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January 16, 2013

Headlines: January 16, 2013

News

Two Japanese airlines ground Boeing 787 Dreamliners after battery problems in cockpit lead to emergency landing in latest problem for new high-tech aircraft

Two Japanese airlines have grounded their entire fleets of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner planes for safety checks.

The move comes after one of the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in the latest blow for the new aircraft.

 

Business

Will the Dreamliner ever live up to its name?

Someone in Boeing must be ruing the day they created such a hostage to public relations fortune. After a string of technical problems – both before and since its launch – the aircraft it dubbed the “Dreamliner” is hardly living up to its name.

Lockheed sees good export prospects for ships, helicopters

Lockheed Martin sees good prospects for selling new coastal warships and helicopters it is building for the U.S. Navy to other countries, especially given a planned U.S. pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, company executives said Jan. 15.

 

Defense

Inside the F-35, the world’s most futuristic fighter jet

A blazing hot December morning. High blue skies. Wide open spaces. This is Fort Worth, Texas, famous for its frontier atmosphere, its stockyards, rodeos, Art Deco downtown – and the vast Lockheed Martin factory.

Inside the Lockheed Martin F-35B

Interactive graphic showing the internal workings of the latest fighter/bomber.

 

Veterans

Walmart’s Veteran Hiring Plan Draws Praise, Skepticism

As prominent veterans groups and the White House hailed Walmart’s announcement Tuesday that it would hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years, economists and other management experts noted the move, while positive, is somewhat symbolic.

Thousands of Arctic convoy veterans told they cannot collect Russian bravery medals ‘as it would break rules in this country’

They risked their lives countless times on what Winston Churchill called ‘the worst journey in the world’.  Yet the thousands of veterans who sailed on Arctic convoys to support the Russian war effort have been told they cannot collect bravery medals.

International

Afghan army has deficiencies but it’s getting there, says NATO general

Gen Sir Richard Shirreff, the deputy NATO commander in Europe, has conceded that the Afghan army has “deficiencies and gaps” but said they are now “stepping up to the plate.”

U.S. weighs military support for France’s campaign against Mali militants

 

The Obama administration is considering significant military backing for France’s drive against al Qaeda-linked militants in Mali, but its support for a major ally could test U.S. legal boundaries and stretch counterterrorism resources in a murky new conflict.

French soldiers launch first ground invasion against Al-Qaeda guerrillas in Mali as British planes land with supplies

French troops today (Jan. 16) launched their first ground operation against Islamist rebels in Mali in a crucial action to dislodge al Qaeda-linked fighters who have resisted six days of air strikes.

France called for international support against Islamist insurgents it says are a threat to Africa and the West and acknowledged it faced a long fight against well-equipped and determined militant fighters who seized Mali’s vast desert north last year.

$190 million drone coming to Australia

An unmanned British stealth drone that can fly faster than the speed of sound and go undetected by radar will soon have its first test flight in Australia.

Panetta reassures Portugal on Azores Islands after U.S. downsizes decades-old base there

The Pentagon’s era of austerity is starting to pinch some remote corners of the globe, including a volcanic island in the mid-Atlantic.

 

Space

Russia to head to the moon in 2015: New mission set to land robotic probes on the lunar surface

Russia is set to send an unmanned probe to the moon in 2015.  The craft, called Luna-Glob, or Moon-Globe, will be carried by the first rocket to blast off from a new facility that Russia is building in its far eastern Amur region.

 

Technology

Is graphene really a wonder-material?

Graphene is a waste of money, a very senior British professor told me last year during a conversation about government funding for science.

Graphene research moving abroad

Manchester University academics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for demonstrating the remarkable properties of graphene – a kind of two-dimensional carbon which is one of the thinnest, lightest, strongest and most conductive materials known to man. Identified only in 2004, it is harder than diamond, just a single molecule thick and conducts electricity.

 

People & Places

NASA chief recalls astronaut days in shuttle trainer

When NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was an astronaut, he would tie his sleep restraint to the rudder pedal in the flight space shuttle’s flight deck and sleep floating above his seat.

 

Viewpoint

Don’t Let the Neocons Punish Chuck Hagel for Pointing Up Their Failures

The motives behind the effort by the neoconservatives and their Republican supporters to block the appointment of former Senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense are all too obvious. They pushed this nation into a disastrous war in Iraq that cost many lives and damaged many others and that squandered our financial resources. Now, they want to punish the man who having first endorsed the war, was enlightened enough to speak out early on about the pointlessness of expanding our involvement. By doing so, they are also trying to teach a lesson to others who would decry their effort in getting us into that war and urging that warlike strategy for other situations in Iran and Syria. They are doing this by openly making false allegations and resorting to improper innuendo. The American people should not countenance that process.

Hagel for Defense

President Obama’s choice of former Senator and Republican Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense has brought forth vigorous opposition from a number of quarters, which is by and large unwarranted. In picking Hagel, Obama defied most conventional thinkers who predicted the selection of either Ash Carter, Current Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Michèle Flournoy, former Undersecretary, to replace Leon Panetta – two highly qualified and easily confirmable candidates.




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Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

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Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

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