In the news...

September 9, 2013

Headlines September 9, 2013

News:

Give up weapons, Russia urges Syria -

Russia has asked Syria to put its chemical weapons stockpiles under international control and then have them destroyed, in an attempt to avoid US military strikes. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the offer was made during talks with his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem, who welcomed the initiative.

 

Business:

Dubai’s DAE ends tie-up talks with BBA Aviation -

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, owner of U.S.-based engine repair and maintenance business StandardAero, said on Sunday it is no longer in discussions with British aircraft services firm BBA Aviation to merge parts of its business.

 

Defense:

Rep. ‘Buck’ McKeon: Obama can win Syria votes by undoing sequester cuts -

President Obama could gain support for his plan to attack Syria if he were to strike a deal with Republicans who want him to end defense spending cuts, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Sept. 8.

Don’t use Syria to pump up Pentagon spending -

A number of conservative hawks, including Senator John McCain and House Armed Services Committee chair Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, have argued that the costs of military attacks against Syria justify rolling back planned cuts in Pentagon spending.

Marine Corps drops Taliban urination desecration case; commandant saves face -

The Marine Corps has suddenly dropped criminal charges against an officer in the infamous Taliban urination video case, heading off what promised to be an embarrassing pretrial hearing for the Corps’ commandant Sept. 4.

Attrition rate down for unmanned aircraft pilots -

The attrition rate for unmanned aircraft pilots during training is down, but it is still higher than the rate of manned aircraft pilots. Compared with this time last fiscal year, the attrition rate for unmanned aircraft pilots has dropped from 33 percent to about 25 percent, said Maj. Ted Shultz, remotely piloted aircraft specialty manager. That compares with an attrition rate of about 16 percent for manned aircraft pilots.

Air Force approves 358 early retirements -

The Air Force approved 358 early retirements — 311 enlisted service members and 47 officers — under the latest round of Temporary Early Retirement Authority, the Air Force Personnel Center said. Most of the early retirements — 201 in all — went to technical sergeants, and 110 master sergeants also were approved for early retirements. In the officer ranks, eight captains, 31 majors, and eight lieutenant colonels received early retirements.

 

Veterans:

Malpractice payouts to U.S. veterans reach 12-year high -

Christopher Ellison went to a veterans medical center in Philadelphia to get eight teeth extracted in 2007. What should have been a routine dentist visit left him permanently incapacitated. The $17.5 million Ellison and his family received in a malpractice judgment against the Department of Veterans Affairs was the largest against the agency in a dozen years — and one of more than 400 payments the U.S. government made last year to resolve VA malpractice claims, according to agency records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The total cost came to $91.7 million, also the highest sum in at least 12 years.

 

Space:

NASA’s LADEE Moon probe lifts off -

NASA has launched its latest mission to the Moon. The unmanned LADEE probe lifted off from the Wallops rocket facility on the U.S. East Coast on schedule at 11:27, p.m., Sept. 7. Its $280 million mission is to investigate the very tenuous atmosphere that surrounds the lunar body.

 

International:

Iran may be planning to retaliate if U.S. strikes Syria, official says -

The United States has obtained intelligence indicating that Iran “may be planning” a retaliatory strike against the American Embassy in Baghdad if the United States launches a military strike against Syria, a senior U.S. official told CNN. He said that Iran has “a lot of Shi’a friends” in Iraq that would be willing to carry out an attack.

Britain will stand with US as Kerry raises legacy of the Holocaust, Rwanda -

The U.S. will have the “full diplomatic support” of Britain, Mr Hague said and he “fully respects” the decision of Parliament to vote against intervention. David Cameron had worked hard to persuade Barack Obama to take action in Syria, only to be left on the sidelines after Parliament blocked any British involvement.

Britain ‘must have two aircraft carriers to be global player’ -

A government cost-cutting proposal to mothball or sell one of two carriers being built would be a poor use of public money, Tobias Ellwood MP said in a report for a military think tank. Trying to rely on a single carrier would also undermine the UK’s ability to cope with international crises.

 

Viewpoint:

Pursuing military action against Syria, missteps aplenty – 

Although it can seem as if we’re always fighting somewhere, the United States is not a terribly warlike country.




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President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

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Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

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Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

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