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Articles Posted by Levante

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  • Officials: Blast kills 4 (Spanish) peacekeepers in Lebanon

    06/24/2007 2:25:24 PM PDT · by Levante · 8 replies · 409+ views
    BEIRUT, Lebanon - A bomb apparently targeting U.N. peacekeepers exploded by the side of a road in southern Lebanon on Sunday, killing four Spanish troops and injuring at least four, a senior Lebanese security official said. The senior official in Beirut said a mine may have caused the explosion, but another security official based in southern Lebanon said a bomb detonated at the side of a road about four miles north of the Israeli border town of Metulla. The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
  • British navy parrot with potty mouth sent ashore with feathers in tow

    11/25/2005 2:30:53 PM PST · by Levante · 14 replies · 681+ views
    National Post News Services ^ | Friday, November 25, 2005
    A Royal navy parrot with a reputation for embarrassing top brass with her foul mouth has been ordered ashore. But it was not Sunny's swearing that led to her being taken off the British frigate, Lancaster. She has been given extended shore leave on medical advice after plucking out her feathers and looking withdrawn. Sunny a six-year-old African grey with the official service number of RN Parrot No 1, has a habit of squawking "arse" and "bollocks" at inappropriate moments. During a visit in 2001 by the First Sea Lord, Sunny was banished to a cupboard but could still be...
  • Defense budget should be doubled: Senate (Canadian Forces)

    09/29/2005 12:02:05 PM PDT · by Levante · 25 replies · 389+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | September 29, 2005 | No Author Credited
    OTTAWA -- A Senate committee says the defence budget should be doubled and the military should enlist thousands more soldiers, sailors and air personnel. The defence committee report says the budget should be $25 billion to $35 billion a year instead of the $14.3 billion earmarked for 2005-2006. Defence spending as a portion of GDP has fallen by 62.5 per cent in the last 15 years, the report says. The senators also say that the Forces should have 90,000 people in uniform instead of today's authorized strength of 62,000. They also say that ways have to be found to purchase...
  • Troops set for Afghan reconstruction

    07/20/2005 11:28:45 AM PDT · by Levante · 1 replies · 203+ views
    Canadian Press via National Post ^ | July 20, 2005 | Lori Farzari
    EDMONTON -- With words of pride in his troops and thoughts of the risks they will encounter, Gen. Rick Hillier saw off the first team of troops heading off Tuesday for southern Afghanistan as part of a reconstruction mission. "What I told them was first of all how proud I am of them, how confident I am that they are ready to go and do this job," Hillier said at Edmonton International Airport before the troops flew out on Canadian Forces Airbus. "You cannot reduce the risk to zero in any environment in the world and certainly you cannot do...
  • Canada also on target list Americans, British, Australians, Spanish hit

    07/08/2005 11:42:01 AM PDT · by Levante · 31 replies · 934+ views
    National Post ^ | Friday, July 08, 2005 | Adrian Humphreys
    Yesterday's bombings in London, coupled with the attacks on the United States, Spain and Australia (through the Bali nightclub bombings), may increase the likelihood of Canada becoming a target for terror. Although it is not yet proved that an al-Qaeda group was responsible for yesterday's destruction, Canada is now one of a dwindling number of nations named as a target by Osama bin Laden that has not been directly hit. "Human targets sorted by level of importance," reads a list in the al-Battar Military Manual, a training manual masterminded by Saif al-Adel, one of al-Qaeda's most senior leaders, and distributed...
  • Greater security in new structure: brass (Canadian Forces)

    06/28/2005 11:27:56 AM PDT · by Levante · 2 replies · 229+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | June 28, 2005 | John Ward
    OTTAWA -- A newly promoted vice-admiral has been named to lead Canada Command, a new military headquarters that will focus on disasters at home. Vice-Admiral J.Y. Forcier says he'll get his new staff working immediately and hopes to have the command ready to go by next spring. Defence Minister Bill Graham says the new headquarters will enable the military to plan for domestic disasters, from floods and forest fires to terror attacks.
  • Call for guns at border; U.S. crossings need armed officers: Senate committee (U.S./Canadian Border)

    06/15/2005 7:20:26 AM PDT · by Levante · 1 replies · 368+ views
    National Post ^ | June 15, 2005 | Adrian Humphreys
    The Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence is set to call for an armed presence at all Canada-U.S. border crossings in a major report on border security to be released today. The committee, which has been studying the state of border security, is expected to recommend that the RCMP have an officer posted at each border crossing into Canada and, if that cannot be accomplished, to allow Canada Border Services Agency officers at the crossing points to have guns, sources close to the committee tell the National Post.
  • First of four subs returns to service (Canadian Forces)

