Message: 1
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 17:10:03 -0400

New York, Aug 11 2011 5:10PM
One million registered Afghan and Iraqi refugees in Iran can now benefit from expanded health insurance under a new United Nations-backed initiative that subsidizes the cost.

Under the scheme, each refugee will pay a subsidized rate of $16 per year to Alborz Insurance, or 58 per cent of the actual cost of the insurance premium, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) paying for the rest. UNHCR will pay 100 per cent of the premium for vulnerable refugee groups.

To date, the refugees have only been covered for kidney failure and the genetic blood disorders of haemophilia and thalassemia, while also enjoying access to primary health care. Refugees holding the new health insurance cards under the agreement between UNHCR, the Government and Alborz, will now benefit from a wide range of services, including hospital treatment, ambulance services and natal care.

?It's a ground-breaking scheme,? UNHCR representative in Iran Bernie Doyle said in an agency news release issued today. ?Refugees without insurance coverage had found it impossible to pay for anything other than the most basic health care, jeopardizing their long-term health prospects and also their ability to work and sustain themselves.?

For Afghan refugee Gholam Reza, who fled to Iran over 30 years ago, joining the insurance scheme will mean getting treatment for his slipped disc, a problem that has been afflicting him for years. ?I have not been able to work for quite a while now,? he said. ?My wife and children are worried all the time about how to survive.?

Afghan refugees in Iran are allowed to seek employment. Most work in low-paid occupations such as construction and agriculture.

Mr. Reza seemed happier, if a bit apprehensive, after getting his card. ?This is a new thing and we are still not sure how it will work. We are just hopeful,? Mr. Reza told UNHCR. ?I hope this scheme will be good for refugees,? he said.

The insurance deal complements UNHCR?s existing health interventions in Iran, where it helps ensure that refugees get free access to primary health care.

Aug 11 2011 5:10PM


Message: 2
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 09:10:04 -0400
From: UNNews
Subject: =?Windows-1252?Q?ON=20WORLD=20YOUTH=20DAY,

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New York, Aug 12 2011 9:10AM
The United Nations marked International Youth Day today under the slogan ?Change Our World,? with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscoring the ?stunning? role young people have played during the past year in overthrowing dictatorships.

?Far too many of the world?s more than one billion young people lack the education, freedom and opportunities they deserve,? he said in a message. ?Yet, despite these constraints ? and in some cases because of them ? young people are mobilizing in growing numbers to build a better future. Over the past year, they have achieved stunning results, overturning dictatorships and sending waves of hope across regions and around the world.?

Citing their open minds and a keen awareness of emerging trends, and the energy, ideas and courage they bring to some of the most complex and important challenges facing the human family, Mr. Ban said young people ?often understand better than older generations that we can transcend our religious and cultural differences in order to reach our shared goals.

?They are standing up for the rights of oppressed peoples, including those who suffer discrimination based on gender, race and sexual orientation,? he added. ?They are confronting sensitive issues in order to stop the spread of HIV. And they are often the leading proponents of sustainability and green lifestyles.

He called on the international community to continue to work together to expand the horizons of opportunity for young people and answer their legitimate demands for dignity, development and decent work. ?Failing to invest in our youth is a false economy,? he said. ?Investments in young people will pay great dividends in a better future for all.?

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova also referred to the role young people have played in the recent overthrow of entrenched authoritarian regimes.

?The ?youth quakes? that have struck across the Arab world have shown the ability of young people to drive change,? she said in a  message. ?The struggle for democratic participation has shaken regimes seemingly impervious to pressure. These movements have shown the power of aspirations for human rights and fundamental freedoms.?

Ms. Bokova stressed quality education as the starting point for full and positive engagement by young people.

?We must provide young people with everything they need to share their ideas and act on them ? to fight unemployment and poverty, to overcome gender inequality and all forms of discrimination, to tackle diseases and marginalization,? she added.

