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July 29, 2013

News Briefs July 29, 2013

U.S. drone kills six suspected militants in Yemen

A Yemeni military official says a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed six alleged al Qaeda militants in the group’s southern strongholds.

The official said July 28 the attack took place late July 27 in the town of Mahfad in Abyan province and targeted a car carrying the suspected militants. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said security forces have identified three of the slain men. He gave no further details.

Washington considers al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch, known as the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups. AP

Manila to move air force, navy near disputed sea

The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said July 28 that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.

ìIt’s for the protection of our West Philippine Sea,î Gazmin said from South Korea, where he was on a visit, using the name adopted by the Philippine government for the disputed South China Sea.

A confidential defense department document obtained by The Associated Press says Subic’s location will cut reaction time by fighter aircraft to contested South China Sea areas by more than three minutes compared with flying from Clark airfield, also north of Manila, where some air force planes are based. AP

North Korea rolls out missiles for war anniversary

North Korea marked the 60th anniversary of the truce that ended the Korean War with a lavish and painstakingly choreographed military parade through Pyongyang’s main square, a solemn gathering led by leader Kim Jong Un at a newly opened war museum that features prominently the USS Pueblo spy ship captured in 1968 and a fireworks display that filled the night sky and drew huge crowds who watched from along the Pothong river.

This year’s parade, which also included floats and thousands of civilians waving colorful fake flowers, appeared to offer more flash and pageant than new revelations of the secretive North’s military capabilities, though one unit prominently carried kits marked with the bright yellow nuclear symbol, a reminder of the North’s claims that it is preparing itself against a nuclear attack by the United States and is developing a nuclear arsenal of its own.

The extravagant assembly of weapons and goose-stepping troops on Saturday was reminiscent of the marches held by the Soviet Union and China at the height of the Cold War. It is one of the few chances the world gets to see North Korea’s military up close. Although Pyongyang frequently uses the occasion to reveal new, though not always operational, hardware, there didn’t appear to be any major new weapons in the July 27 parade. AP

U.S. proposes to fine Boeing $2.75M over 777 parts

Federal air safety regulators are seeking a more than $2.7 million fine against Boeing over quality control lapses related to parts used in the 777.

The 777 is a long-range passenger airliner. The Federal Aviation Administration says in a statement July 26 that Boeing discovered in September 2008 it had been installing fasteners on the airplanes that didn’t meet FAA safety standards.

The FAA opened an investigation one month later. The agency says Boeing repeatedly submitted plans that set deadlines to fix the problem, only to miss those deadlines.

The statement says the company finally implemented a plan to address the fastener issue in November 2010, more than two years after Boeing first learned of the problem. AP

Polish airline denies it has got Boeing compensation

Poland’s LOT airline says it is still waiting for money from Boeing for the grounding of its two 787 planes.

In a statement July 26, LOT said its demands ìhave not been compensated in any formî by Boeing. LOT’s aircraft were grounded earlier this year – along with the world’s entire 787 fleet – after some of the planes developed battery problems.

LOT’s statement contrasts with a recent comment from Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney that the aircraft manufacturer has finished paying those whose 787 were grounded.

The grounding and loss of revenue from passengers was a blow to LOT, which is undergoing a restructuring. The Polish government has said more than $30 million was lost from cancelled flights alone. AP




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