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January 6, 2014

Headlines – January 6, 2014

News:

U.S. troops prevented from helping even as al Qaeda overruns Iraqi cities -

The U.S. has inserted 200 troops in Iraq since 2012, but they cannot directly help the Iraqi military repel a surge of al Qaeda fighters, even as the country succumbs to sectarian violence and insurgents claim control of two key cities. 

U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with Chinese-made parts -

The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concerns about China’s espionage and military buildup.

 

Business:

Boeing machinists agree to 777X contract on narrow vote -

Members of Boeing’s machinists union Jan. 3 voted by a slim margin to accept the company’s proposal of a long-term contract that will guarantee construction of a new long-range wide-body aircraft in the Puget Sound, Wash., region, in exchange for significant wage and retirement benefit concessions. 

Contractors should resolve to adapt in 2014 -

From shutdowns to changed buying methods, the federal contracting market is evolving. Smart contractors will not only face down these changes, but find the best ways to take advantage of them. 

Five provisions in the new defense policy legislation for contractors to watch -

With the military policy legislation known as the National Defense Authorization Act signed by the president over the holidays, contractors are looking for the changes that matter to them. We’ve singled out five measures that will be of interest to companies that work with the federal government.

 

Defense:

Pentagon looks for ways to weaponize 11,000 drones -

A recent report by the U.S. Defense Department highlights the Pentagon’s desire to adapt roughly 11,000 drones for “lightweight” precision guided weapons” for emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

No more imminent danger pay for 20 areas -

The Defense Department has removed 20 areas from its list of locations that qualify for imminent danger pay, effective June 1, potentially affecting tens of thousands of troops.

 

Veterans:

VA hospital’s release of delirious veteran latest in string of failures -

Doctors at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Puerto Rico released a patient who was suffering from delirium and barely able to function, ignoring evaluations by staff nurses, an investigation found — the latest in a string of high-profile incidents at the department’s medical facilities. 

Christmas controversy at VA hospitals -

Several incidents at Veterans Affairs medical centers over the holidays have prompted the House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman to question whether VA has violated the civil rights of veterans in its care.

 

Space:

Moon dust mystery solved with help of Apollo mission data -

A revisited trove of data from NASA’s Apollo missions more than 40 years ago is helping scientists answer a lingering lunar question: How fast does moon dust build up? 

Triple star system ‘can reveal secrets of gravity’ -

Astronomers have discovered a unique triple star system which could reveal the true nature of gravity. They found a pulsar with two white dwarfs all packed in a space smaller than Earth’s orbit of the Sun.




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Headlines August 1, 2014

News: Military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds - An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said July 31 that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats. Defense industry funds flow to contenders for key House chairmanships - Four of the top...
 
 

News Briefs August 1, 2014

China allows foreign reporters at news conference Foreign reporters are being allowed to attend China’s Defense Ministry briefings for the first time, marking a small milestone in the increasingly confident Chinese military’s efforts to project a more transparent image. Restrictions still apply and there is no sign of an improvement in the generally paltry amount...
 
 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late - Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 

 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 




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