The Day marked the formal close of the International Year of Youth, which culminated last month with a high-level meeting on youth at the General Assembly.
Aug 12 2011 9:10AM


Message: 3
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 11:10:03 -0400
From: UNNews <
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New York, Aug 12 2011 11:10AM
The United Nations refugee agency <" said today it urgently needs 45,000 more tents as more Somalis continue to arrive in Kenya after fleeing drought, famine and conflict in their homeland.

More than 70,000 Somali refugees have arrived at the three camps that make up Kenya?s Dadaab refugee complex during June and July, bringing the overall population there to 440,000, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

?As well as needing food and water, these new arrivals urgently need proper shelter, medical help and other basic services,? UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a news conference in Geneva.

The agency has moved thousands of tents to Dadaab since the current crisis began but they are still not sufficient for the growing refugee population.

Some 3.7 million people, nearly half the Somali population, are now directly at risk of famine and tens of thousands have already perished. An estimated 12.4 million people in the drought-hit Horn of Africa ? Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia ? are facing severe food shortages and are in need of international assistance.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos arrives in Kenya today to meet with humanitarian agencies that are responding to the crisis. During her three-day visit, she is also scheduled to visit Dadaab to see for herself the impact of the famine and meet Somalis who have survived the long journey to Kenya.

UNHCR also said that the second of three planned humanitarian flights landed at Mogadishu airport on Thursday, bringing a 32-ton consignment of shelter and other aid items.

The agency has been shipping relief supplies to Mogadishu by sea and land, but due to the large number of people seeking help in the city after fleeing their famine-hit villages in the south, it decided to airlift supplies to save time.

Meanwhile, immunizations for 18,000 refugee children in the Kobe camp in the Dollo Ado area of south-eastern Ethiopia began yesterday in response to the recent outbreak of suspected measles. The campaign is expected to end on Sunday and will be extended to the other three refugee camps in the area, said UNHCR.

The agency added that the daily arrival rate into the Dollo Ado area has reduced significantly to some 200 to 300 refugees per day. In addition to the nearly 120,000 Somali refugees hosted in the four camps as well as in the transit centre, there are more than 40,000 Somali refugees in camps in the Jijiga area in eastern Ethiopia.
Aug 12 2011 11:10AM


Message: 4
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 12:10:03 -0400
From: UNNews <>
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New York, Aug 12 2011 12:10PM
Two teenagers? powerful pleas from the imagined standpoint of a tree to save the world?s forests beat out two million competitors to <" win gold medals today in the United Nations International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.

Charl?e Gittens from Barbados, <" writing as a great oak in Guyana?s Windsor Forest, and 13-year-old Wang Sa from China, in the <" voice of an observant small tree ?prepared to care for humanity,? were declared victors in the 40th UN Universal Postal Union ">UPU) competition, which this year marked the International Year of Forests by asking young people to imagine themselves as a!
tree wri
ting a letter to someone to explain why it is important to protect forests.

?Despite living in an increasingly digital age, the more than 2 million often hand-written letters the competition generates worldwide annually shows the tremendous value of the written word,? UPU director general Edouard Dayan said of the competition, which is open to youngsters up to the age of 15.

?The UPU is pleased that its 40-year-old competition continues to foster an appreciation for the art of letter-writing, encouraging young people to express their deepest and most insightful thoughts on topics that concern us all, while teaching them the importance of proper addressing.?

The international jury called the Barbadian entry ?a powerful, personal and touching composition dealing with the issue in a very global manner. Comparing the plight of forests to some of the world?s great crises sends a strong message about the importance of protecting forests.?

The jury called China?s entry ?a well crafted and whimsical composition. Using a parable of two villages to tackle the theme, the writer does an excellent job of bringing readers into the story in a way that people are able to relate to it.? This is the first time that Barbados and the fifth time that China has won top prize.

