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August 9, 2013

Headlines August 9, 2013

Business

Budget cuts hurt Rheinmetall to Cobham as U.S. protects programs

European defense companies from Rheinmetall AG to Cobham Plc are bearing the brunt of government budget cuts, contrasting with a more upbeat outlook in the United States, where companies are still showing resilience to reductions.

Raytheon’s sole role on $7 billion jammer questioned

A Senate panel is calling for the U.S. Navy to maintain at least two competitors for a $7 billion radar-jamming system in a move that may force rebidding of an initial contract won by Raytheon.

 

Defense

Pentagon takes ‘use it or lose it’ approach to funds

The “blitzkrieg” was a popular German battle tactic in World War II to attack enemies and overrun their defenses before they could fight back. Now the Pentagon has perfected its own twist on the tactic: spend money lightning fast, before anyone has a chance to respond.

Pentagon: Future furloughs likely if sequester remains

Though the Defense Department was able to reduce its civilian workers’ furloughs from 11 days to six, it can’t guarantee there won’t be more next year if automatic spending cuts remain in place.

Pentagon ponders remedies for overly furloughed workers

Say you are a Department of Defense civilian worker who tried to get ahead of the curve by taking your mandated 11 days of furlough  as quickly as possible. If so, you were likely chagrined to learn this week that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reduced the number of furlough days required because of sequestration from 11 to six.

Pentagon readies sex assault rules to act before Congress

The Pentagon is preparing to issue policies aimed at curbing sexual assaults while stopping short of measures some members of Congress are seeking to impose.

Camouflage uniforms of many colors questioned in Congress

Camouflage combat uniforms in the U.S. armed forces may be getting a new look, or at least the same look across all four branches.

 

Veterans

RAF Spitfire pilot fled from German firing squad

A World War Two Flight Lieutenant fled who from a Nazi firing squad after his Spitfire was shot down and escaped recapture by leaping from a moving train, has died aged 91. Tony Snell was patrolling over Sicily in July 1943 when his plane was hit by attacking Messerschmitt fighters and he was forced to land behind enemy lines.

 

Space

A new business is being launched for people around the globe who want to travel – albeit virtually – into space.

Students Alex Baker and Chris Rose from Sheffield are launching low-cost space missions, taking light-weight payloads including people’s photographs, billboard-style adverts and even cakes soaring into the stratosphere for a fraction of the cost of NASA and Virgin Galactic flights.

Pioneering radiation camera captures striking images of the Swan Nebula

The latest specialist equipment from the Gemini Observatory in Chile has used infrared imaging to capture striking images of the Swan Nebula situated around 6,000 light years from Earth. The second-generation FLAMINGOS-2 camera has also snapped unique high-resolution images from the heart of a spiral galaxy as well as a ring of star formation.

Scientists capture what the Universe looked like just 100,000 years after the Big Bang

The furthest look back through time yet – 100 years to 300,000 years after the Big Bang – has provided enticing new clues as to what might have happened. U.S. researchers have conducted an extensive analysis of the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang, also known as cosmic microwave background radiation.

 

International

Mexico’s aerospace industry grows 24.2 percent

The 287 aerospace companies operating in Mexico posted exports totaling $5.4 billion in 2012, up 24.2 percent from the previous year, a Mexican Aerospace Industry Federation, or FEMIA, official said.

‘It’s their fight now’: Afghan soldiers on their own

An Afghan soldier had spotted the tiny wire in the road, bringing the convoy of Humvees to a halt. Soldiers trailed the wire to a 30-pound explosive device, where a second bomb had been rigged to blow up whoever came to help the victims of the first. That’s when they saw the young man running across the field off the road.

Britain to sell Typhoon jets to Bahrain, despite human rights record

The proposed deal with the Gulf monarchy rocked by protests in 2011 is thought to be worth more than £1 billion and is part of a concerted effort by Gulf countries to strengthen military ties with Britain.

United Kingdom: Ship shape and ready for action: British sailors prepare for show of ‘formidable strength’ as they begin deployment to Gibraltar

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Aug. 9 stepped up the war of words with Britain, vowing to do everything to ‘defend’ his country’s interests. In a fresh escalation of the diplomatic tensions between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar, Rajoy promised to take ‘all necessary legal steps’ in the stand-off after holding a meeting with King Juan Carlos. It comes as British warships are being sent to Gibraltar by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to demonstrate the Royal Navy’s ‘formidable strength.




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