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The carrier is currently undergoing 25 days of sea trials in the Bohai Sea over the northern coast of China, and the Aug. 1 deployment will coincide with the anniversary of the founding the communist-ruled People’s Liberation Army.

Photos posted on the Chinese Internet also revealed that China will outfit the carrier with J-15 jet fighters, as a single J-15 was shown on the deck of the refurbished Soviet carrier known as the Varyag.

The ship was deceptively purchased by the Chinese in the late 1990, amid claims it would be turned into a floating gambling casino.

Since 2002, the ship has been completely outfitted as China’s first major power projection warship, and its deployment comes amid growing tensions in the South China Sea between China and Vietnam and China and Philippines over disputed islets in the resource-rich waters.

China’s financial newspaper Caixun reported July 5 that the carrier’s ninth sea trails would be carried out from July 5 to July 30 and that it likely will then be commissioned Aug. 1. The ship has been outfitted at a shipyard in Dalian, China.

U.S.-Egypt alliance

Reports from Egypt indicate that the Obama administration has entered into a covert alliance with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Egyptian news reports and commentary and at least one Egyptian official were quoted this week in reports as saying the Brotherhood and its leader, Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, made the alliance after a meeting earlier this month between Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and following comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the Egyptian presidential election results.

The covert deal is said to involve U.S. support for Mr. Mursi’s reinstating of the dissolved People’s Assembly in exchange for agreement by the Egyptians to support peace with Israel, a key target for the Islamists.

State loosens arms exports to Yemen

The State Department on July 3 — as Congress was out of session for Independence Day — published a notice in the Federal Register that is has loosened all U.S. arms sales to Yemen, a state described by the 9/11 Commission as a “sanctuary for terrorists.”

The regulation removed Yemen from the list of states that are prohibited from getting lethal arms and assistance from the United States.

Since 1992, International Traffic in Arms Regulations denied all arms exports to the Arab state on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.

Then in 2011, non-lethal assistance was approved for export.

“This rule removes the ITAR section 126.1 limitations on defense trade with Yemen,” the notice stated. “Less restrictive defense trade will further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”

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