Grenada?s Jonathan Andrew, 14, won the silver medal for a ?well handled and educational? presentation of the benefits of forests, while Botswana?s Charlene Tiagae, 15, was awarded bronze for ?a delightful and personal composition explaining the benefits of the many plants and trees found in forests and why they need to be protected. The writer brings in lovely references about how some cultures perceive or depend on plants and trees.?

The jury consisted of Jan McAlpine, director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat; Jean-Paul Paddack, director of the network initiatives support unit; Daniel Shaw, head of communication at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Jean-Fran?ois Thivet, philately expert at the UPU International Bureau and a passionate collector of forest stamps.

Next year?s <" theme, marking the London 2012 Olympics, asks youngsters to ?write a letter to an athlete or sports figure you admire to explain what the Olympic Games mean to you.?
Aug 12 2011 12:10PM


Message: 5
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 13:10:03 -0400
From: UNNews
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New York, Aug 12 2011 1:10PM
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that sustainable development will remain his top priority during his second term as the head of the United Nations, saying that key challenges include achieving the global poverty reduction goals and strengthening disaster risk reduction to avert crises caused by climate change.

The General Assembly in June agreed to appoint Mr. Ban to a second consecutive term as Secretary-General.

?Since my re-election, I have been consulting widely with Member States and the full range of UN partners on what they see as the great challenges going forward,? Mr. Ban <" told members of the diplomatic corps in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. ?Looking to the longer horizon, sustainable development is at the top of my list of priorities,? he said.

Mr. Ban stated that global and regional security and democratization challenges will also feature prominently on his agenda.

?We are supporting the transitions that are under way in Egypt and Tunisia, and are deeply engaged in the diplomatic efforts aimed at a solution to the conflict in Libya.?

However, he pointed out that the most immediate concern was the humanitarian crisis brought on by the severe drought in the Horn of Africa which has led to famine in several areas of Somalia and made an estimated 12.4 million people in the wider region dependent on food aid.

?As we respond to this emergency, we also need to deal with the underlying causes. Today?s drought may be the worst in decades, but with the effects of climate change being increasingly felt throughout the world, it surely will not be the last,? said Mr. Ban, adding that long-term solutions would require the development of drought-resistant seeds, irrigation, rural infrastructure and livestock programmes.

The Secretary-General emphasized that in an era of budgetary constraints, the UN must continue to fulfil its mandates with the resources available. ?That means continuing our efforts to ?deliver as one?,? he said.

He also drew attention to the food shortages in the Democratic People?s Republic of Korea (DPRK) where, he said, a harsh winter, followed by severe flooding, had put millions of lives at risk, noting that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) had launched emergency operations there. ?Our challenge is to get food to those who need it, when they need it,? he said.

Mr. Ban highlighted the broader challenge of creating a nuclear-weapon-free, democratic and prosperous Korean Peninsula.

The Secretary-General took note of Republic of Korea?s growing presence in the international arena, including its hosting of the last Group of 20 (G20) summit, its support for African development and engagement in UN peacekeeping, among other initiatives.

He emphasized the importance of partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, philanthropists and academic community for global common causes.

?We saw a powerful example of this in the ?Every Woman Every Child? initiative on maternal and child health. We must extend this model to other challenges,? the Secretary-General said.

Mr. Ban also met Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and attended an event organized by the South Korean Red Cross and the UN Children?s Fund (UNICEF) to support children in Africa. He thanked young Korean entertainers present for backing the project and asked them to use their reach to raise funds and awareness.

?Many people are suffering and dying from HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis ? all these are preventable diseases,? he said. ?If they have medicine, if they have access to sanitation, they can be saved.?

?Why should all these people die needlessly? That is why we are gathered here today; I ask you all for your support, your compassion, your caring for all these people.?

In addition, the UN chief met the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seoul, Cardinal Chung Jin-suk. They discussed how religion can help promote the work of the UN, including in the fields of peace and security, development and human rights.

