In the news...

May 24, 2013

Headlines May 24, 2013

In the news…..

Hurdles to closing Guantanamo just as high under new Obama plan

President Obama announced measures May 23 to revitalize his failed first-term commitment to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, but the renewed effort faces the same steep political climb: To make it work, Congress would have to accept a plan to move some detainees from Cuba to the United States.

 

Business

U.S. sees first drop in F-35 costs; other programs steady

The Pentagon May 23 told Congress it expected a 1 percent drop in the cost of its biggest weapons program, the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, while averting the huge cost increases seen on other weapons programs in recent years.

Factbox: What does Lockheed’s F-35 fighter jet really cost?

Lockheed Martin is developing and building the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, for three U.S. military branches and eight international partners.

U.S. industry touts ‘drone’ promise as public debate flares

Public backlash against deadly overseas drone strikes may undermine promising uses of such technology for anything from disaster response to mail delivery, a top U.S. industry group said as it launched a lobbying effort to “demystify” unmanned planes.

 

Defense

House subcommittee says no to Pentagon’s request for a new round of military base closings

A new round of military base closings is going nowhere in Congress. The House Armed Services readiness subcommittee passed a bill May 23 rejecting the Obama administration’s request for more domestic base closings.

Pentagon sees doubled cost for rocket launch program

The Pentagon May 23 told Congress that a recent restructuring of its heavy rocket launch program to add 60more launches and extend the schedule for a decade would more than double the program’s projected cost to $70.7 billion.

Senator says repeated sexual assaults in military allow culture to continue

Charges that an Army sergeant secretly photographed and videotaped women at West Point are part of a military-wide pattern of sexual misconduct, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said May 23.

 

Space

NASA to lease Cape Canaveral shuttle launch pad

NASA is looking for commercial operators to lease a historic launch pad in Florida used for the first Moon missions and by the shuttles. Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center has been unused since the Atlantis orbiter retired in 2011.

Bigelow Aerospace to Study Moon Base in Deal With NASA

Bigelow Aerospace LLC, a maker of inflatable space habitats, will study the possible return of men to the moon as part of an agreement with NASA that may lead to more public-private partnerships for exploration.

Will astronauts LIVE on the moon by 2020? NASA report predicts private firms will travel to the lunar surface

Corporate researchers may be living on the moon by the time NASA astronauts head off to visit an asteroid in the 2020s, a study of future human missions unveiled May 23 shows. The study by Bigelow Aerospace, commissioned by NASA, shows ‘a lot of excitement and interest from various companies’ for such ventures, said Robert Bigelow, founder and president of the Las Vegas-based firm.

 

Tech

Solar Impulse plane sets new distance record on Dallas flight

The Solar Impulse plane has set a new distance record for solar-powered flight on the second leg of its trans-American journey May 22.

 

International

United Kingdom: High Court rules Iraq abuse inquiry inadequate

The High Court has rejected accusations that the team investigating historic abuse allegations by British soldiers in Iraq lacks independence but said the inquiry “does not fulfill” Britain’s responsibilities on human rights grounds.

 

Viewpoint

Obama’s silence on Taiwan masks its significance in Asia

For decades, when U.S. policymakers contemplated conflict with China, their fears focused on Taiwan. Today, by contrast, Sino-American tensions seem to be on the rise everywhere but Taiwan, where relations between this island and the mainland have significantly improved.

Why the military needs to recruit and promote more women

As the Pentagon and Congress grapple with how to reduce sexual assault in the military, here’s an idea that would transform and improve military culture: Recruit, retain and promote far more women to the upper ranks.




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