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Israel Willing To Forgo Some US Missile Defense Aid, Says Report

Source: Jerusalem Post

Israel has offered to waive nearly $55 million in US aid for its missile defense programs, the Defense News website reported over the weekend.

Defense officials in Israel declined to comment on the report.

According to US-based Defense News, in light of the considerable cuts Washington has made to its defense budget, Jerusalem has sought to shoulder its part in the new, harsher financial reality. The US cut $37 billion from its defense budget this fiscal year and is expected to cut $52b. in 2014.

The Israeli offer came despite a commitment by US President Barack Obama to leave aid for Israeli missile defense programs untouched.

US aid has contributed to the development of the Arrow 3 system, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles in space. It has also helped fund the lower-tier Arrow 2 interception program, as well as David’s Sling, designed to shoot down intermediate-range rockets and cruise missiles, and the Iron Dome system for short-range threats.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Israel-willing-to-forgo-some-US-missile-defense-aid-says-report-322057

Well bless their hearts...

How GPS Spoofing Can Take Control Of Drones And Ships

A University of Texas researcher who has hacked the navigational systems of drones and ships told PBS on Friday that anyone with his software could do the same.

“You know, we had done experiments in our laboratory and we’d convinced ourselves that we could hack a GPS receiver, make it believe it’s some other place, but what does this mean?” Professor Todd Humphreys said. “What does it entail? Could you, for example, remotely and clandestinely lead an expensive and enormous ship at sea off course without the crew even knowing? That was the question we sought to answer, and it turns out the answer is yes.”

Humphrey’s and and his graduate students used a technique called “GPS spoofing,” in which false GPS signals are broadcast that trick a vehicle’s GPS receiver. The researchers first used the technique to commandeer an aerial drone. More recently, they commandeered a ship.




Senator Schumer: Putin Is Behaving Like A Schoolyard Bully

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior Democratic senator said on Sunday that the U.S.-Russia relationship had become “poisonous” and urged President Barack Obama to consider moving next month’s Group of 20 summit away from the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Charles Schumer, the U.S. Senate’s third ranking Democrat and a close Obama ally, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to antagonize the United States by granting American fugitive Edward Snowden asylum for one year.

“President Putin is behaving like a schoolyard bully,” Schumer said on the CBS television talk show “Face the Nation.” “In my experience, I’ve learned unless you stand up to that bully, they ask for more and more and more.”

He said Obama should cancel plans to meet Putin in Moscow for a bilateral summit next month that was expected take place during the U.S. president’s trip to Russia for the G20 gathering.

Schumer said he also would call on Obama to “urge our allies, if it were possible,” to try to move the G20 summit from St. Petersburg to another country.



Israel, US Have Vastly Different Takes On Iran's Rouhani Inauguration

Jerusalem and Washington differed Sunday over the significance of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's inauguration, with Washington ready to work with the new government and Jerusalem warning that the new regime – like the old – is a threat to world peace.

Rouhani, who won Iran's presidential elections in June, took the oath of office Sunday and formally replaced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"The inauguration of President Rouhani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community's deep concerns over Iran's nuclear program," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement shortly after Rouhani was sworn in.

"Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States," he said.

Carney said the US hoped the new Iranian government would "heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people." The conciliatory tone of those comments was at odds with the tone coming from Jerusalem where Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu again urged the world not to be "taken in" by Rouhani's perceived moderation.



Iran's New President Rouhani Takes Oath Of Office

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's new president on Sunday called on the West to abandon the "language of sanctions" in dealing with his country over its contentious nuclear program, hoping to ease the economic pressures now grinding its people.

President Hasan Rouhani spoke after being sworn in as president in an open session of parliament Sunday, capping a weekend that saw him endorsed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader.

Rouhani, a moderate cleric who won a landslide victory in the June 14 presidential elections, continued his call for dialogue with the West while asking foreign powers to respect Iran in its negotiations.

"If you seek a suitable answer, speak to Iran through the language of respect, not through the language of sanctions," the president said in a speech broadcast live by Iranian state television. He later added that any negotiations would require "bilateral trust building, mutual respect and the lessening of hostilities."

Iran is under United Nations sanctions as well as unilateral Western oil and banking sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to power reactors producing electricity or build nuclear weapons.



White House: Rouhani Will Find US A "Willing Partner" If Tehran Seeks Serious Talks On Nuclear...


White House: Rouhani Will Find US A "Willing Partner" If Tehran Seeks Serious Talks On Nuclear Concerns

WASHINGTON - The United States said on Sunday it is prepared to work with the new government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to address concerns about Iran's nuclear program if Iran will engage seriously on the issue.

"The inauguration of President Rouhani presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community's deep concerns over Iran's nuclear program," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

"Should this new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations and find a peaceful solution to this issue, it will find a willing partner in the United States," he said.

The White House congratulated Rouhani, seen as politically more moderate than predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the election, which it said demonstrated a desire by Iranians for change.

Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Iranian-Threat/News/White-House-US-a-willing-partner-should-Iran-wish-to-engage-on-nuclear-concerns-322012

Al Qaeda Embassy Plot Among "Most Specific And Credible Threats" Since 9/11, McCaul Says

Source: CBS

(CBS News) An al Qaeda plot against American diplomatic posts in the Middle East and other Muslim countries that prompted the U.S. government to close nearly two dozen embassies and consulates over the weekend is "one of the most specific and credible threats I've seen, perhaps since 9/11," House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, said Sunday on "Face the Nation."

"We're on a high state of alert," McCaul said. "I think the administration's call to close these embassies... was actually very, very smart call - particularly in light of what happened in Benghazi, when warnings were not heeded in that case. I'm glad to see that in this case, they're taking this very seriously."

The threat, signs of which were picked up by U.S. intelligence over the weekend, comes from Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula - also known as AQAP - a terrorist group CBS News correspondent Bob Orr said is "the most active and charged" among al Qaeda.

"The fear is that this may be a big play from a group that has been unable to muster a large-scale attack since 9/11, and they've got some expertise," he said. "They have a bomb maker in Yemen named Ibrahim al-Asiri - he's the guy who built the underwear bombs and printer cartridge bombs. He's a devious genius and we know in the past he's experimented in research trying to build body bombs, that is, implant explosives in human beings which would give a whole new meaning to suicide bombers.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57596909/al-qaeda-embassy-plot-among-most-specific-and-credible-threats-since-9-11-mccaul-says/

Congress Takes Another (5 week) Vacation While Nation’s Business Awaits

There was a mad dash in Washington today: members of Congress streaming out of the Capitol, grabbing their bags and heading to the airport for a five-week vacation.

They left without passing some big pieces of the country’s business, including a budget.
Some citizens vacationing in the nation’s capitol said they can’t believe it.

“When you are at work, you are working until you are all done, then you go on
vacation,” Bernadette Simmons said.

“If I don’t have my budget together in my own household, I can’t go on vacation,” Wayne Valaris of San Francisco said.

“I think five weeks is a little excessive for them, with so much of what they have to do,” Caroline Eliss of Arizona said. “The average working man gets two weeks vacation. That’s more than enough.”



Give Manning and Snowden the Nobel Peace Prize

In an op-ed for the Guardian earlier this summer, Máiread Corrigan Maguire, an Irish activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 and has devoted her life to working for peace in Northern Ireland and around the world, explained why she is nominating Bradley Manning for this year’s prize. American activist and journalist Norman Solomon followed up on this in a USA Today article this week, just after Manning’s conviction on espionage charges. Solomon announced that he will go to Oslo with a petition signed by more than 100,000 people urging the Nobel committee to award Manning the peace prize.

I think it’s a great idea, and if the Nobel committee weren’t so cautious and lily-livered – and were actually interested in furthering the cause of peace – it might actually happen. Since the real goal here is a worldwide public education campaign or an act of resistance, it might be even better if we folded in Swedish academic Stefan Svallfors’ nomination of Manning’s fellow leaker Edward Snowden, who was just granted temporary asylum in Russia. The Nobel committee could undo years of boring and/or insulting choices, just like that. Give the Nobel Peace Prize to Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

Can you even imagine how outraged, how red-faced and apoplectic, John McCain and Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein and the talking heads on the Sunday news shows would be? It would partly make up for the profound shame of having given the prize to Henry Kissinger, one of the 20th century’s great war criminals, in 1973. And then there was what Svallfors calls the “hasty and ill-considered decision” to award it to Barack Obama in 2009. That seemed mysterious at the time – his great accomplishment was that he was a brand new American president who wasn’t George W. Bush – and it looks considerably worse now.


At the very least, I'm betting the Snowden will make Time mag's 'Person of the Year'...

Russia, US in Deadlock Over Guantanamo Prisoner – Paper

MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) – Talks between Russia and the United States on the visit of a Russian delegation to Guantanamo prison to meet with a Russian national kept there for over a decade without formal charges have come to a deadlock, the Kommersant newspaper reported Saturday.

Ravil Mingazov, 45, was arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities and links with Al-Qaeda in 2002. Russia wants to make sure that its citizen kept in the American military detention facility is well, the Foreign Ministry said in April.

The Foreign Ministry's Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said in June that the US authorities do not make sufficient efforts to facilitate the meeting of Russian officials with Mingazov.

According to Kommersant, the talks on the visit have been held for the past few months but they did not produce any results. Washington offered Moscow to allow a Russian delegation to “tour” the prison without meeting Mingazov in particular. The Russian side refused to accept the offer and insisted on a meeting.

The US State Department had earlier said that Mingazov himself was against the meeting, but his lawyers dismissed this claim saying their client was ready to meet with Russian officials only in the presence of his defense team.


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