Aug 12 2011 1:10PM


Message: 6
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 17:10:03 -0400
From: UNNews <
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New York, Aug 12 2011 5:10PM
General Assembly President Joseph Deiss has met with the heads of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to discuss increased cooperation, United Nations reform, regional crises and other issues.

Mr. Deiss met yesterday with Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, according to a statement issued by the Assembly President?s spokesperson.

The ambassador and Mr. Deiss discussed the Council?s upcoming debate on peacekeeping, scheduled for 26 August, as well as current hotspots such as Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.

The two officials also discussed how to strengthen coordination and interaction between the 193-member Assembly and the 15-member Council.

In a separate meeting with Ambassador Lazarous Kapambwe of Zambia, the current President of ECOSOC, and members of ECOSOC?s bureau, Mr. Deiss discussed reform of the 54-member Council so that it can more effectively implement its resolutions.

Mr. Kapambwe also briefed Mr. Deiss on ECOSOC?s recent annual substantive session, which wrapped up at the end of last month in Geneva.

Aug 12 2011 5:10PM


Message: 7
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 21:10:03 -0400
From: UNNews <
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New York, Aug 13 2011 9:10PM
The United Nations relief chief visited the capital of Somalia today, stressing that aid workers must have safe passage to those in need so they can save the lives of millions of people at risk from malnutrition or infectious diseases as famine grips the Horn of Africa.

On a one-day visit to Mogadishu, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos toured Banadir Hospital -- one of just four locations in the war-wracked city where children suffering from acute malnutrition are being treated.

Ms. Amos described the scenes she witnessed in the hospital as heartbreaking.

"The children are so weak they can't lift their heads, while their mothers are in despair," she said.

As many as 3.2 million people are estimated to be on the brink of starvation in Somalia, where persistent drought and ongoing conflict have led to famine being recently declared by the
UN in five regions in the south of the country, including the area in and around Mogadishu.

The situation is compounded by a deadly outbreak of cholera, while the number of cases of acute watery diarrhoea has also spiked in the past two months.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads, has warned that the famine is likely to get worse in the coming weeks. The number of acutely malnourished children in Somalia, currently at 390,000, could double within the next year.

While Somalia is the worst affected country, neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also suffering. More than 12 million people across the Horn of Africa now face severe food shortages and require international assistance.

During her visit to Mogadishu, Ms. Amos -- who is also the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator -- met with representatives of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), UN staff and aid workers with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

She empha
sized for the need for more safety and security for residents of Mogadishu, whose population has been swollen in recent weeks by the arrival of at least 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing other famine-stricken areas.

"We can save the lives of these children if we can treat them early enough, but we also need to get aid to areas outside Mogadishu where most of the people in desperate need are," she said. 'That is why I am here. I want to make sure everyone understands the depth of this crisis."

Mogadishu has been the scene of protracted fighting over the past two decades as Islamist militants battle with the TFG for control of southern and central Somalia, which has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

But the Al-Shabaab group vacated the city a week ago, and Ms. Amos said that while she was shocked by the amount of destruction she witnessed, she was also impressed by the level of activity.

"Normal activities like small shops were open and people w
ere in the streets. It gave me hope."

Tomorrow Ms. Amos heads to Kenya to visit Dadaab, the world's largest refugee camp with a population of around 380,000 people -- most of them Somali.
Aug 13 2011 9:10PM


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- The TEDxNASA@SiliconValley event, which will
feature presentations on "extreme green ideas," will be streamed live
online on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. PDT.

NASA's four research centers -- Ames Research Center in Moffett Field,
Calif; Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif.; Glenn
Research Center in Cleveland; Langley Research Center and the
National Institute of Aerospace, both in Hampton Va. -- are
co-hosting the event. It is modeled after the TED (Technology,
Entertainment, Design) conferences that bring together visionaries in
technology, entertainment and design to create a dialogue about
important global challenges.

"Each of our presenters has a unique perspective on how to achieve a
greener world," said Jan Aikins, the lead TEDxNASA organizer from
Ames. "Together, at TEDxNASA, they will create a vehicle for
discovery, an opportunity for exposure to new ideas and a revisiting
of traditional ideas for a new perspective."

