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August 29, 2012

News Briefs – August 29th, 2012

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,971

As of Aug. 28, 2012, at least 1,971 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 1,650 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 117 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 12 were the result of hostile action.
The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is one fewer than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 17,282 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP

Iran’s military chief suing U.S. over sanctions

A news agency reports that Iran’s top military commander is suing the United States for putting his name on its sanctions list.

The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Iran’s chief of staff, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, as saying the U.S. opposes “security and independence” for Iran. He said he has spent his life serving Iran and humanity, and the U.S. should be made to pay for the “unwise” decision to list him.

The West has imposed sanctions on Iran and its leaders to press Tehran to stop enriching uranium, suspecting Iran is aiming to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies that.

The U.S. put Firouzabadi’s name on the sanctions list in 2011, charging he was involved in human rights abuses.

The Aug. 27 report did not say how he plans to pursue his case. AP

Marines testing women in combat jobs

The Marine Corps commandant says there may be some anxiety from male Marines as female officers work their way into infantry and other combat jobs that historically have been open only to men.

Gen. James F. Amos told a National Press Club audience Aug. 28 that early steps have been successful, but some of the harder tests are yet to come.

Two female Marine officers have volunteered to attend the grueling infantry officer school at the Marine Corps’ Quantico, Va., base next month as military officials gauge whether women can handle the course’s extreme physical and mental challenges.

The Pentagon in February announced that the military was formally opening up thousands of jobs to women in units closer to the front lines to better reflect the realities of modern warfare. AP

Philippine Airlines to buy 54 Airbus jets

Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines says it has signed a $7 billion deal to buy 54 Airbus jets as part of an ambitious plan to overhaul its fleet to meet higher demands for transporting passengers and cargo in Asia, the Middle East and Australia.

PAL President Ramon Ang said Aug. 28 the first batch of about a dozen A330-300s and A321s will be delivered in January. The rest of the aircraft are to go in service in the next three years.
Ang says PAL is planning to buy an additional 46 aircraft from Airbus and other manufacturers, including Boeing. The airline currently has 39 aircraft.

After struggling against losses, depressed markets, high fuel prices and labor unrest, PAL has generated some profits in recent years, most recently in June and July, airline officials said. AP




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