World

April 3, 2012

News Briefs April 3, 2012


New satellite images show North Korea launch work

New satellite imagery shows that North Korea has ramped up preparations for a rocket launch that the U.S. and others call a cover for a long-range missile test.
An analysis provided to The Associated Press by the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies says the images show a mobile radar trailer. The trailer is essential for a launch scheduled April 12-16 and rows of what appear to be empty fuel and oxidizer tanks.
Joel Wit, the editor of the institute’s North Korea website “38 North,” says the pictures provide important evidence that North Korea’s work on the planned launch is progressing according to schedule.
North Korea says the launch will fire an observational satellite into orbit. AP

 

Russian FM warns against strike on Iran

Russia’s foreign minister has strongly warned against a military attack on Iran, saying that a pre-emptive strike would violate international law.
Sergey Lavrov said Monday on a visit to Armenia that an attack on Iran would destabilize the region.
Israel and the United States have warned that all options remain open, including military action, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its uranium enrichment program is aimed at civilian power generation and research, but Israel and Western nations believe it is a cover for a nuclear weapons bid.
Russia, which built Iran’s first nuclear power plant, backed some of the previous U.N. sanctions against Tehran, but in recent months has firmly rejected imposing new sanctions and called for dialogue. AP

 

Hill Air Force Base defends handling of mercury

Utah’s Hill Air Force Base is defending its response to a massive mercury spill in 2007, saying it went above and beyond ordinary requirements to clean it up.

The base could face millions in fines after a whistleblower last fall told regulators that base officials failed to report the spill and instead ordered untrained workers to remove the hazardous material with vacuum cleaners.

Base environmental management division chief Robert Elliott told The Salt Lake Tribune that he responded March 29 by letter to a notice of violation sent by the Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste.

He says the response not only addresses violations alleged by regulators, but also seeks to ensure there will be no repeat of them in the future.

The cleanup was finished in January. AP

 

Lockheed Martin to lay off more than 150 in Virginia

More than 150 Lockheed Martin employees in Hampton Roads, Va., will be laid off in April.

Notices posted by the defense contractor on the Virginia Workforce Network website say 92 workers in Norfolk and Suffolk will be laid off April 6. Another 65 workers in Hampton will be laid off April 30.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the company attributed the Norfolk and Suffolk layoffs to the closure of U.S. Joint Forces Command. The Hampton layoffs are due to the loss of a contract at NASA Langley Research Center. AP




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NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 
 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 

 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 
 

Six F-15s, KC-135 to augment NATO mission in Baltics

Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement March 5 during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO’s air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information. In a statement provided on background, the official said the United...
 
 

Three U.S. military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, 4 wounded

Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that Dec. 21 became a battle ground between the country’s military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day...
 




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