Speakers include a research scientist making "ecological forecasts,"
engineers building sustainable projects in developing countries, a
researcher designing aircraft inspired by nature, a former
experimental test pilot, and one of the "Women Shaping the 21st

General registration for the event at the San Francisco Marriot
Marquis hotel is full. Members of the public who join the online
stream at the TEDxNASA website also can participate in a chat forum.

The recorded presentations will be posted after the event at:


WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected seven companies to integrate and fly
technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that
carry payloads near the boundary of space.

As part of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, each successful vendor
will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.
These two-year contracts, worth a combined total of $10 million, will
allow NASA to draw from a pool of commercial space companies to
deliver payload integration and flight services. The flights will
carry a variety of payloads to help meet the agency's research and
technology needs.

"Through this catalog approach, NASA is moving toward the goal of
making frequent, low-cost access to near-space available to a wide
range of engineers, scientists and technologists," said NASA Chief
Technologist Bobby Braun at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The
government's ability to open the suborbital research frontier to a
broad community of innovators will enable maturation of the new
technologies and capabilities needed for NASA's future missions in

The selected companies are:
-- Armadillo Aerospace, Heath, Texas
-- Near Space Corp., Tillamook, Ore.
-- Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif.
-- Up Aerospace Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colo.
-- Virgin Galactic, Mojave, Calif.
-- Whittinghill Aerospace LLC, Camarillo, Calif.
-- XCOR, Mojave, Calif.

NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist is charged with maturing
crosscutting technologies to flight readiness status for future space
missions. Through these indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity
contracts, NASA intends to provide frequent flight opportunities for
payloads on suborbital platforms.

The Flight Opportunities Program is managed at NASA's Dryden Flight
Research Center in Edwards, Calif. F


WASHINGTON -- NASA-funded researchers have found more evidence
meteorites can carry DNA components created in space.

Scientists have detected the building blocks of DNA in meteorites
since the 1960s, but were unsure whether they were created in space
or resulted from contamination by terrestrial life. The latest
research indicates certain nucleobases -- the building blocks of our
genetic material -- reach the Earth on meteorites in greater
diversity and quantity than previously thought.

The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that the chemistry
inside asteroids and comets is capable of making building blocks of
essential biological molecules. Previously, scientists found amino
acids in samples of comet Wild 2 from NASA's Stardust mission and in
various carbon-rich meteorites. Amino acids are used to make
proteins, the workhorse molecules of life. Proteins are used in
everything from structures such as hair to enzymes, which are the
catalysts that speed up or regulate chemical reactions.

The findings will be published in the online edition of the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the new work,
scientists analyzed samples of 12 carbon-rich meteorites, nine of
which were recovered from Antarctica. The team found adenine and
guanine, which are components of DNA nucleobases.

Also, in two of the meteorites, the team discovered for the first time
trace amounts of three molecules related to nucleobases that almost
never are used in biology. These nucleobase-related molecules, called
nucleobase analogs, provide the first evidence that the compounds in
the meteorites came from space and not terrestrial contamination.

"You would not expect to see these nucleobase analogs if contamination
from terrestrial life was the source, because they're not used in
biology," said Michael Callahan, astrobiologist and lead author of
the paper from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
"However, if asteroids are behaving like chemical 'factories'
cranking out prebiotic material, you would expect them to produce
many variants of nucleobases, not just the biological ones, because
of the wide variety of ingredients and conditions in each asteroid."

Additional evidence came from research to further rule out the
possibility of terrestrial contamination as a source of these
molecules. The team analyzed an eight-kilogram (21.4-pound) sample of
ice from Antarctica, where most of the meteorites in the study were
found. The amounts of nucleobases found in the ice were much lower
than in the meteorites. More significantly, none of the nucleobase
analogs were detected in the ice sample. The team also analyzed a
soil sample collected near one of the non-Antarctic meteorite's fall
site. As with the ice sample, the soil sample had none of the
nucleobase analog molecules present in the meteorite.

