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September 27, 2013

Headlines September 27, 2013

News:

Airplanes fly as mail delivered even if government shuts -

Planes will still fly and land safely with the aid of federal air traffic controllers even if Congress can’t reach a deal to fund the federal government. FBI agents will investigate crimes, mail will be delivered, Social Security checks and Medicare payments will go out and U.S. military personnel will still report to duty.

 

Business:

Swiss parliament backs purchase of 22 Saab Gripen fighter jets -

The Swiss parliament backed the purchase of 22 Gripen combat jets from Sweden’s Saab AB for $3.4 billion with opponents given about three months to seek a national vote on the deal.

 

Defense:

U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan down nearly 20 percent -

The Pentagon has quietly removed nearly 12,000 troops from Afghanistan during the past several months, scaling back the military’s combat power before the end of the fighting season. U.S. troop levels have fallen nearly 20 percent, from 66,000 in April down to about 54,500 in late September, Pentagon data show.

Pentagon aims to finalize Lockheed F-35 contract within days -

The Pentagon expects to finalize a contract with Lockheed Martin for the sixth and seventh batches of F-35 fighter jets within days, the deputy director of the $392 billion program said Sept. 25.

N.H. senator puts nomination of new Air Force secretary on hold -

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., is holding up the confirmation of Air Force Secretary-nominee Deborah Lee over the senator’s concern that the Air Force may retire all A-10 jets. The Republican from New Hampshire is worried that dumping the A-10 might hurt U.S. military strength and questions whether there’s an adequate replacement for it, one of her aides told The Hill.

Pentagon sees decisions on U.S. weather satellite in next months -

The Pentagon is expected to reach decisions in coming months on how to meet its weather forecasting needs after the 2012 termination of a nearly $15 billion program being built by Northrop Grumman, a senior official told Reuters Sept. 26.

Watchdog faults U.S. Navy approach to building unmanned carrier planes -

The Government Accountability Office Sept. 26 faulted the U.S. navy’s plan to spend $3.7 billion to develop, build and field a new unmanned carrier-based warplane without subjecting the program to a rigorous review until 2020.

The Pentagon’s biggest, baddest – and costliest – piece of hardware ever -

When the USS Gerald R. Ford is finally christened, the massive aircraft carrier will be the biggest and baddest piece of Pentagon hardware ever built – and the most expensive.

Golden Hammer: Army gun shopping spree came up empty -

Move over, shopping addicts, you’ve got nothing on Uncle Sam. In the latest example of wasted tax dollars, the Pentagon spent a whopping $14 million to go shopping for semi-automatic rifles that the Army now acknowledges it doesn’t need or want.

 

Space:

Scientists unravel the mystery of the supermassive black hole at center of our galaxy -

The mystery as to why our galaxy’s supermassive black hole is dormant has stumped scientists for decades. But new evidence suggests that the ‘sleeping dragon’ was in fact active at some point- we just weren’t around to see it.

Mars water surprise in Curiosity rover soil samples -

There is a surprising amount of water bound up in the soil of Mars, according to an analysis done onboard the U.S. space agency’s (NASA) Curiosity rover. When it heated a small pinch of dirt scooped up from the ground, the most abundant vapor detected was H2O.

China to launch space station by 2023 -

China expects to complete its first orbiting space station within a decade. The station, in low-Earth orbit, will be able to support six crew on short-term missions and three for long-term stays.

 

International:

U.S. sanctioned Chinese firm wins Turkey missile defense system tender -

NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese firm that has been sanctioned by Washington to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defense system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S. and European firms.

Iraqi interpreters feel frightened and ‘fooled’ as U.S. visa program ends -

As a U.S. visa program for Iraqi interpreters nears its end Sept. 30, one of those former military aides fears that he — as well as thousands others like him — will be left behind to face the wrath of insurgents who view him as a traitor amid intensifying sectarian combat in Iraq.

United Kingdom: ‘We must make war more acceptable’ -

Repatriation ceremonies for the remains of dead soldiers should have a lower profile in order to make war more palatable to the British public, according to a report for the Ministry of Defence. It examines how to sway ‘casualty averse’ public opinion, a situation commonly known as ‘body bag syndrome’, and was published by the MoD’s strategy formulation unit.

United Kingdom: MPs ‘unconvinced’ by SNP defence plan for independent Scotland -

The Commons defense select committee said it was “unconvinced” the proposed budget of £2.5 billion can support new Scottish armed forces and the purchase of equipment including fast jets and submarines. Planes for a Scottish air force could cost up to £1.7 billion alone, the report found, while the SNP’s planned fleet of non-nuclear submarines could only be bought abroad “at considerable cost and risk.”

U.K. to host NATO annual summit next year -

The United Kingdom is to host the annual summit of NATO members next year, for the first time since 1990, No 10 has announced. Margaret Thatcher was the last British prime minister to host the event, previously held in the U.K. in 1977.




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Headlines October 1, 2014

Veterans: Substantial VA staff will face discipline - A substantial number of VA employees will face punishment for the veterans treatment scandal, the new national commander of the American Legion predicted Sept. 30, indicating that the slow pace of discipline has more to do with the hoops the department must jump through than it does a...
 
 

News Briefs October 1, 2014

Egypt president gives army control of arms imports The Egyptian president has amended a law, giving the country’s army control over weapons and ammunition imports. The Sept. 30 statement from the presidency says Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi changed articles stipulating that a permit for weapons’ imports has to be granted by the Interior Ministry, which is in...
 
 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 

 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 

Headlines September 26, 2014

News: F-35 jet combat ready next year, new Israeli order close - The first version of the F-35 fighter jet will be combat ready by mid-2015, despite an engine failure which still needs a fix, and Israel could sign a deal within months to buy more of the aircraft, program officials said Sept. 25.   Business:...
 
 

News Briefs September 26, 2014

Navy suspends most nuclear work at Virginia shipyard Two safety violations by civilian workers have prompted the Navy to suspend most nuclear work at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The suspension of work on Sept. 13 affects the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the submarines USS Maryland and USS Albany, The Virginian-Pilot reported. On...
 




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