    05/18/2005 6:45:53 AM PDT · by Levante · 9 replies · 432+ views
    Canadian Press via National Post ^ | May 18, 2005 | Andrew Vaughn
    VICTORIA -- One of the four submarines Canada purchased from Britain has been returned to active service after being docked in the wake of the at-sea disaster on board HMCS Chicoutami that claimed one submariner's life. HMCS Victoria, under the command of Lt.-Cmdr. Jamie Clarke, returned to sea on Tuesday. "HMCS Victoria met all the requirements for a safe return to sea,'' said Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean, commander of Canada's Navy. "Having implemented all the immediate recommendations from the Chicoutimi board of inquiry, I am satisfied that all our crew and submarine verification work has proven Victoria ready and safe for...
  • War dead showered with poppies (Canadian Forces)

    05/04/2005 3:13:42 PM PDT · by Levante · 23 replies · 677+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | May 4, 2005 | Michelle MacAfree
    HOLTEN, Netherlands -- A helicopter showered 1,355 Canadian war graves with red poppies on Wednesday at the end of a memorial service to honour the sacrifice by Canadians in liberating the Netherlands from Nazi occupation 60 years ago. About 1,500 war veterans were on hand at the Dutch-organized event that highlighted the role children can play in keeping alive memories of wartime tragedy and heroism. During the ceremony at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, Dutch children recited poems and placed white and yellow narcissus flowers at each grave. They also passed out traditional "May 4th" bread to each veteran attending...
  • Sub repairs draining Navy funds: report

    05/04/2005 3:08:15 PM PDT · by Levante · 20 replies · 563+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | May 4, 2005 | Stephen Thorne
    OTTAWA - Costly repairs to fire-ravaged HMCS Chicoutimi and Canada's other three submarines are draining money away from vital maintenance for the rest of the navy's vessels, says a report obtained by The Canadian Press. "I cannot overstate that the Chicoutimi incident, coupled with other necessary recovery-repair strategies, has impacted the navy to its very core,'' Vice-Admiral Bruce MacLean says in an internal report on the state of the navy. The estimated $150-million bill to salvage the newly acquired submarine fleet will mean delayed work on the navy's aging fleet of frigates, destroyers and support vessels, says the report, released...
  • Canada's '911 Force' (Canadian Forces)

    05/02/2005 2:18:19 PM PDT · by Levante · 57 replies · 1,108+ views
    National Post ^ | May 2, 2005 | Chris Wattie
    Ten years after the Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded, the army is creating a strike force of fast-moving, highly trained "ranger" troops that will reprise most of the former elite parachute unit's roles, senior army officers have told the National Post. The planned Light Force will be able to airdrop into trouble spots around the world on its own or as a backup to the commandos of Joint Task Force 2, Canada's secretive special forces unit. The Light Force, developed in tandem with the defence policy statement released last month, will form the backbone of a new Special Operations Group,...
  • Defence policy calls for more equipment (Canadian Forces)

    04/15/2005 1:43:15 PM PDT · by Levante · 8 replies · 294+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | April 14, 2005 | Stephen Thorne
    OTTAWA -- A major new defence policy statement promises to double the military's overseas capabilities and makes broad commitments to new equipment, including destroyers and troop-carrying ships, The Canadian Press has learned. The document, 16 months in the making and expected to be released Tuesday, is part of a broader international policy statement encompassing foreign policy, development and trade. Described as the centrepiece of the government's much-anticipated policy review, it sets Canada's defence as the military's primary responsibility. But much of the document is about the Forces' role in disaster zones and failed and failing states. It cites the need...
  • (Indonesian) Soldiers 'took bribes' to evacuate victims

    01/27/2005 2:50:35 PM PST · by Levante · 6 replies · 259+ views (Australia News) ^ | January 28, 2005 | Claire Harvey
    INDONESIAN soldiers are said to have taken bribes to get people seats on foreign military evacuation flights from the tsunami-hit province of Aceh. New Zealand has launched an investigation into the claim, published in US magazine Newsweek, that "well-dressed" Acehnese paid up to $US80 ($104) for seats on a New Zealand Air Force Hercules flight. "On a New Zealand military cargo flight from Aceh to Jakarta last week, about half the 'refugees' being carried out were well-dressed people," the report said. Scalpers were also selling tickets at inflated prices on booked-out civilian flights from Aceh to Jakarta, Newsweek reported.
  • NZ medical team heads into disaster area (New Zealand Forces)

