Saturday, April 30, 2005

Reports that Israel Frozen out of F-35 Development

Posted 19-Apr-2005 08:10
Related stories: Air Forces, Air Platforms, Australia/Asia, Events, Lobbying, Malfeasance, Non-U.S., U.S.
Also on this day: 19-Apr-2005 »
AIR_F-35_Joint_Strike_Fighter.jpg
F-35 JSF

Israeli defense industry executives are reporting that the U.S. has frozen Israel out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development of a program as punishment for its military cooperation with China, including its work on Harpy anti-radar attack UAVs acquired by China from state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries in 1994. Israeli Defense Ministry officials refused to confirm the report, noting only that they were in dialogue and hoped that "within its framework understandings will be reached soon."

In recent weeks the White House has warned European countries not to lift a boycott on China arms sales, and even restricted the sale of mapping software to China developed from U.S. naval sonar technology. The Bush administration has also pressured Israel to 'roll back' its defense relations with China.

AIR_UAV_Harpy.jpg
IAI Harpy UAV
The Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) Harpy is an advanced attack UAV system that homes in on air defense radars and attacks them. Launched from a ground vehicle or surface warship far away from the battle zone, the Harpy UAV can detect, attack and destroy radar emitters in all-weather conditions, day/night over a distance of 500kg. Once an enemy radar is detected and verified, the UAV transitions into a near vertical dive and destroy the target with its high explosive warhead. The Harpy UAV is currently in service with Israel, Turkey and India.

China reportedly acquired an unknown number of Harpys in 1994. Western intelligence first identified Harpy UAVs in service with the PLA in the joint PLA exercise held near the Taiwan Strait in 2004. Back in December 2004, Pentagon Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Doug Feith reportedly demanded the resignation of retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron, the widely respected and longtime director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Defence. According to the reports, Feith was 'outraged' that the USA was not informed the UAV sale to China in 1994. In summer 2004 tension rose when some of China's Harpys were sent back to Israel - whether for routine maintenance or upgrades is a matter of some dispute. The Pentagon has already demanded that Israel not deliver these UAVs back to China, even though they are properties of the PRC.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government passed a resolution authorizing the use of force if Taiwan declares itself an independent state. The self-governing island split from China at the end of a protracted civil war in 1949.

The U.S. Air Force plans to take delivery of the first operational F-35s in 2008.

Sellouts

Reports that Israel Frozen out of F-35 Development

Posted 19-Apr-2005 08:10
Related stories: Air Forces, Air Platforms, Australia/Asia, Events, Lobbying, Malfeasance, Non-U.S., U.S.
Also on this day: 19-Apr-2005 »
AIR_F-35_Joint_Strike_Fighter.jpg
F-35 JSF

Israeli defense industry executives are reporting that the U.S. has frozen Israel out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development of a program as punishment for its military cooperation with China, including its work on Harpy anti-radar attack UAVs acquired by China from state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries in 1994. Israeli Defense Ministry officials refused to confirm the report, noting only that they were in dialogue and hoped that "within its framework understandings will be reached soon."

In recent weeks the White House has warned European countries not to lift a boycott on China arms sales, and even restricted the sale of mapping software to China developed from U.S. naval sonar technology. The Bush administration has also pressured Israel to 'roll back' its defense relations with China.

AIR_UAV_Harpy.jpg
IAI Harpy UAV
The Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) Harpy is an advanced attack UAV system that homes in on air defense radars and attacks them. Launched from a ground vehicle or surface warship far away from the battle zone, the Harpy UAV can detect, attack and destroy radar emitters in all-weather conditions, day/night over a distance of 500kg. Once an enemy radar is detected and verified, the UAV transitions into a near vertical dive and destroy the target with its high explosive warhead. The Harpy UAV is currently in service with Israel, Turkey and India.

China reportedly acquired an unknown number of Harpys in 1994. Western intelligence first identified Harpy UAVs in service with the PLA in the joint PLA exercise held near the Taiwan Strait in 2004. Back in December 2004, Pentagon Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Doug Feith reportedly demanded the resignation of retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron, the widely respected and longtime director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Defence. According to the reports, Feith was 'outraged' that the USA was not informed the UAV sale to China in 1994. In summer 2004 tension rose when some of China's Harpys were sent back to Israel - whether for routine maintenance or upgrades is a matter of some dispute. The Pentagon has already demanded that Israel not deliver these UAVs back to China, even though they are properties of the PRC.

