In the news...

December 30, 2013

Headlines December 30, 2013

News:

Drones to take flight at six test sites chosen by FAA -

The U.S. approved drone test centers in six states, including New York, as the start of research efforts to eventually allow civilian unmanned aircraft widespread access to the nation’s airways.

Afghanistan war poll shows support falling to below Iraq, Vietnam levels -

More than 12 years after the United States invaded Afghanistan, support for the war is dipping below levels of support for American intervention in Iraq and Vietnam, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Dec. 30.

 

Defense:

Army’s ‘Pacific Pathways’ initiative sets up turf battle with Marines -

Approaching from the Hawaii coast, the mosquito-shaped helicopter buzzed around this guided-missile cruiser twice before swooping toward the landing pad. The Navy crew on the deck crouched, the helmeted faces betraying more than routine concern as the aircraft, flown by a pilot who had never before alighted upon a ship, hovered a foot off the tarmac and then set down with a thud.

Reagan sailors press on in radiation lawsuit -

A group of sailors who were aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan as it rendered aid in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan nearly three years ago are taking another shot at a lawsuit over the health problems they say they’ve suffered since their radiation exposure.

Afghanistan chaos seen after U.S. troop withdrawal, Post says -

A classified intelligence report predicts progress the U.S. and allies have made in Afghanistan during the last three years will deteriorate significantly by 2017 as American troop levels are drawn down, the Washington Post reported.

Pentagon sees 50 percent rise in reports of sexual assaults in 2013 -

The number of sexual assaults reported across the U.S. military rose by around 50 percent in the 2013 fiscal year compared with 2012, the Pentagon said Dec. 27.

 

Space:

Russia launches new Soyuz rocket -

Russia successfully launched an upgraded version of its Soviet-design Soyuz rocket Dec. 28, the Defence Ministry said, giving a boost to the country’s troubled space program.

NASA astronauts repair pump in rare spacewalk -

Two U.S. astronauts have successfully repaired a critical cooling system pump on the International Space Station, NASA says.

Brown dwarfs star system, WISE 1049-5319, may harbor nearby alien planet -

Astronomers have spotted signs of a possible exoplanet in a nearby system of twin failed stars. If confirmed, the alien world would be one of the closest to our sun ever found.

 

International:

Russia bullies Ukraine and pushes its claims to the North Pole, while Beijing beefs up naval patrols in the South China Sea and challenges U.S. allies on its borders. -

As the Obama administration attempts an ambitious reorientation of the nation’s strategic and diplomatic focus, two regional powerhouses and former Cold War adversaries are showing themselves increasingly keen to challenge Washington’s dominance on the world stage.

Feeling U.S. snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere -

Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.

 

Commentary:

The Chinese will win the 21st century space race -

This month, the Chinese government has been gloating. All it wanted for Christmas was for their lunar lander to make it successfully to the moon and deploy their rover. It got what it wanted and gleefully showed the world what it had done.




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