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March 7, 2014

Headlines – March 7, 2014

News:

DOD proposes revolutionary changes in retirement benefits -

After years of silence on the intensely controversial issue of military retirement reform, the Pentagon on Thursday unveiled a detailed proposal for fundamental, far-reaching changes to the current pension system, Military Times has learned. 

Senate rejects overhaul of military’s handling of sexual assaults -

The Senate agreed March 6 to begin debating a proposal to better protect victims of sexual assault in the military, but rejected broader changes that would have turned prosecution decisions over to an independent military lawyer. 

U.S. navy tasks destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions -

The United States has ordered a dozen F-16 fighter jets to Poland and a guided-missile destroyer to the Black Sea in moves that are being billed as ‘scheduled’ deployments – but that nonetheless come amid heightening tensions in the region.

 

Business:

Singapore inks six-plane deal with Airbus -

Singapore has finally confirmed it has signed an agreement to purchase six A330 MRTT multi-role tanker transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space. 

Rolls-Royce faces U.S. corruption probe -

British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed March 6 that it is facing a corruption probe in the United States as well as Britain. “The group is currently under investigation by law enforcement agencies, primarily the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Department of Justice,” the company said in its annual report. 

Bombardier freezes salaries for 38,000 as profits lag -

Bombardier, whose Cseries jet is weighing on profits, is freezing salaries for about 38,000 nonunion workers in its aerospace and transportation units worldwide as well as the head office.

 

Defense:

Air Force general: ‘Of course’ bomber will be more than $550 million per copy -

The U.S. Air Force’s top military acquisition officer expects the cost of the new long-range strike bomber to exceed an expected per-unit cost limit — but indicated that has been part of the planning process.

Extra $115 billion does not fund carrier, troops -

Last week, top US defense officials told Congress that if the Pentagon were allowed to bust its budget caps, it would save one aircraft carrier and tens of thousands of troop billets slated for elimination. But DOD’s new spending request — which stays under the cap for 2015 but exceeds the 2016-19 caps by a total of $115 billion — contains no money for the carrier and extra troops, according to a senior DOD official.

 

Veterans:

Post-9/11 vet unemployment rate jumps to 9.2 percent -

The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans jumped in February, nearly erasing the gains of a few months ago, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. 

Researchers link Iraq dust with some vets’ lung problems -

Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have coined the term “Iraq-Afghanistan war lung injury” to describe respiratory symptoms developed by some veterans — and they have duplicated the problem in mice, using dust from Camp Victory in Baghdad.

 

Space:

Israeli scientists shoot for moon with dishwasher-sized spacecraft -

It’s only the size of a dishwasher and weighs as much as giant panda, but its inventors are hoping this spacecraft will go where no other Israeli vessel has gone before – to the moon. Working on a shoestring budget, the Israeli scientists and engineers building the shuttle – temporarily named “Sparrow” – believe it will land on the moon by the end of 2015, a feat only the United States, Russia and China have managed so far. 

Mysterious meteorites on Earth came from big Mars impact five million years ago -

A huge meteorite impact on Mars five million years ago blasted toward Earth many of the rocks that scientists scrutinize to learn more about the Red Planet, a new study reveals. The cosmic crash left a 34-mile-wide (55 kilometers) gouge on Mars called Mojave Crater and is the source of all “shergottite” or igneous rock Martian meteorites found on Earth, researchers say. Examining the crater and the meteorites also led to new revelations about how old the rocks are.

 

Technology:

From runway to orbit: European plane that will take passengers into space -

A European project could soon offer anyone with €200,000 (£120,000) the opportunity to soar over 100 km into space. Astrium has announced plans to test its prototype spaceplane at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) over Singapore in May.

 

International:

Putin has transformed Russian army into lean, mean fighting machine -

President Vladimir Putin has turned a once-moribund Russian military into a lean, quick-strike force that can invade Chechnya, Georgia and now Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. 

Diplomatic row among Gulf nations complicates U.S. weapons sales -

A diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar could pose problems for US foreign policy in the Arabian Gulf, according to analysts. 

Philippines to upgrade navy base facing disputed waters -

The Philippines is to upgrade a navy base facing disputed South China Sea waters to serve the extra ships being acquired to protect its territory, the military said March 6. 

Kosovo to create own army to ‘protect sovereignty’ -

Kosovo’s government proposed March 6 creating a 5,000-strong army to “protect sovereignty” of the ethnic Albanian territory, six years after it seceded from Serbia.

New U.K. naval helo to wait until 2020 for planned missiles -

Two missiles planned to equip a fleet of new Royal Navy helicopters due to become operational next year won’t enter service until the next decade, Britain’s Ministry of Defence has admitted.




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Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 

Lockheed to settle suit over retirement accounts

Lockheed Martin agreed Dec. 16 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the aerospace and defense behemoth of mismanaging the investment accounts of its employees and retirees, charging the investors high fees along the way. The tentative deal announced in federal court in Illinois’ East St. Louis averted an anticipated four-week trial in the 8-year-old...
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

Headlines December 15, 2014

News: Defense authorization bill heads to White House - Senate lawmakers finalized work on the $584.2 billion annual defense authorization bill Dec .12, putting in place a 1 percent pay raise for troops starting in January and limiting growth in housing allowance rates. Senators make final push for vets suicide-prevention bill - An effort to get a...
 
 

News Briefs December 15, 2014

Official: Afghan insurgents kill two U.S. troops An international military official has told The Associated Press that an insurgent attack on a convoy in eastern Afghanistan has killed two U.S. troops. The official says the attack happened by the Bagram air base in Parwan province near the capital, Kabul, late Dec. 12. The official spoke...
 




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