March 8, 2019

News Briefs – March 8, 2019

About $25 million be forfeited to U.S. to resolve criminal case

Federal prosecutors have announced a settlement in a case involving falsified records about supplies being provided to the military.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release on March 5 that the civil settlement is part of a global settlement involving a criminal case and False Claims Act allegations in which approximately $25 million will be forfeited to the United States.
Court documents say Hikmatullah Shadman operated companies which charged the U.S. more than $77 million for delivering supplies to service members. An investigation found thousands of apparent falsified documents submitted by Shadman’s companies for payment.
Shadman’s primary company pleaded guilty in January to paying gratuities to two U.S. service members in Afghanistan, and to conspiracy to influence the award of subcontracts to ensure favorable treatment in the contracting process. AP

Putin urges stronger protection of Russian military secrets

President Vladimir Putin has urged Russia’s top domestic security agency to tighten its protection of information related to new weapons.
In a speech March 6 before top officials of the Federal Security Service, the top KGB successor agency, Putin said foreign spies have intensified their efforts to get access to Russia’s secrets.
Putin, a KGB veteran who headed the FSB in the 1990s before ascending to the presidency, said foreign spy agencies have intensified their operations in Russia, and are looking for political, economic and scientific secrets.
The Russian leader noted that the FSB last year exposed 129 foreign intelligence officers and 465 of their agents.
He said the FSB should pay particular attention to protecting information related to the development, test and production of new Russian weapons. AP

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Headlines – March 20, 2019

News FBI joining criminal investigation into certification of Boeing 737 MAX – The FBI has joined the criminal investigation into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX, lending its considerable resources to an inquiry already being conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation agents, according to people familiar with the matter.   Suspected militants detained in...

News Briefs – March 20, 2019

Congressman pitches Louisiana for Trump’s Space Force locale U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham is urging President Donald Trump to consider Louisiana for the future headquarters of Trump’s proposed Space Force. The Republican congressman wrote a letter to the president, suggesting Louisiana was an “ideal location” because of its strong existing relationships with the military and NASA....

NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover is put to the test

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph Technicians working Mars 2020’s System’s Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. In a little mo...