In the news...

March 11, 2013

News Briefs March 11, 2013

Boat crashes near California base, drugs found, no people

Officials say an overturned boat and floating bales of a suspected illegal drug have been discovered off the central California coast at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but they haven’t found anyone who may have been steering the craft.

Second Lt. Kaylee Ausbun says the small boat was spotted by people walking on the beach March 7, and emergency responders immediately cordoned off the area around the aluminum boat for investigation and a search for any missing passengers.

No possible boaters were found in the area.

The boat was found north of the base’s Wall Beach. The suspected drugs aboard are being tested to confirm what they are.

Authorities are asking locals to report any unusual activity in the area. AP

California rejects U.S. Navy offshore explosive training

California March 8 rejected a Navy offshore explosives and sonar training program that critics said could kill or deafen endangered whales, dolphins and other sea life.

California Coastal Commissioners meeting in San Diego ruled unanimously that the Navy lacked enough information to back up its argument that the threat to marine mammals would be negligible.

Scientists say there is still much to be learned about how much sonar activity affects marine animals. Studies have shown some species such as beaked whales may be adversely affected by some sonar.

The Navy has estimated that the proposed training program would kill 130 marine mammals and cause hearing loss in 1,600 over five years.

ìWe think these are underestimates,î Michael Jasny with the Natural Resources Defense Council told the commissioners.

The panel and the Navy could now seek mediation to iron out their differences – or the Navy could simply choose to proceed with the training, as it did in 2007 and 2009. That probably would prompt the commission to sue in an effort to block the program, as it has in the past. AP

U.S. relaxes export controls on some military parts

The Obama administration is making it easier for U.S. companies to export equipment and parts that could have military uses.

The White House says it has notified Congress of plans to give the Commerce Department authority to regulate exports of thousands of aircraft parts like bolts, wings and fuel tanks. They’ll be taken off the State Department’s strict U.S. Munitions List.

More sensitive items like full engines, radar systems and missile launchers will stay under State Department control.

It’s part of a broader move by the Obama administration to streamline outdated permit requirements left over from the Cold War, and more changes to the list are still to come. The White House says it hopes cutting red tape will significantly boost sales for U.S. exporters. AP

German Air Force plans to leave Fort Bliss

Reorganization of the German Air Force means the overseas troops will leave a West Texas post after a relationship spanning nearly 60 years.

The El Paso Times reported March 11 that the German Air Force Command for the U.S. and Canada will close at Fort Bliss on Sept. 30.

Col. Heinz-Josef Ferkinghoff said operations will be moved to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where Germany already has a flight training center. The German Air Defense Center will return to Germany within five years.

The moves, which will affect several hundred German military personnel and civilian employees, come after U.S. base realignment changed some Fort Bliss operations.

The German Air Force has had a presence at Fort Bliss since 1956. AP

VA says it wonít follow New York gun law

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs says its mental health professionals wonít comply with a new gun law in New York that requires them to report the names of patients they believe likely to hurt themselves or others.

The reporting provision was set to take effect March 9.

Several veterans and their advocates say it would deter many from seeking counseling and medications to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological issues. Veterans fear their rights would be taken away.

Under the law pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the information would be used to determine whether someone should give up a gun license or weapon.

VA spokesman Mark Ballesteros says federal laws protecting veteransí treatment records take precedence. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 

Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 

 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 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. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>