News Briefs – August 21, 2019

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Pentagon conducts 1st test of previously banned missile

The Pentagon says the U.S. military has conducted a flight test of a type of missile banned for more than 30 years by a treaty that both the United States and Russia abandoned this month.
The test off the coast of California Aug. 18 marks the resumption of an arms competition that some analysts worry could increase U.S.-Russian tensions.
The Trump administration says it remains interested in useful arms control but questions Moscow’s willingness to adhere to its treaty commitments.
The Pentagon says it tested a modified ground-launched version of a Navy Tomahawk cruise missile. The department says the missile was launched from San Nicolas Island and accurately struck its target after flying more than 500 kilometers. The missile was armed with a conventional, not nuclear, warhead. AP
 

Israeli, U.S. militaries simulate ship hijacking amid tensions

Israel’s military says it has conducted a joint exercise with U.S. Special Forces simulating the retaking of a hijacked ship.
The drill held Aug. 14 comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Persian Gulf and efforts by the Trump administration to set up a naval security mission to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
The military said Aug. 20 that the two militaries “exercised regaining control of a hijacked ship and extracting forces from enemy territory.” The army said the drill had no connection to recent events and was planned as part of its annual training plan.
Israeli media this month quoted Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz as telling a parliamentary committee that Israel was taking part in the U.S.-led coalition. AP
 

Union wins first step against Boeing over fired workers

A federal official is making Boeing defend itself against charges that it illegally fired workers for supporting a union at its South Carolina assembly plant.
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled there’s enough merit to send the cases to an administrative law judge.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers claims six workers were wrongly fired and others disciplined at the plant in North Charleston, where employees build the Boeing 787.
The federal official denied a union claim that Boeing has failed to bargain over a contract.
The union won a May 2018 election to represent about 176 inspectors and technicians. Although a small group, it was a rare labor victory in the state with the lowest percentage of union workers. Boeing is challenging the election. AP