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August 16, 2013

News Briefs August 16, 2013

Employer sued over Reserve airman’s firing

The U.S. Attorneyís Office is suing an employer on behalf of a military member whose job was terminated after he returned from required military training.

Regal Contractors fired Lon Fluman, a senior airman at Dover Air Force Base, Del., from his job as a maintenance technician last year after he reported for his second reserve military duty.

The suit claims that by firing Fluman, Regal is in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment Act, which protects uniformed service membersí rights after absences for military service obligations.

The U.S. Attorneyís Office says that although Fluman satisfied notification requirements before departing, Regal fired him anyhow, saying it didnít receive sufficient notice. AP

IAG to buy 62 Airbus planes, has options for more

International Airlines Group has ordered 62 Airbus aircraft in the A320 family, with a list price of $5.4 billion, to replace aging planes and expand the fleet of its Vueling discount carrier.

IAG, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, says it negotiated a ìsubstantial discountî on the list price without providing further details.

IAG says the deal comprises firm orders for the A320ceo and A320neo for Vueling that will be delivered between 2015 and 2020. The deal includes 58 options for Vueling, based in Barcelona.

In its announcement Aug. 14, IAG said it had also secured options to buy another 100 of the A320neo, a fuel-efficient plane known for the upturned wing devices known as ìsharklets,î because of their resemblance to a shark’s fin.

Shareholders must approve the firm orders. AP

Man in $18 million Navy kickbacks scheme gets home confinement

A North Providence, R.I., man convicted of tax evasion in connection with a kickback scheme that cost the Navy $18 million has been sentenced to two years of home confinement.

Ralph Mariano Jr. was sentenced Aug. 16 by U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi in Providence. Mariano is the father of one of the schemeís admitted ringleaders, Ralph M. Mariano, a former civilian employee of the Navy.

Lisi said she gave Mariano home confinement because he is 82 and because a prison sentence would cost the taxpayers even more.

He told the judge he gambled much of the money away.

The younger Mariano acknowledged he used his position to add money to contracts held by Georgia-based contractor Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow. In return, the contractor funneled kickbacks to Mariano, corrupt subcontractors and others. AP

4 bodies found on Indian sub; 14 more likely dead

Indian navy divers on Aug. 16 recovered four severely burned bodies of sailors who had been trapped inside a submarine damaged by twin explosions, officials said. The navy said it was doubtful that any of the other 14 sailors aboard survived.

Naval spokesman Narendra Vispute told reporters that the condition of the bodies suggested that all 18 sailors aboard were killed in the explosions in the subís home port of Mumbai. Three bodies were recovered Aug.16 morning and a fourth was located later in the afternoon, a naval official said on condition of anonymity because he wasnít authorized to speak to reporters.

ìThe bodies are severely disfigured and not identifiable due to severe burns,î Vispute said, adding that DNA tests would be used to identify the bodies. ìHowever, the navy will continue to search every inch of the submarine until no bodies remain to be found.

The 16-year-old diesel-powered, Russian-made submarine, INS Sindhurakshak, was rocked by two explosions in the torpedo compartment that sent huge fireballs into the air. The vessel was partially submerged at Mumbaiís naval dock, with a portion visible above the waterline.

The same submarine was hit by an explosion in 2010 that killed one sailor and injured two others. The navy said that accident was caused by a faulty battery valve that leaked hydrogen, causing an explosion in the vesselís battery compartment. There have been no details on what caused this weekís blasts.

The sub recently returned from Russia after a 2Ω-year refit, overhaul and upgrade and had been certified for use by the Indian navy.

Russian ship repair company Zvyozdochka said the blasts were unrelated to its repair work. AP




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