Earlier this year, the Chinese government passed a resolution authorizing the use of force if Taiwan declares itself an independent state. The self-governing island split from China at the end of a protracted civil war in 1949.

The U.S. Air Force plans to take delivery of the first operational F-35s in 2008.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

March FOMC Minutes

http://www.federalreserve.gov/FOMC/minutes/20050322.htm

Key Information:

Over the intermeeting period, however, the Chairman's semiannual testimony on monetary policy, higher oil prices, and incoming data that showed a pickup in price inflation led market participants to mark up their expectations for the trajectory of the target federal funds rate. Consistent with the upward revision to policy expectations, yields on Treasury securities rose significantly. Some of the increase in nominal rates likely owed to higher inflation expectations, as inflation compensation, measured from the spread between Treasury nominal debt and comparable inflation-indexed securities, rose. However, staff analysis suggested that the increases were concentrated over the next few years and that long-term inflation expectations were little changed.

Business spending on equipment and software increased sharply in the fourth quarter and, excluding motor vehicles, appeared to be growing briskly in the first quarter. The expiration at the end of 2004 of the special tax provisions that permitted partial expensing of investment expenditures seemed not to be retarding capital spending. Presumably contributing to the vigor of capital spending were further increases in business output, strong cash positions of corporations, and an attractive cost of capital amid generally low interest rates. Shipments and orders for high-tech equipment remained strong in January. Outside the high-tech sector, shipments posted a sizable and broad-based increase in January, and the rising backlog of orders pointed to further gains in the near future. Spending on nonresidential construction was subdued, as it had been for some time.

In the staff forecast prepared for this meeting, the economy was seen as likely to expand at a rate above the growth of potential this year and next, led by strong business demand for equipment and software. Consequently, labor markets were expected to continue to firm and the unemployment rate to decline gradually. In light of the robust expansion of capital spending thus far this year, the outlook for business investment spending was revised up appreciably, as more of the strength over the latter part of 2004 was attributed to underlying demand and less to the effects of the partial-expensing tax provision. Steadily rising sales, an ongoing need to replace and upgrade software and equipment, and favorable financing costs were all expected to continue to buoy business spending this year and next. Household spending, supported by rising disposable income and, to a lesser degree, by increasing wealth, was projected to expand at a solid rate. Net exports were seen as exerting less of an arithmetic drag on economic growth than in 2004. Measures of overall consumer price inflation were expected to be lower this year than last and to step down again next year as energy prices retreated. Inflation in core consumer prices was seen as being boosted a bit by the effects of higher import and energy costs in the near term but still largely contained by continued strong growth in underlying labor productivity and remaining slack in resource markets.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Study: Cloned Meat, Milk Nearly the Same

Health - AP

AP
Study: Cloned Meat, Milk Nearly the Same

Mon Apr 11, 8:21 PM ET
Add to My Yahoo! Health - AP

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Meat and milk from cloned animals is essentially identical to that from animals that reproduced normally, a new study says.

Yahoo! Health
Have questions about your health?
Find answers here.

The findings should ease safety concerns by both the public and regulators about eating cloned animals, said researcher Xiangzhong Yang of the Center for Regenerative Biology at the University of Connecticut. The study was published in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Food and Drug Administration has asked the food industry to keep products from cloned animals out of the food chain while it considers their safety.

Cloning, the creation of an animal from the DNA of a single parent, should produce an animal identical to that parent. But as the technology has developed, many cloning attempts have ended in birth defects.

"All parameters examined for the clones in this study were within the normal range of beef and dairy products approved for human consumption," Yang said in a telephone interview.

Two beef clones were studied that had been produced in Japan from a famous Japanese Black breeding bull with superior meat marbling traits.

The 10 dairy clones were produced at the University of Connecticut from a Holstein cow that produced a lot of milk.

The researchers from Connecticut and the Kagoshima Prefectural Cattle Breeding Institute in Japan analyzed milk for a variety of factors including protein, fat, lactose and solids and studied more than 100 components in the beef, concluding that both were within the range of standards for milk and meat now consumed.

The FDA declined to comment on the findings but said it will include the report in the material it is reviewing on food from cloned animals. The agency said it expects its own safety assessment of these products to be released soon.

