U.S.

August 20, 2012

News Briefs – August 20, 2012

Army suicides doubled last month from June’s total

 

The Army says suicides among active-duty soldiers more than doubled in July from the month before.

That marks an acceleration of a military-wide trend this year that has caused Pentagon leaders to step up their search for solutions to a problem that has worsened in 2012 as the pace of combat has eased.

The Army had 26 suicides in July among active-duty soldiers, compared to 12 in June. In May it had 16.

Among Army Reserve soldiers not on active duty, there were 12 suicides in July – the same as in June.

For the first seven months of 2012, the Army has recorded 116 suicides among active-duty soldiers. If that pace were maintained through December the year’s total would approach 200, compared to 167 for all of 2011. AP

 

Iran commander ‘welcomes’ possible Israeli strike

 

A senior Iranian commander says a possible Israeli airstrike against his country’s nuclear facilities is “welcome” because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and “get rid of” the Jewish state “forever.”

The remarks by Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guard’s air force, were reported Aug. 18 by the official IRNA news agency.

Hajizadeh says in the event of an Israeli strike, Iran’s response would be “swift, decisive and destructive.” But he also claims Israeli threats of a strike are just part of a psychological war against Iran.

His comments are the latest in a war of words between the archenemies.

Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its suspect nuclear program. Iran denies seeking atomic weapons, saying its uranium enrichment is for peaceful purposes only. AP

 

Georgia counties to spend $12.4 million to buy land near base

 

Three Georgia counties will split $12.4 million in buyout costs to purchase homes the military says are too close to Robins Air Force Base.

The Telegraph of Macon reports commission chairmen of Bibb, Houston and Peach counties signed a cost-sharing agreement Aug. 17. With help from the state and federal governments, they are buying up 250 parcels of residential property north of the base near Macon, in an area considered at too great a risk for plane crashes and too noisy.

Local officials fear allowing the homes to stay occupied could make Robins a target in the next round of military base closures.

The deal calls for Bibb and Houston counties to put up $6 million apiece, with Peach County chipping in $400,000. AP

 




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