Thursday, February 02, 2006

Global News You May Have Missed

Are They Suicide Bombers?
Nearly one out of three French men is overweight, compared to one woman out of four. Frenchmen and women are getting taller and heavier. The French are larger than people in some countries that import its fashions, including Japan, China and Brazil. The average woman in France has gone up a dress size since 1970, according to a major fashion industry study released Thursday that measured about 12,000 people nationwide. The study was conducted by the French Institute of Textiles and Clothing to help clothing designers understand the sizes and shapes of their clients.

The average French woman today is just over 5 feet 3 inches tall and 137.6 pounds, compared to 5 feet 2 1/2 inches tall and 133.6 pounds in 1970. Women's waistlines in particular have thickened. Will Iran be fooled by these warheads?

US naval 'spy' expelled. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is expelling a US official accused of spying with Venezuelan officers.

The naval attache at the US embassy, John Correa, would be forced to "leave immediately", Mr Chavez said in a speech to mark seven years in power. US officials responded that the charges were baseless and Captain Correa had left for medical treatment and a holiday.
Mr Chavez has repeatedly accused the US of supporting attempts to overthrow him.

Thursday's announcement came three days after Mr Chavez said agents had infiltrated an alleged spy ring at the US embassy. (Molten Eagle: When you infiltrate a foreign embassy, the last thing to do is announce it.) The Chavez announcement was for consumption of the Venezuelan peasant voters in preparation for his declaration of an emergency government that he hopes keeps him in power beyond constitutional limits.

The Ominous South Pole
China radar at South Pole could sabotage U.S. spy satellites National security analysts say the South Pole, because of its remoteness, could be used by China for anti-satellite lasers capable of blinding or disrupting U.S. reconnaissance satellites, most of which pass over the pole.

Beijing announced plans to build a high-frequency radar system at the South Pole. Analysts say the it could disrupt U.S. intelligence satellites.

The system will be built at China’s Zhongshan Station, where Beijing has set up of a space environment lab. China’s space program is directly related to Chinese military operations. The system will consist of 20 antennas, each 20 meters high.

Moscow unprecedented
Gorbachev nominates nuclear submarine crew for Nobel Peace Prize. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev requested the Norwegian Nobel Committee nominate the crew of the Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The crew averted an accident onboard the sub on July 4, 1961. Submarines are always stealthy and strange, but this is probably unprecedented. The entire crew received substantial doses of radiation, and the entire repair crew of 8 men died of radiation exposure within a week. Worry of a crew mutiny prompted Commanding Officer Zateyev to have all small arms thrown overboard except for five pistols distributed to his most trusted officers. What has Gorbachev been smoking?

United States
SSGNs will be a powerful breed (quasi-attack submarine) reconfigured to counter terrorism. Formerly, they were part of the nation's nuclear deterrent. Officially loaded with up to 152 conventional, cruise missiles, they will also transport special operations forces to potential trouble sites. Now, if you were a jihadist, how well could you plan your day? Which will be off your coast unseen, the SSBNs with nukes, the SSGNs, or both?


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