Asked for comment, Carole Tucker Foreman of the consumer group Public Citizen questioned whether the researchers had looked at the problem of stress in the animals.

Stressed animals are known to produce pathogens, she said, and there has been evidence that the offspring of cloned animals suffer increased stress. She said this study seems to avoid that question.

She also questioned whether the researchers, who specialize in reproductive biology, were a truly disinterested source of information, and suggested that the small number of animals in the study might not be enough to produce definitive data.

The study compared meat from two bulls and milk from four cows with the products from similar animals that had been produced by normal methods and raised in similar conditions to the clones.

The meat from the clones had a slightly higher marbling content than that of the comparison animals but that was the only significant difference, the researchers said.

Increased marbling is considered a benefit in beef and the researchers noted that the clones were produced from an animal renowned for its quality. The comparison animals were produced by inseminating cows with semen from the son of that bull, meaning that the offspring had only one-fourth the genes of their champion, while the clones had all of them.

No other significant differences were found in the meat or the milk.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kagoshima Prefecture and the National Institute of Agrobiological Research of Japan.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Fed Gov Bernanke seen as top pick for chairman

04/10/05
Fed Gov Bernanke seen as top pick for chairman - report By Heather Wilson
SAN FRANCISCO(MarketWatch) -- Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke is seen as possible successor to Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman, according to a published report Sunday. The White House told Reuters that it is still too early in the decision process to determine who may succeed Greenspan, whose term expires next year. Bernanke was recently nominated to head the White House Council of Economic Advisors, which Reuters said is viewed as a try-out for the chairmanship. Other possible candidates to replace Greenspan are Glenn Hubbard, a former Council of Economic Advisors chairman and Martin Feldstein, a Harvard economist.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Congress weighs China currency action

By William L. Watts, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:28 PM ET April 6, 2005
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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Senate and House were set to separately consider legislation this week that would put limits on Chinese imports unless Beijing allows its currency to become more flexible.

Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced an amendment Wednesday to a State Department appropriations bill that would slap a 27.5% tariff on Chinese imports if China doesn't revalue its currency within 180 days.

Lawmakers have expressed growing frustration over China's refusal to weaken the yuan's peg to the dollar. They contend that the tie has left the yuan significantly undervalued, putting U.S. manufacturers and workers at a disadvantage and contributing to the sharp rise in China's trade surplus with the United States.

"We think there is no more broad-based and serious violation of the spirit and rules of international trade than a purposefully undervalued currency," Schumer said in a statement. "When those conditions are violated, the system must respond or else the actions of one nation will upset the whole global balance."

On the House side, Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, are scheduled Thursday to unveil legislation that supporters said will use existing trade laws, in compliance with the World Trade Organization, to address China's currency peg. Critics of the Schumer proposal have argued that his approach would violate WTO rules.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, R-Ind., sought to use a procedural move to set aside the amendment in the Senate, arguing that the issue fell under the jurisdiction of the Senate Finance Committee, which has oversight over trade policy.

But Lugar's motion to "table," or set aside, the amendment was defeated in 67-33 vote. A vote on the amendment itself is still pending.

Illuminati Speak

I skimmed over the introduction to IMF's semiannual Global Financial Stability Report released yesterday. They open with their assessment stating:

Our positive assessment of financial stability
is underpinned by the favorable prospect for
the world economy.


And then finish the introduction by stating:

Looking ahead, while there is no particular
reason to believe that this benign scenario
might come to an end any time soon, we see a
number of risks that could test the resiliency
of the financial system. At a time when the
financial sector is in solid shape, the risks
are—by definition—more on the downside.


Followed by a page or so doing a good job summarizing all of the outstanding macro risks. They seem to be concerned about the credit market, particularly the effects a blow up in credit securities would have on the financial sector. They express concern over the relatively small amount of counterparties in "new" credit derivative markets.

They say the following, in brief, about the stock market.

After growing strongly in the past two years,
corporate earnings growth is likely to decelerate
in the future. In a similar vein, banks may
not be able to count on a reduction in credit
provisions to increase their reported profit.
Earnings disappointments relative to market
expectations are likely to occur and may cause
equity markets to decline, perhaps together
with rising volatility.
Such corrections in major
equity markets could weaken a stabilizing factor
that has helped improve the solvency of
many financial institutions, such as insurance
companies in several countries.


THEY'RE BEARISH!!!