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January 30, 2013

News Briefs – January 30, 2013

Italy backs off on military assistance in Mali

Italian Premier Mario Monti says Italy is backing off its commitment to assist France’s military campaign against Islamist fighters in Mali because his caretaker government lacks political support on the issue during the run-up to national elections next month.

A proposal to send three transport planes and up to 24 military advisers to Mali had already passed the Chamber of Deputies, but Monti said Jan. 28 that many parliamentarians who voted in favor are not seeking re-election and the leaders of the parties supporting his technocrat government had expressed opposition.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said logistic support for France should be a priority of the new parliament but ìat the moment the political conditions are lacking. AP

$3 million study of Reno-area veterans nursing home proposed

Nevada lawmakers are being asked to approve funds toward building a northern Nevada nursing home for veterans, veterans’ spouses and parents whose children have died in combat.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is proposing a $3 million feasibility and design study for a veterans nursing facility in the Reno-Sparks area.

If the Legislature approves the plan, the state would pick up one-third of the cost and the federal Veterans Administration would pay the rest.

Nevada Office of Veterans Services deputy chief Katherine Miller tells the Gazette-Journal the state is currently 99th on the Veterans Affairs priority list and would move up significantly if the state came up with 35 percent funding.

Construction on the proposed 90-bed facility could begin by 2017. AP

U.S. may set up drone base in Africa

A U.S. military official says the Pentagon is considering setting up a drone base in northwest Africa to increase intelligence collection on Islamic militants in the region.

The official says the U.S. signed an agreement Jan. 28 that would set the rules for greater American military presence in the nation of Niger, which would be the most likely location for any new drone base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decision has been made.

Americans are already in Niger, training local forces. But a greater presence and a drone operation there would position the U.S. to provide more help to French and Malian troops fighting al Qaeda-backed fighters in neighboring Mali. AP




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Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

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GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




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