Launched in Feb. 7, 1999, Stardust flew past an asteroid and traveled
halfway to Jupiter to collect particle samples from the comet Wild 2.
The spacecraft returned to Earth's vicinity to drop off a
sample-return capsule on January 15, 2006.

The research was funded by NASA's Astrobiology Institute at the
agency's Ames Research Laboratory in Moffett Field Calif., and the
Goddard Center for Astrobiology in Greenbelt, Md.; the NASA
Astrobiology Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program and the NASA
Postdoctoral Program at the agency's Headquarters in Washington.




                 General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Va., is being awarded a single $83,587,512 firm-fixed-price contract for Special Operations Forces information technology enterprise contracts enterprise network services in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  Under the enterprise network services contract, the selected contractor will provide enterprise-wide network support services to manage USSOCOM's global enterprise information technology data, voice, and video communications networks providing coverage for USSOCOM Headquarters, all component commands, theater special operations commands, and subordinate commands.  The work will be performed primarily at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., with limited performance in multiple stateside and overseas locations.  The anticipated total contract period of performance is five years.  USSOCOM is the contracting activity (H92222-10-D-0006).

                 HP Enterprise Services, LLC, Herndon, Va., is being awarded a single $68,157,965 firm-fixed price contract for data center services in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  Under the Special Operations Forces information technology enterprise contracts, data center services contract, the selected contractor will provide enterprise-wide data center management support services to manage USSOCOM's global enterprise information technology server and storage computing environment providing coverage for USSOCOM headquarters, all component commands, and subordinate commands.  The work will be performed primarily at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., with limited performance in multiple stateside and overseas locations.  The anticipated contract period of performance is four years.  USSOCOM is the contracting activity (H92222-11-D-0007).


                 The Boeing Co., Defense, Space & Security, Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on Feb. 2 a $69,875,696 firm-fixed-price contract.  The award will provide for 14 new build AH-64D war replacement aircraft.  Work will be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2012.  One bid was solicited with one bid received.  The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-05-C-0274).

                 Northrop Grumman Information Technology, McLean, Va., was awarded on Jan. 31 a $14,762,658 cost-plus-award-fee contract.  The award will provide for engineering changes to the Army - Defense Integrated Human Resource System, Personal and Pay System contract for information technology services.  Work will be performed in Alexandria, Va., and New Orleans, La., with an estimated completion date of July 1, 2011.  One bid was solicited with one bid received.  The National Capital Region Contracting Center, Alexandria, Va., is the contracting activity (N00039-02-C-3238).

                 The Boeing Co., Mesa, Ariz., was awarded on Feb. 2 an $11,990,145 firm-fixed-price contract.  The award will provide for three Apache helicopters for the country of Israel.  Work will be performed in Mesa, Ariz., with an estimated completion date of July 31, 2012.  One bid was solicited with one bid received.  The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-10-C-0091).

                 Weeks Marine, Inc., Covington, La., was awarded on Feb. 2 a $9,404,000 firm-fixed-price contract.  The award will provide for the dredging of portions of the Cape Henry Channel and the transportation of the dredged material to Dam Neck Dredged Material Management area.  Work will be performed in Chesapeake Bay, Va., with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2011.  Twenty-seven bids were solicited with three bids received.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, Norfolk, Va., is the contracting activity (W91236-11-C-0027).

                 CBAY H&H, JV, Ashland, Wis., was awarded on Feb. 2 an $8,559,000 firm-fixed-price contract.  The award will provide for the construction of one heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrade at Forest Products Lab.  Work will be performed in Madison, Wis., with an estimated completion date of July 6, 2012.  One bid was solicited with five bids received.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Louisville, Ky., is the contracting activity (W912QR-11-C-0006).


