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Intel Briefing – December 2011

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Phony U.S. military electronics traced to China.
The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee is planning to crack down on counterfeit electronic parts, which more often than not originate in China and eventually make their way to U.S. military weapon systems. The committee, led by a Michigan Democrat and an Arizona Republican released the results of a months-long investigation November 7. As part of the investigation, committee staff traced the Department of Defense (DOD) supply chain back to its start for more than 100 counterfeit parts, and found that 70 percent of them originated in China. “Nearly 20 percent of the remaining cases were tracked to the U.K. and Canada – known resale points for counterfeit electronic parts from China,” a background memo from the committee said.

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Federal indictment: Man knocked Pittsburg radio station off air by cutting copper wiring.
A southeast Kansas man was indicted November 8 by a grand jury on federal charges he knocked a Pittsburg, Kansas radio station off the air by cutting copper wiring from a transmission tower. The suspect was charged with one count of attempted damage to a communications system and one count of attempted damage to an energy facility, a U.S. attorney said. The indictment alleged that September 7, the suspect damaged equipment used by radio station KKOW 860, which serves as part of the Emergency Alert System, a national public warning system. The indictment also alleged that the same day, he damaged equipment belonging to Heartland Rural Electric Co. of Girard.

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Toyota recall: Japanese automaker seeks to fix 550,000 vehicles for possible steering problems.
Toyota Motor Corp. said November 9 it is recalling about 550,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide –- mostly in the United States –- for problems that could make it harder to steer. In the United States, the automaker is recalling 283,200 Toyota brand cars, including the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara, the 2004 Avalon, and the 2006 Highlander HV. Its recall of 137,000 Lexus vehicles includes the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330, and 2006 RX400h. The recall is due to the possibility the outer ring of the engine’s crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise or a warning signal to light up, the U.S. sales unit said in a press release. If the problem isn’t corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley, making it suddenly more difficult to turn the steering wheel.

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