Archive for Mai, 2014

USA / Cuba: Kinder, wie die Zeit vergeht oder: Versprochen – gebrochen!

Mittwoch, Mai 21st, 2014

Activists Rally to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention as Part of Global Day of Action — Protests in 40+ Cities Worldwide

Protests come exactly one year after President Obama recommitted
to close down the detention facility



Washington, D.C. — On Friday, May 23, one year after President Obama once again promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo in a speech at the National Defense University, Witness Against Torture, Code Pink, The Center for Constitutional Rights, World Can’t Wait, and more than 30 other groups are banding together to say “Not Another Broken Promise!” They are calling on President Obama make good on his commitment to close the prison this year.

The President’s pledge last May came amidst a mass hunger strike at the prison by men protesting their indefinite detention. Since then only a handful of men have been released from Guantanamo, where hungers strikes and brutal forced-feedings continue.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, says: “When I interrupted Obama’s 2013 speech to say that he had the power to free those Guantanamo prisoners already cleared for release, the President said my voice was worth listening to. With most of the prisoners still trapped in the hell of Guantanamo, I wish the President would listen to his own words and close the prison.”

“There is no excuse for keeping Guantanamo open,” says Jerica Arents from Chicago. “The President has the power to shutter the prison and needs to do it, or his promise is meaningless.”

Demonstrations will be held in Washington, D.C. (at the White House, 11 am); in New York City (Times Square, noon); in Chicago (Water Tower Park, 4:30 pm); San Francisco (Powell/Market 4:30 PST); and in 40 other cities in 8 countries, including England, Australia, and Germany. A Full list, with time and place info, is at:

“In big cities and small towns, the outpouring of support for the Global Day of Action has been amazing,” says Witness Against Torture organizer Chris Knestrick. “Guantanamo continues to shock the conscience. The people of the world want it closed.”

At the protests, activists will wear black hoods and orange jumpsuits, update the situation at Guantanamo, and perform theatre to dramatize the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo.

WHAT: Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo and End Indefinite Detention
WHERE: Washington, NYC, Chicago, Raleigh, London, Sydney, Toronto and other cities.
WHEN: Friday, May 23, 2014 (see tumblr link above for details)
WHO: Human Rights and Anti-Torture activists


(Quelle: Witnesstorture.)

China / Nordkorea: Schau mal, wer da fliegt

Dienstag, Mai 13th, 2014

“United States drone missions in Japan to monitor Chinese, North Korean activities

May 11, 2014 11:30 am • By Tsuyoshi Takasawa and Katsufumi Mano The Yomiuri Shimbun

TOKYO — Full-scale large military drone operations will start shortly in Japan and its nearby airspace to monitor Chinese military activities and North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.

The U.S. Air Force plans to deploy two Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles to its Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture late this month and the Air Self-Defense Force plans to procure three UAVs of the same type in fiscal 2015 and later.

However, experts warn that regulations on their flights must be put in place because Japan’s current aviation laws lack clear stipulations on large drones.

A Global Hawk is a 40-meter-wide (131 feet), 14.5-meter-long (47 feet) unmanned plane manufactured by Northrop Grumman, a U.S. aerospace and defense company. The drone has been deployed by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the units to be deployed to Misawa Air Base will be operated from the ground in Misawa until it reaches a certain height after takeoff. The drone will then be controlled via satellite by Beale Air Force Base staff in California, according to sources.

The unarmed UAV will fly at an altitude of 60,000 feet or 18,000 meters for up to 30 hours, and will survey military facilities on the ground and vessels in open waters with sophisticated sensors and radar.

Ground control will resume at the Misawa base just before the drone lands after completing its reconnaissance flight, sources said.

The U.S. Air Force has laid out their plans regarding drone operations in Japan. Two of the three Global Hawks currently stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam are to be deployed to the Misawa base. The air force reportedly decided to move them to the Misawa base so they could be operated on a regular basis since local weather is stable between May and October. These conditions are much more favorable compared to their deployments in Guam, where missions are disrupted by bad weather including frequent typhoons, according to the sources.

The ASDF is planning to acquire three Global Hawks and deploy them at its own Misawa Air Base located next to the U.S. base. Deployment of the drones is expected to enhance the capabilities of both countries to gather intelligence in areas around Japan.

“The Global Hawk provided us with a wealth of data, including surveillance of crippled reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant,” a senior Self-Defense Force official said. “The device will be effective in surveying the activities of North Korea and the Chinese military.”

Japan currently uses an intelligence-gathering satellite to monitor military facilities in North Korea where nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles are developed, but the time frame to monitor a particular site is limited because the satellite is in orbit. However, a Global Hawk equipped with high-performance sensors capable of extended flight time will be able to augment intelligence gathering.

The units are also expected to be useful in watching Chinese naval ship movements in the South China Sea, the sources added.

The transport ministry last month issued warnings to civilian aircraft to avoid collisions with unmanned U.S. Air Force surveillance planes in preparation for their deployment in Japan in late May.”


(Quelle: Arizona Daily Star)