                 Northrop Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems, Linthicum Heights, Md., is being awarded a $38,345,497 modification to the previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (M67854-07-C-2072) for the extended continuation of the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar Increment I effort.   This effort will support the changes made to the integrated baseline and the adjustment of the program performance management baseline to extend the period of performance through April 30, 2012.  Work will be performed in a contractor facility at Linthicum Heights, Md. (85 percent); and by Northrop Grumman's subcontractor, Sensis Corp., located in Syracuse, N.Y (15 percent).  Work is expected to be completed April 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va. is the contracting activity.

                 BAE Systems Information and Electronics, Nashua, N.H., is being awarded a $10,254,718 modification under a previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-6302) to fabricate, assemble, test and deliver 10 AN/SQQ-32(V)4 minehunting sonar set high frequency wideband upgrade systems.  The AN/SQQ-32(V)4 minehunting sonar set high frequency wideband upgrade was developed to improve shallow water minehunting capabilities.  Work will be performed in Nashua, N.H., and is expected to be completed by December 2013.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.


                 ITT Industries, Inc., Systems Division, Cape Canaveral, Fla., was awarded a $7,973,016 contract modification which will provide additional spares for initial supply support of the eastern and western ranges for various sustainment activities and engineering projects vital to modernize and maintain the range of launch support of national spare assets.  At this time, $7,565,658 has been obligated.  SMC SLG/PK, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is the contracting activity (F04701-01-C-0001; P00719).

U.S. Department of Defense

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)



      DISPLACE UP TO    90, 000 PEOPLE (UNNews)




      EAST    MEETING (UNNews)


      EGYPT (UNNews)










WASHINGTON -- NASA will unveil its new rocket integration facility at

the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, during a ribbon-cutting

ceremony at 10 a.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 21.

The Horizontal Integration Facility will support medium class mission

capabilities. The first customer to use the facility will be Orbital

Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., with its Taurus II launch


Orbital will be conducting missions for NASA under the agency's

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project and Commercial

Resupply Services program. Integration of the Taurus II at the

facility will begin in February with launch expected later this year.

Participants in the ceremony:

- Sen. Barbara Mikulski

- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

- NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations William


- NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director Rob Strain

- NASA Wallops Flight Facility Director William Wrobel

- Orbital Sciences Corp. Chairman and CEO David Thompson

Boing CEO Jim McNerney Statement on US-Korea Free Trade Agreement

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2010 -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) today issued the following statement from Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney, who chairs both the President's Export Council and the Business Roundtable Trade Committee.

"The agreement on beef, autos and other issues that the Administration announced earlier today with the Republic of Korea is great news for the U.S. economy and American workers. The announced breakthroughs on some very difficult issues remove the final barriers to enactment of a U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement that will set the stage for a dramatic increase in trade between the United States and Korea, and spur job-creating economic growth here at home.

"The agreement gives American workers a chance to compete by eliminating numerous impediments to the sale of U.S. goods and services to Korea. For instance, U.S. exports to that country currently face an applied tariff of more than 11 percent, which puts U.S. companies and workers at a big disadvantage when competing against companies and workers from nations that already have free trade agreements in place. By leveling the playing field with this agreement, U.S. government officials estimate that American exports to Korea will grow by nearly $11 billion – which means more work and more jobs here at home.

"The Korean economy is dynamic and presents tremendous opportunities for the sale of American manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services. We urge Congress to make ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement a top priority. Doing so will spur the kind of export-driven economic activity we need to create American jobs—an important goal of the Administration under its National Export Initiative

Teams to Search Cambodia for Vietnam War MIAs

From a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 - Two archeological teams from the U.S. Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command are scheduled to arrive in Cambodia soon to search for Americans unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War, and physicians and nurses from military commands in Hawaii will accompany them to participate in a health engagement mission.

As part of the recovery portion of this dual-purpose deployment, more than 40 recovery team members will excavate a burial site and an underwater aircraft crash site in search of four missing Americans in Cambodia's Kampong Cham and Kracheh provinces.

