17, 2014   Oct 21, 2014   Oct 23, 2014   Oct 25, 2014   Oct 27, 2014   Oct 29, 2014   Nov 6, 2014   Nov 11, 2014   Nov 13, 2014   Nov 18, 2014   Nov 20, 2014   Nov 21, 2014   Nov 22, 2014   Nov 25, 2014   Dec 1, 2014   Dec 3, 2014   Dec 11, 2014   Dec 17, 2014   Jan 15, 2015   Jan 16, 2015   Jan 19, 2015   Jan 28, 2015   Jan 30, 2015   Feb 2, 2015   Feb 3, 2015   Feb 6, 2015   Feb 10, 2015   Feb 11, 2015   Feb 14, 2015   Feb 17, 2015   Feb 18, 2015   Feb 23, 2015   Feb 25, 2015   Feb 28, 2015   Mar 2, 2015   Mar 6, 2015   Mar 7, 2015   Mar 9, 2015   Mar 10, 2015   Mar 17, 2015   Mar 19, 2015   Mar 30, 2015   Apr 4, 2015   Apr 7, 2015   Apr 11, 2015   Apr 14, 2015   Apr 17, 2015   Apr 18, 2015   Apr 21, 2015   Apr 29, 2015   May 2, 2015   May 4, 2015   May 6, 2015   May 12, 2015   May 14, 2015   May 16, 2015   May 20, 2015   May 23, 2015   May 26, 2015   May 27, 2015   May 30, 2015   Jun 1, 2015   Jun 2, 2015   Jun 9, 2015   Jun 16, 2015   Jun 20, 2015   Jun 26, 2015   Jul 1, 2015   Jul 2, 2015   Jul 4, 2015   Jul 6, 2015   Jul 8, 2015   Jul 10, 2015   Jul 11, 2015   Jul 16, 2015   Jul 18, 2015   Jul 23, 2015   Jul 25, 2015   Jul 29, 2015   Aug 1, 2015   Aug 3, 2015   Aug 6, 2015   Aug 10, 2015   Aug 18, 2015   Aug 21, 2015   Aug 24, 2015   Aug 31, 2015   Sep 3, 2015   Sep 9, 2015   Sep 15, 2015   Sep 17, 2015   Sep 21, 2015   Sep 22, 2015   Sep 25, 2015   Sep 28, 2015   Sep 29, 2015   Sep 30, 2015   Oct 2, 2015   Oct 6, 2015   Oct 9, 2015   Oct 10, 2015   Oct 17, 2015   Oct 20, 2015   Oct 26, 2015   Oct 27, 2015   Oct 28, 2015   Oct 31, 2015   Nov 7, 2015   Nov 14, 2015   Nov 28, 2015   Dec 10, 2015   Dec 15, 2015   Jan 19, 2016   Feb 3, 2016   Feb 16, 2016   Feb 23, 2016   Feb 26, 2016   Mar 9, 2016   Mar 22, 2016   Apr 16, 2016   Apr 22, 2016   May 4, 2016   May 7, 2016   May 8, 2016   May 19, 2016   May 31, 2016   Jun 4, 2016   Jun 11, 2016   Jun 16, 2016   Jun 28, 2016   Jul 4, 2016   Jul 11, 2016   Jul 16, 2016   Jul 17, 2016   Jul 21, 2016   Jul 25, 2016   Jul 31, 2016   Aug 5, 2016   Aug 17, 2016   Aug 27, 2016   Sep 2, 2016   Sep 13, 2016   Sep 22, 2016   Sep 27, 2016   Oct 4, 2016   Oct 8, 2016   Oct 25, 2016   Nov 17, 2016   Nov 28, 2016   Dec 9, 2016   Dec 14, 2016   Dec 31, 2016   Jan 26, 2017   Feb 10, 2017   Feb 14, 2017   Feb 23, 2017   Feb 28, 2017   Mar 2, 2017   Mar 7, 2017   Mar 16, 2017   Mar 18, 2017   Mar 31, 2017   Apr 1, 2017   Apr 10, 2017   Apr 15, 2017   Apr 18, 2017   May 4, 2017   May 12, 2017   May 16, 2017   May 19, 2017   May 27, 2017   Jun 2, 2017   Jun 9, 2017   Jun 12, 2017   Jun 15, 2017   Jun 23, 2017   Jun 24, 2017   Jul 6, 2017   Jul 11, 2017   Jul 12, 2017   Jul 18, 2017   Jul 26, 2017   Aug 5, 2017   Aug 12, 2017   Aug 18, 2017   Aug 26, 2017   Sep 2, 2017   Sep 12, 2017   Sep 21, 2017   Oct 10, 2017   Oct 28, 2017   Nov 2, 2017   Nov 7, 2017   Dec 5, 2017   Dec 16, 2017   Dec 23, 2017   Jan 11, 2018   Jan 23, 2018   Jan 29, 2018   Feb 1, 2018   Feb 12, 2018   Feb 16, 2018   Feb 24, 2018   Mar 1, 2018   Mar 6, 2018   Mar 15, 2018   Mar 26, 2018   Apr 4, 2018   Apr 6, 2018   Apr 14, 2018   Apr 17, 2018   Apr 23, 2018   May 2, 2018   May 6, 2018   May 12, 2018   May 18, 2018   May 24, 2018   May 29, 2018   May 31, 2018   Jun 9, 2018   Jun 12, 2018   Jun 22, 2018   Jul 4, 2018   Jul 11, 2018   Jul 27, 2018   Aug 1, 2018   Aug 18, 2018   Aug 22, 2018   Aug 31, 2018   Sep 4, 2018  

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