News you may have missed #0113

  • US intelligence caused change in missile shield plans, says Gates. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the Obama administration’s decision to abandon the previous administration’s plans for a land-based missile defense system in Eastern Europe came about because of a change of the alleged threat posed by Iran in US intelligence reports. But he also said that the Bush administration plans will not be scrapped. The land-based missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic will be replaced by missile interceptors aboard US naval ships.
  • Canada preparing big balloon (?) to spy on Taliban. The Canadian armed forces are testing a large white balloon equipped with an on-board spy camera, which will be used in Afghanistan to detect improvised explosive devices. Depending on the exact camera used, the system could have a surveillance range of five to twenty kilometers.
  • Portugal’s secret services deny spying on president. Portugal’s SIS secret service agency was forced to issue a rare public statement last week, denying having spied on the country’s president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, of the Social Democratic Party, just 10 days before a closely-fought parliamentary election. Silva is Portugal’s first right-wing head of state since the end of the dictatorship in April 1974.

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