Thursday, May 28, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009 - Sometime next year, at a tightly guarded site south of its capital, Pakistan will be ready to start churning out a new stream of plutonium for its nuclear arsenal, which will eventually include warheads for ballistic missiles and cruise missiles capable of being launched from ships, submarines or aircraft.
About 1,000 miles to the southwest, engineers in India are designing cruise missiles to carry nuclear warheads, relying partly on Russian missile-design assistance. India is also trying to equip its Agni ballistic missiles with such warheads and to deploy them on submarines. Its rudimentary missile-defense capability is slated for a major upgrade next year.
The apparent detonation of a North Korean nuclear device on Monday has renewed concerns over that country's efforts to build up its atomic arsenal. At the same time, U.S. and allied officials and experts who have tracked developments in South Asia have grown increasingly worried over the rapid growth of the region's more mature nuclear programs, in part because of the risk that weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. More >>>
Saturday, May 23, 2009
BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) -- China is strongly committed to a world without nuclear weapons, Gareth Evans, co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), told a press conference on the sidelines of the North-east Asia Regional Meeting of the ICNND here Saturday.
The regional meeting, which was held Friday and Saturday, allowed the ICNND to engage in intensive action with key nuclear experts providing insights on global and regional nuclear issues and challenges, including proliferation threats and the safe and secure management of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Evans said, "There is a need to energize a very high-level global political debate on what remains very important risks and threats for the future of this world." More >>>
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Clinton detailed the aid package at the White House, saying the money is flowing to ease the plight of about 2 million Pakistanis who have fled fighting in the country's Swat Valley and are living in squalid tent cities.
The White House said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had appointed Brig. Gen. Nadeem Ahmad to lead the Pakistani relief effort. He was highly praised for his work in the relief effort after the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. More >>>
Monday, May 18, 2009
Pakistan is battling a growing insurgency by Islamist militants with links to al-Qaida and the Taliban. Washington is considering giving it billions of dollars in aid to help fight the insurgents, who are also blamed for attacks on U.S. and foreign troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
At a congressional panel last week, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked whether there was evidence that Pakistan was adding to its nuclear weapons systems and warheads. He simply replied: "Yes."
But Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira denied that assertion Monday. More >>>
"Pakistan does not need to expand its nuclear arsenal but we want to make it clear that we will maintain a minimum nuclear deterrence that is essential for our defense and stability," he said. "We will not make any compromise."
Friday, May 15, 2009
Pak increasing nuclear weapons: US
Washington: The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has confirmed reports that Pakistan is increasing its nuclear weapons programme, but has provided no details. The confirmation came during a Senate Armed Services committee hearing when Democrat senator Jim Webb, an expert on defence issues, raised fears that Pakistan is adding to the nuclear weapons it traditionally has pointed toward India, and questioned whether US aid could be funding it. More >>>
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Scientists will need improved weather prediction models, conclude researchers from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), in a report published in Geophysical Research Letters last month (23 April). Reliable prediction of monsoon rains five to seven days in advance is crucial for farmers, for managing water resources and for disaster management, they say.
The researchers say that weather in tropical regions is inherently more difficult to predict than in regions further north. One reason is that daily changes in temperature and wind are small in the tropics and the signals are difficult to pick up with recording instruments. Another is the way wind systems are driven in the tropics, which makes the tropical atmosphere more unstable.
The increased frequency and intensity of rainfall due to global warming will make the tropical atmosphere even more unstable and prediction more difficult in the future, they say. More >>>
Saturday, May 9, 2009
In what is a toughening of stance on nuclear non-proliferation, the US has said its “fundamental objective” continues to be to see that India — along with Israel, Pakistan and North Korea — signs the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
This message was delivered at the preparatory committee meeting for the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference on Tuesday by Rose Gottemoeller, US Assistant Secretary of State (for verification, compliance and implementation). In a not-so-subtle reference to Pakistan, she also referred to limiting and verifiable end to fissile material production worldwide, especially in South Asia, to avoid “theft or seizure (of nuclear materials) by terrorist groups”.
India has rejected the NPT as being discriminatory, for it allows the permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, Russia, China, UK and France) to have nuclear arsenals without any obligations to disarm, while India, despite being a nuclear weapons state, has to sign the treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state and subject itself to inspections. India also believes that the NPT has failed to institutionalise nuclear non-proliferation and verifiable reduction in nuclear arsenals globally. More >>>
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Washington: Wednesday 6 May 2009 - A diplomatic row broke out today between the US and Israel after Washington's chief nuclear arms negotiator called on Israel to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), breaking a US tradition of discretion over Israel's nuclear arsenal.
Israeli officials said they were puzzled by a speech to an international conference in New York by Rose Gottemoeller, an assistant secretary of state, who said: "Universal adherence to the NPT itself - including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea - also remains a fundamental objective of the United States."
By including Israel on a list of countries known to have nuclear weapons. Gottemoeller broke with normal US diplomatic practice. Since 1968 when the CIA reported Israel had developed a nuclear weapon , Washington has pursued a policy of not demanding transparency from its close ally, and in return Israel agreed not to test a bomb or it declare its nuclear capability - a policy of "strategic ambiguity". More >>>
Saturday, May 2, 2009
The citizens and leaders of rich countries who aren't willing to ditch their SUVs and embrace other facets of a low-carbon lifestyle will sabotage attempts at reaching a global deal for tackling climate change, prominent British economist Lord Nicholas Stern is warning.
"This has to be the biggest international collaboration in history if we are to tackle this challenge," Stern told an audience of Toronto's business elite during a speech today at the Economic Club of Canada.
If we're not prepared to show developing countries such as China and India that we're serious about doing our part, he said, "then get a hat, some suntan lotion and write an apology letter to your grandchildren." More >>>