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December 4, 2013

Headlines December 4, 2013

News

SpaceX launches SES commercial TV satellite for Asia

The U.S. SpaceX company has announced its intention to take a big slice of the market for launching the world’s TV and telecoms satellites. The California outfit has just launched a new platform for satellite operator SES to serve its growing customer base in India and South East Asia.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25210742

Business

Boeing tantalizes governors bidding for 777X production

Governors of more than a dozen states are rushing to offer incentives such as subsidized training and infrastructure to convince Boeing to move production of its new 777X jetliner out of Washington, where union members rejected a labor contract that froze pensions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-04/boeing-tantalizes-governors-bidding-for-777x-production.html

Companies, academics say budget cuts threaten U.S. competitiveness

Mandatory U.S. budget cuts known as sequestration are resulting in job losses across the country and threaten to undermine U.S. competitiveness in the global economy, industry executives and academics said Dec. 2, urging Congress to reverse the cuts.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/03/us-usa-fiscal-companies-idUSBRE9B203720131203

Defense

Air Force to base F-35 squadrons in Utah, Vermont

The Air Force will base the first operational F-35As at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and the first National Guard unit at Burlington International Airport, Vt., the service announced Dec. 3.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131203/NEWS04/312030017/Air-Force-base-F-35-squadrons-Utah-Vermont

Pentagon changes drone strike guidelines

The Pentagon has loosened its guidelines on avoiding civilian casualties during drone strikes, modifying instructions from requiring military personnel to ìensureî civilians are not targeted to encouraging service members to ìavoid targetingî civilians.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/3/pentagon-gives-more-room-for-deadly-error-in-drone/

U.S. army halts shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan

The U.S. military has halted its ground cargo shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan because of the risk to drivers after protests over U.S. drone strikes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25210710

Army generalís report defends decision to build $36 million headquarters in Afghanistan

This past summer, the Army began investigating why the military spent nearly $36†million to construct a well-appointed 64,000-square-foot headquarters in southwestern Afghanistan that commanders in the area did not want and has never been used.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/army-generals-report-defends-decision-to-build-36-million-headquarters-in-afghanistan/2013/12/03/5ed883e4-5c51-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html

Floating base to submarines idled by U.S. budget impasse

The U.S. Navy wants to buy a ship that serves as a floating base, an asset when allies wonít welcome U.S. troops on their turf or a natural disaster prevents operations ashore.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-03/floating-base-to-submarines-idled-by-u-s-budget-impasse.html

Veterans

Widow wages 23-year battle with VA for survivor benefits

A 68-year-old widow who has spent 23 years seeking veteransí survivor benefits will be a key witness Dec. 4 at a House hearing focusing on the Veterans Affairs Departmentís problems in handling complicated claims.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131203/NEWS/312030021/Widow-wages-23-year-battle-VA-survivor-benefits

One of the last of Easy Company stands down

Edward J ‘Babe’ Heffron, whose Second World War service as a member of the Army’s famed Easy Company was recounted in the book and TV miniseries Band Of Brothers, has died, aged 90. Heffron died Dec. 1 at Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, N.J., said his daughter, Patricia Zavrel.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2517842/World-War-II-veteran-Edward-Babe-Heffron-immortalized-Band-Brothers-dies-aged-90.html

Jesse Jackson and the U.S. airman shot down by Syria

Earlier this year, the U.S. was on the verge of launching air strikes against Syria, which would have meant U.S. air crew becoming targets for Syrian anti-aircraft fire – just as they were 30 years ago when Lt. Robert O Goodman was shot down over Lebanon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24081498

Space

Why China is fixated on the Moon

The Moon could be a “beautiful” source of minerals and energy, a top Chinese scientist has told the BBC. Exotic materials including helium-3 and the potential for solar power could prove invaluable for humankind, he says.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25141597

International

United Kingdom: Woman could one day run military, says top female officer

Britainís most senior female military officer has denied the U.K. is out of date for banning women from the front line, as she suggested a woman could one day head the Armed Forces.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10492793/Woman-could-one-day-run-military-says-top-female-officer.html

Chinese President Xi Jinping behind new defence zone

China’s new air defense zone appears to have been approved by President Xi Jinping, the culmination of more than a year of pressure by Beijing to weaken Japanís grip on disputed islands in the East China Sea, and by extension to expand Chinaís long-term access to the Western Pacific.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/chinese-president-xi-jinping-behind-new-defence-zone-20131203-hv40t.html

What China’s air defense zone means for travellers

China has sparked an increase in tensions with neighboring countries by establishing an air defense identification zone over waters and islands off its east coast also claimed by Japan and Taiwan. When it announced the zone Nov. 23, China’s Defense Ministry said aircraft entering the zone must identify themselves and report flight plans to its government.

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/what-chinas-air-defence-zone-means-for-travellers-20131204-2ypvx.html

Israel’s U.S. embassy must remain in Tel Aviv

Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, President Barack Obama suspended for another six months a law passed by Congress in 1995 that required the U.S. Embassy in Israel to be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem according to a White House statement Dec. 3.

http://www.newsmaxworld.com/GlobalTalk/israel-obama-embassy-telaviv/2013/12/04/id/539849

Viewpoint

Obamaís one-war posture invites two

The latest manifestation of President Obamaís serial national security fraud is on display at the moment in East Asia. For much of his presidency, Mr. Obama has contended that the defense budget could be dramatically reduced because, henceforth, the United States would only need sufficient military capability to fight one war at a time.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/3/gaffney-obamas-one-war-posture-invites-two/




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Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

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