    01/08/2005 12:39:35 AM PST · by Levante · 1 replies · 281+ views
    The New Zealand Herald ^ | 8 January 2005
    JAKARTA - Almost two weeks after the tsunami disaster devastated the Aceh region of Indonesia a New Zealand defence force medical team was finally due to start work today. The 30-strong team has been cooling its heels in Malaysia for some days, but is now ready to get down to work caring for the injured, many of whom remain untreated 12 days after waves generated by a massive earthquake swept over the coastline. Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff said the delays were beyond New Zealand's control as the team was to work as part of a larger Australasian deployment and...
  • Military hospital arrives in Aceh (Australian Forces)

    01/07/2005 11:31:20 PM PST · by Levante · 1 replies · 285+ views
    A MOBILE Australian military hospital has arrived in a tsunami-ravaged area of Indonesia as an airport bottleneck holds up the delivery of some aid in the region. The 55-bed mobile hospital will begin operations in Sumatra island's Banda Aceh within 24 hours and be staffed by 60 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel. Lieutenant Colonel Brad McCall said the staff would include experts in surgery, and public and environmental health. "That involves both acute medical care, acute clinical care and surgery," he told the ABC. "It also involves a very big focus on public health and prevention including vaccination programs, water...
  • Canada pledges $40 million in aid; Will send DART team

    12/30/2004 6:11:38 AM PST · by Levante · 23 replies · 484+ views
    Canadian Press via National Post ^ | December 29, 2004 | Anita Newell
    OTTAWA -- Canada has increased to $40 million the money it will donate for emergency relief in the south Asian region hit by a killer tsunami and will also consider sending a disaster relief team. Defence Minister Bill Graham told a news conference Wednesday that $36 million has been added to the $4 million already pledged. As well, he said Canada will send a planeload of relief supplies to Indonesia, the nation hardest hit by the Dec. 26 earthquake and resulting tsunami. A planeload was sent to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Graham said a 12-member reconnaissance team will go to...
  • Too early to send DART team to Asia: officials (Canadian Forces)

    12/29/2004 6:16:29 AM PST · by Levante · 14 replies · 415+ views
    OTTAWA -- Although Canada's military keeps an emergency response team on standby to help in international disasters, it isn't "the right tool" to help victims of a devastating Asian earthquake and tsunami, federal officials said Tuesday. "It seems the DART is not the right tool at this time," Col. Guy Laroche of the Department of National Defence told a Media briefing three days after the crisis hit. Officials were responding to criticisms that the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team hasn't yet been sent to the region devastated by an earthquake that triggered massive tidal waves on Boxing Day. Officials...
  • Canada can't afford not to be part of NORAD, says defence chief

    12/19/2004 10:40:30 AM PST · by Levante · 7 replies · 482+ views
    Canadian Press via National Post ^ | December 18,2004 | Stephen Thorne
    OTTAWA -- Canada couldn't afford to defend its airspace without its 46-year-old NORAD partnership with the United States, says the chief of defence staff. So regardless of Ottawa's decision on the Americans' new continental ballistic missile defence plan, Ottawa has no choice but to remain in the North American Aerospace Defence Command, says Gen. Ray Henault. Henault strongly rejected critics' claims that NORAD will wither and die if Canada does not participate in missile defence. "NORAD will endure because the defence of our aerospace will always be a requirement," Henault said in an interview. "The shared defence of our aerospace...
  • Sub plagued by glitches after handover (Canadian Forces)

    11/18/2004 1:03:13 AM PST · by Levante · 23 replies · 529+ views
    Canadian Press via the National Post ^ | November 17,2004 | Murray Brewster
    HALIFAX--When HMCS Chicoutimi was handed over to the Canadian navy in October, the submarine had trouble drawing in fresh air, could not dive to certain depths and suffered from computer bugs, according to newly released documents. Telex messages between the ill-fated warship and navy headquarters in Ottawa, obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, reveal a litany of problems, including: - The used vessel could not "snort" - the navy's term for drawing in fresh air while traveling at full power just below the ocean surface during an emergency. - The warship could not dive to...
  • Aussie pilot saves shot comrade (Australian Forces in Iraq!)

    11/12/2004 9:14:32 PM PST · by Levante · 4 replies · 671+ views (Australia News) ^ | 13 November 2004 | John Kerin and Tom Newton Dunn
    UNDER attack from Iraqi insurgents, his co-pilot riddled with bullets, Australian army helicopter pilot Captain Scott Watkins had just seconds to save his colleague and their damaged chopper. The insrgents, hiding in a line of palm tress near the British base of Camp Dogwood, south of Baghdad,had strafed the British army Lynx helicopter with small arms fire. Captain Watkins had miraculously escaped the gunfire, but his British co-pilot, flying the chopper at the time, was shot in the chest and lay slumped over the controls.