Daily News
by Gail Helmer

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Tuesday January 08, 2002

PC News
Official Medal of Honor SP Demo Released
The long awaited, much anticipated, Medal of Honor Allied Assault Single Player demo has finally arrived. Download

Mechwarrior 4 Expansion Now Available
Microsoft today announced that the multiplayer trial version of MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion is now available from the game's official site. The multiplayer trial version allows players to try out the Absolute Attrition and 'Mech Strongholds modes on a volcanic map. BattleMechs available in the demo include the Bushwacker, the Mad Cat Mark II, the enormous Atlas, and the brand-new Ryoken and Sunder models. MechWarrior 4: Black Knight Expansion pack introduces five new ‘Mechs™ for the player to pilot: the Ryoken, Sunder, Uller, Wolfhound and Black Knight. It also includes several new vehicles, such as the Demolisher II Heavy Tank and the Nightwind Attack Helicopter; and new weapons, like the incredibly devastating Cluster Bombs.

The Privateer: Age of Sail II In Beta
Russian game developer Akella has announced that The Privateer: Age of Sail II, its upcoming naval combat strategy game, has entered the beta stage of development. The game is a stand-alone follow-up to Age of Sail II, which was released last January. It adds a number of new features to the previous game, including blockade escape missions, new convoy missions, and three large single-player campaigns. Release Date: Q1 '02.

Exclusive Soldier of Fortune II Footage
GameSpot has an exclusive video clip from Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, Activision's upcoming first-person shooter in development at Raven Software. The brief video, which may be inappropriate for some viewers, shows off the new dismemberment zones that will be featured in the game. Viewer discretion is advised. Click here

New Single Driver nForce-Based Motherboards
NVIDIA has extended its Unified Driver Architecture to the nForce platform by releasing the new nForce Unified Driver Package (UDP) v1.0, a comprehensive set of graphics, audio, networking, and memory subsystem drivers, providing optimal performance for all nForce-based retail motherboards and PC systems. nForce UDP v1.0 can be downloaded directly, click here.

Military News
Northrop Grumman To Work On USS Enterprise
Northrop Grumman Corporation today said that the U.S. Navy has awarded the company a $191 million contract for an Extended Drydock Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) on the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). Northrop Grumman's Newport News sector is the prime contractor for this award.

Work during the EDSRA will include routine dry dock work, tank blasting and coating, hull preservation, propulsion and ship system repairs and limited enhancements to various hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

The work will take place at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. Northrop Grumman Newport News is coordinating this availability with Norfolk Naval Shipyard which is responsible for a portion of the work to be performed. The work will last approximately one year.

ENTERPRISE was launched at Northrop Grumman Newport News in 1960 and was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to join the U.S. Navy's fleet. The ship and its battlegroup were most recently deployed in the Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. ENTERPRISE is 1,101 feet 2 inches with a flight deck width of 252 feet and a displacement of 89,600 tons. It can travel in excess of 30 knots.

Rumsfeld: U.S. to Keep Nuclear Test Moratorium for Now
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday reasserted the U.S. commitment to a nuclear testing moratorium as the Pentagon prepared to send Congress proposals for a major overhaul of the nation's nuclear policy. But Rumsfeld, speaking to reporters as the Nuclear Policy Review was scheduled to go to Congress later in the day, left open the possibility that controversial underground testing might be needed in the future to keep a shrinking U.S. arsenal of thousands of devastating warheads "safe and reliable." [More...]

Paktia Province Becomes New Center of Concern
U.S. and coalition forces struck again at the Zawar Kili complex in Afghanistan's Paktia Province, DoD officials said Jan. 7.

Officials were concerned that Al Qaeda terrorists were using the complex to regroup. "It is an Al Qaeda training facility, storage facility and a command facility," Joint Staff spokesman Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem said. "The strike was prompted by the intelligence that there was a lot of stuff there."


U.S. Central Command officials said the strikes hit armored personnel carriers, other tracked vehicles, supplies and munitions. Stufflebeem said the camp consists of one area above ground and two cave complexes. The strikes have leveled the buildings and sealed many of the caves.

"Al Qaeda is widely dispersed," Stufflebeem said. "They are attempting to regroup so they can amass for leadership and mischief purposes. The numbers are small and they are trying to find each other so they can continue their war."

Paktia is on the border with Pakistan. The province is just south of the Tora Bora cave and tunnel complex. Stufflebeem said the area had previously been a haven for Al Qaeda and the Taliban and that Al Qaeda and Taliban still occupy the area.

"We're continuing to find them and we're continuing to strike their equipment as we find it," he said during a press conference. "When you find tanks, it's pretty easy to determine that they are not ours, and they are clear targets."

Stufflebeem said he and other DoD officials would stop addressing questions about the whereabouts of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mohammad Omar and other senior leaders. "We are potentially giving away valuable information by saying that we have them, when we have them, and where we have them," he said. "We know senior leadership is being detained, we know senior leadership has been killed and we know (what) senior leadership is not in custody."

He said instead of "chasing shadows," DoD would cast a regional and worldwide net to capture Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders. "We will stop speculating openly about where they may be, as we build an intelligence picture that will allow us to have the 'sanctuary' to be able to move when the time is right without giving anything away," he said.

Stufflebeem said the air campaign is going well. Typically, U.S. and coalition aircraft are flying "a bit more than 100" sorties per day. They are primarily flying close air support or on-call interdiction missions called in by Special Forces with anti-Taliban forces.

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