Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 18th 2015 Contents JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Virginia---Faced with
escalating aggression from Russia and China, the Pen-
tagon is planning to increase its use of drones by about
50 percent over the next several years, using the US Army
and civilian contractors to put more of the unmanned aircraft
in the air.
The decision to add Army and civilian-operated missions
to the mix was triggered because the Air Force---which had been
running about 65 combat air patrol missions a day---asked to
decrease that number to 60 because of stress on the force. But
60 patrols don t come close to meeting the demands of
top military commanders facing growing security threats
around the world.
Senior US officials said that while drones have been used
largely to target terrorists and collect intelligence over combat
zones, those needs may shift in the coming years.
Top military leaders, including the incoming chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Joseph Dunford, have
named Russia as the nation s most serious security threat.
And China s rising military power and island-building pro-
gram in the South China Sea have increased tensions and
prompted a greater demand for US surveillance and intel-
ligence across the Pacific.
One senior defense official said Pentagon leaders are
taking those security challenges into account as they decide
how armed and unarmed drones will be used across Europe
and the Pacific. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity
because they weren t authorised to discuss the issue pub-
Pentagon leaders have been wrestling with the problem
for some time, as the need for more airstrikes and sur-
veillance by drones over Iraq and Syria to battle the Islamic
State group offsets a decline in unmanned flights over
Afghanistan as the war there winds down. Under the plans
laid out by senior defense officials, the Air Force would
continue to provide 60 daily drone missions, while the Army
would conduct about 16, and US Special Operations Com-
mand and civilian contractors would do up to 10 each.
"It s the combatant commanders, they need more. They re
tasked to do our nation s business overseas so they feel that
stress on them, and it s not getting better," said Air Force
Maj Gen JD Harris, Jr, vice commander of Air
Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-
The civilian contractors would fly surveil-
lance drones, not the armed aircraft. But senior
defense officials said they need at least a small
contractor contribution in order to reach the
total of 90 combat air patrols per day.
The unanswered questions are how the
Pentagon will pay for the additional patrols
and how the military will sort out and analyse
the growing torrent of data pouring in. (AP)
STOCKHOLM---Norway s $870 billion sovereign wealth fund has
excluded four Asian companies over environmental concerns linked
to their palm oil activities in Indonesia.
Acting on a recommendation from its ethical council, Norway s
central bank yesterday said the fund would divest from South Korean
steelmaker Posco, its subsidiary Daewoo International Corp. and
Malaysian companies Genting Berhad and IJM Corporation Berhad.
The council said the companies may be responsible for environmental
damage linked to the conversion of tropical forests into oil palm
plantations in Indonesia.
The fund, fueled by profits from Norway s offshore oil and gas
sector, held shares worth more than $200 million in Posco and
Daewoo at the end of last year and smaller stakes in the Malaysian
Students in South Korea are unhappy about
night-time curfews being applied to Internet
access in their university halls of residence,
it s reported.
Some universities specifically ban access
to online gaming sites overnight, but others
cut access to the Internet altogether during set hours,
the Korea Times website reports. For those studying
at the Catholic University of Daegu or the Mokpo
National Maritime University, going online from their
halls of residence is banned from 1 to 6 am.
Officials say the restrictions are needed to ensure
that sleeping students aren t disturbed by their room-
mates computer habits. But it has led to complaints
from those who need the study time. One student tells
the site that he had no option but to use his mobile
phone to access the Internet one night, racking up a
150,000-won bill ($84). "I had some reports that
required a lot of online research," he says. "I had to
work through late into the night to get it done, because
I didn t have time in the daytime."
For universities, online gaming is one of the
main reasons behind the curfew. "Some
students complain that their roommates
absorbed in online games shout and push
the keyboard violently all night," says an
official at Yonsei University, where the
Internet is cut off between 2 and 4 am. "It
is a measure to prevent students from caus-
ing damage to others."
Seven people have been killed by bulls in street
festivals in Spain since July, including four over
the weekend, according to media reports.
An 18-year-old man was gored in the stomach during
a bull run on Sunday evening in Lerín, Navarra, and died en
route to the hospital, Spanish news network The Local reports.
On Saturday, a 36-year-old town councilor in a town north of
Madrid was gored after he slipped and fell as a bull ran toward
him. Two men---one in Valencia and one in Murcia---died on
Friday from injuries suffered from bull attacks, according to local
The seven deaths represent "an unusually high number of
fatalities for such a short period," the BBC reports.
Earlier this month, David Mellado Lopez was gored to death by
a bull while filming on his smartphone a bull-running event in
Villaseca de la Sagra, in central Spain.
Deaths this year have all occurred at bull running festivals,
where bulls are let loose into a crowd that then runs
from them, and not bullfights, which take place
in bullfighting rings. Both events attract tourists
but are condemned by animal rights groups,
including People for the Ethical Treament of
Animals and the League Against Cruel Sports.
The annual Pamplona Running of the Bulls
attracts up to one million tourists each year. In 2014,
an American author of a book on the popular festival
was gored by a bull and survived.
All seven deaths took place during street festivals and
not in bullfighting rings. Bullfighting remains legal in most
regions of Spain, although it was banned in the Canary
Islands in 1991 and Catalonia in 2010. In 2013, bullfighting
and related activities like bull running were granted protected
status in Spain by the country s congress, which deemed
the events an important part of Spain s heritage.
More than 7,200 bulls and steers (castrated calves)
were killed in bullfights in 2014.
Matador Saul Jimenez Fortes returned to the bull-
fighting ring on Sunday after recovering from a brutal
goring in his neck in May, only to have a bull s horn
gore him in the chin, the New York Post reports.---
Seven gored to
death by bulls
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
over palm oil
Pentagon plans to
double drone flights
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