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October 11, 2013

Headlines October 11, 2013

News

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service said Oct. 10 that a special military play bill signed by President Obama on Sept. 30 can be used to pay the death gratuity to families of fallen heroes. The Pentagon has argued otherwise. It has refused to pay the $100,000 to the survivors of six service members killed in action, saying the Pay Our Military Act does not authorize it.

Obama signs Military Death Benefit Bill Congress passed

President Barack Obama signed legislation to resume paying death benefits to the families of U.S. military personnel that Congress passed after the aid had lapsed because of the government shutdown.

U.S. general overseeing nuclear missiles to be fired

The two-star U.S. general in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s arsenal of intercontinental missiles will be fired due to a “loss of trust and confidence.”

 

Business

Pentagon stops development of BAE Systems F-35 helmet

The Pentagon’s program officer for the F-35 fighter jet has decided to stop development of a backup helmet by BAE Systems that was in the works as DOD sought improvements in Rockwell Collins’ primary headpiece, according to a statement to Congress.

Chemring drops as shutdown adds to pound hurting earnings

Chemring Group Plc, a U.K. supplier of countermeasures for combat jets, fell the most in 16 years after saying global political turmoil, currency shifts and production snags will reduce earnings this year and next.

Federal contractors stuck in bottleneck by U.S. shutdown

The U.S. government shutdown has created a bottleneck in contracting that may hurt companies long after federal offices open and the debt ceiling dispute is resolved.

Export snags highlight growing economic risk of U.S. shutdown

The partial U.S. government shutdown is frustrating at least one major Canadian exporter, even though the border is officially open for business, a situation that threatens to spread if the feud in Washington doesn’t abate.

 

Defense

Lawmakers ask Pentagon why 5 percent of Defense workers still on furlough

House lawmakers demanded to know Thursday why the Pentagon still hasn’t put all its civilian employees back to work after Congress passed the Pay Our Military Act last week, which Congress said was designed to get the Defense Department running again.

Testing finds minor cracks in Marine F-35 bulkheads

Ground testing of the most complex version of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet has uncovered two small cracks the Pentagon describes as minor, according to a statement to Congressional staff.

No. 2 at Pentagon, Ashton Carter, stepping down as deputy defense secretary

Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s second-in-command, said Oct. 10 he will step down in December, having served for two years under two secretaries of defense. In a written statement, Carter, 59, said he had long ago set December as his intended departure but delayed his announcement because of the government’s budget impasse.

McCain says he’ll seek to delay Littoral Combat Ship purchases

U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., said he plans to propose as slowdown in purchases of the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, citing a Government Accountability Office report that said the Pentagon is buying vessels faster than it can test their design and performance.

Revealed: How Pentagon faked repatriation of fallen soldiers

For seven years, the Department of Defense has faked repatriations where military personnel carry honored dead soldiers off of planes as part of their ceremonial return to the United States. While the Pentagon insists the coffins indeed contain the remains of MIA soldiers returned to America from foreign wars, it now admits that the Hawaii arrival ceremonies often attended by a tearful audience aren’t actually arrivals at all.

 

Space

Diamond rain may shower Jupiter, Saturn, new research suggests

Forget cats and dogs. On Jupiter and Saturn, it may rain diamonds. Two planetary scientists suggested the shiny idea this week at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences.

Jupiter-bound spacecraft, Juno, suffers glitch after Earth flyby

NASA’s Jupiter-bound spacecraft hit a snag Oct. 9 soon after it used Earth as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system, but mission managers said it’s on course to arrive at the giant planet in 2016.

Dead star eats water-rich asteroid

Astronomers have detected the tell-tale signs of a shattered asteroid being eaten by a dead star, or white dwarf. The Hubble telescope spotted the event some 150 light-years from Earth.

The loneliest planet: Riddle of world found floating through space without a star

An international team of astronomers has discovered a large planet floating freely through space with no star to orbit. Planets traditionally travel in a uniform, singular direction, around a star. However, the free-floating planet, named PSO J318.5-22, has been found without a host.

Rise of the DIY satellite

Space exploration is no longer the preserve of huge agencies who can spend up to £280 million on a single satellite launch. Now amateur engineers – working in bedrooms, basements and garages – have the chance to launch their probes into space for just £12,000.

 

Technology

‘Iron Man’ suits for Special Forces? High-tech armor request includes super strength

Has the head of U.S. Special Operation Command just requested armor that Marvel’s Iron Man would be proud of? Yes, according to the military website Defense Tech.

 

International

In Afghanistan, U.S. losing patience as deadline for long-term deal nears

During a testy video conference in June, President Obama drew a line in the sand for Afghan President Hamid Karzai. If there was no agreement by Oct. 31 on the terms for keeping a residual U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Obama warned him, the United States would withdraw all of its troops at the end of 2014.

Australia: World War II files on torture censored

Names of collaborators, records of torture and murder, and secret burial sites of victims of war crimes – they are the World War II files that have been deemed too gruesome for Australians to know about. Researchers this week revealed to Fairfax Media scores of World War II files that appear to have been censored over the past 20 years by the Australian Archives.

China: Xi Jinping’s graft purge sets sights on China’s military

The biggest corruption case in Chinese military history is being prepared for trial, as President Xi Jinping extends his anti-corruption campaign into the secretive People’s Liberation Army. The value and range of the assets alleged to be involved in the case of disgraced lieutenant-general Gu Junshan could be staggering, according to a source with ties to senior military figures.

Canada: Military targets waste, inefficiency in redeploying funds

In 2005 the enemy was the Taliban, but now the Canadian Armed Forces have slapped a target on a fresh adversary: waste and inefficiency.

South Korea: ROK launches joint maritime drills with U.S., Japan

South Korea’s Defense Ministry said Oct. 10 that its naval forces launched a joint maritime drill with the United States and Japan in waters off the Korean Peninsula amid mounting tensions with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

 

People

Scott Carpenter: Second American to orbit Earth dies at 88

Godspeed, Scott Carpenter. The United States’ fourth astronaut to fly in space and the second to orbit the Earth, Scott Carpenter, 88, died Oct. 10 after suffering a recent stroke.

 

Viewpoint

After the shutdown, don’t exempt the Pentagon

The fairest and quickest way to end America’s short-term budget crisis is to pass a continuing resolution that funds the government, and to lift the debt ceiling so the government can borrow to pay the bills it has already incurred, with no strings attached.




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Headlines April 11, 2014

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News Briefs April 11, 2014

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News Briefs April 9, 2014

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