The deployment, expected to last about 40 days, marks the command's 44th joint field activity in Cambodia, officials said.

Recovery teams search for human remains, life-support items and other material evidence that may further the identification of Americans missing from past conflicts.

In addition to recovery efforts, U.S. and Cambodian personnel will participate in a medical engagement outreach event, treating 4,000 to 8,000 people in rural and highly underserved communities, officials said. The specialized 12-member team of experts in various medical specialties will provide basic health assistance, laboratory services and optometry examinations.

The U.S. medical team members are from Tripler Army Medical Center, the 18th Medical Command and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. U.S. and Cambodian physicians will reinforce medical capabilities by participating in an information exchange, benefitting both countries educationally and socio-culturally, officials added.

"[Tripler] is sending physician residents from OB/GYN and family medicine to conduct expert exchanges with local physicians, and will be invited to work alongside the Khmer physicians and treat their patients," said Army Capt. Drew Webb, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command physician assistant.

This will be the first time a Tripler resident program has deployed to a foreign country on a humanitarian outreach mission, Webb added.

"The big takeaway for all of this is that the [Tripler] residents will get training and experience in such a unique environment," he said.

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is a jointly manned U.S. Pacific Command organization of more than 400 military and civilian specialists that has investigated and recovered missing Americans since the 1970s, officials said, noting that 1,702 Americans still are listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War.

Related Sites:

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command

FAA, JetBlue Agreement to Bring NextGen Precision to

East Coast, Caribbean Routes

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that the FAA and JetBlue have signed a NextGen agreement that will allow the airline to fly more precise, satellite-based flights from Boston and New York to Florida and the Caribbean beginning in 2012.

NextGen is the transformation of the U.S. national airspace system from a ground-based system of air traffic control to one based on satellites, which will enhance safety and reduce aviation congestion.  Today’s NextGen announcement follows President Obama’s State of the Union Address last week, in which he stressed the importance of targeted investments to foster American innovation that will make our nation more competitive globally and strengthen our economy here at home.

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for targeted investments that harness American innovation to strengthen our nation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “NextGen is a critical investment in the future of our transportation system, one that uses the latest technology to transform our airspace to make aviation safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.”

Under the agreement, as many as 35 of JetBlue’s A320 aircraft will be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) avionics over the next two years, enabling them to fly in two major routes off the East Coast even if traditional radar coverage is not available. The improved accuracy, integrity and reliability of aircraft surveillance under ADS-B will allow JetBlue to take advantage of these routes at all times since the satellite-based system tracks the precise position of aircraft.  

The agreement will also allow JetBlue to fly a new route to the Caribbean, and could lead to the development of two new, shorter ADS-B-only routes to the Caribbean from Boston, New York and Washington. The FAA will collect valuable NextGen data by observing and conducting real-time operational evaluations of ADS-B on revenue flights.

“NextGen will help improve the travel experience for passengers and give airlines more flexibility to find the most efficient way to reach their destinations,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.  “This agreement will allow us to collect important data to further demonstrate the benefits of NextGen.”

“As the youngest major airline in the United States, with a majority of our operations in the Northeast – arguably the most airspace in the world – JetBlue enthusiastically joins the FAA in this effort to begin rebuilding the skyways,” said JetBlue Airways CEO Dave Barger. “Our investment today will yield dividends far into the future, not just for JetBlue but for all airlines. Our customers and crewmembers deserve our best efforts.”

The FAA has agreed to pay $4.2 million for the ADS-B avionics. JetBlue will provide flight operations, pilots, and aircraft maintenance and will pay for the cost of aircraft downtime while the ADS-B avionics are installed.  JetBlue will also fund the necessary training for dispatchers and flight crews, including simulator time. The airline will demonstrate the cost savings of ADS-B technology and potentially equip the rest of its A320 fleet at its own expense with ADS-B avionics.


© 2011 MBN