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March 10, 2014

News Briefs March 10, 2014

Pilot killed in fighter jet crash is identified

The military pilot killed in a fighter jet crash during a training exercise in Nevada has been identified as Marine Capt. Reid Nannen.

Marine Aircraft Group 12 released the 32-year-old pilot’s name March 8.

Nannen died when the F/A-18C went down March 1 on a Navy range training complex east of Naval Air Station Fallon. The Marine jet was on loan to the naval station.

The Hopedale, Ill., native was a student at the TopGun school there.

Nannen’s permanent assignment was at the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan, and he had twice deployed to Afghanistan during his 10-year career.

Nannen was survived by his wife, Sarah, and their four children.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. AP

Ohio inmates mount tribute to military veterans

Inmates and staff have put up murals and military paraphernalia at a southern Ohio prison to create what they call a Veterans Corridor in tribute to people who served in the U.S. military.

The Portsmouth Daily Times reports wall murals at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville include a depiction of a tank in a fiery scene and a calmer image of George Washington kneeling in prayer next to a horse.

Those murals were created by inmate Mike Shane, who says the artwork keeps him focused and out of trouble.

Corrections Officer Darren Mustard says the tribute corridor created by Shane and other inmates and staff includes flags and military patches along the walls.

It’s getting some attention from veterans, including a local group that recently toured it. AP

Israel: 40 rockets in alleged Iranian shipment

Israel’s military said March 8 that a cargo ship it intercepted in the Red Sea last week carried 40 rockets with a range of up to 100 miles.

Israel has alleged the shipment was orchestrated by Iran and was intended for Islamic militants in Gaza, a claim denied by Iran and the rockets’ purported recipients.

An Egyptian security official said March 8 the rockets also might have been intended for militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, which borders Gaza. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief reporters.

Neither Israel nor Egypt provided evidence for their claims. Questions remain, including how the rockets would have been smuggled into Gaza, largely cut off from the world by a border blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt.

Israel’s government has used the interception to bolster claims that Iran remains dangerous and that the world powers should break off negotiations with Tehran over the country’s nuclear program. AP

Activists say 50 Israelis refuse army service

Activists say a group of some 50 Israeli youths have sent Israel’s prime minister a petition refusing to enlist for compulsory military service to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, the largest such group of objectors since 2001.

Dafna Rothstein Landman, a petitioner, says the objectors are draft age or beginning the conscription process. She said the group was not affiliated with any organization.

Shimri Zameret of Yesh Gvul, a group that supports conscientious objectors, said about three objectors are currently in jail and some seven more are set to serve jail time this year.

The military had no immediate comment.

Military service is required for Jewish Israelis, but thousands get exemptions for religious and health reasons. Some are exempted for pacifism, but ideological objectors often face jail time. AP

Russia may halt U.S. inspections over sanctions

Russia is considering a freeze of U.S. military inspections under arms control treaties in retaliation to Washington’s decision to halt military cooperation with Russia, news reports said March 8.

Russian news agencies carried a statement by an unidentified Defense Ministry official saying that Moscow sees the U.S. move as a reason to suspend U.S. inspections in Russia in line with the 2010 New START treaty on cutting U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and the 2011 Vienna agreement that envisages mutual inspections of Russian and NATO military facilities as part of confidence-building measures.

A Defense Ministry spokesman wouldn’t comment on the reports, which are a usual way in Russia to carry unofficial government signals.

The U.S. and the European Union have introduced sanctions over Russia in response to its move to send troops that have taken control of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. AP

China defiant on territory claims, demands respect

China will never make concessions in territorial disputes with its neighbors, while good relations with the U.S. depend on Washington respecting Beijing’s sovereignty claims, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said March 8.

Sounding a defiant note in his first national news conference since taking office a year ago, Wang touched on disputes with Japan, the Philippines and others that have sharpened tensions in the Asia Pacific.

China has used its coast guard to assert its claim to the entire South China Sea and its island groups and has regularly confronted Japanese patrol boats surrounding a string of uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

We will never bully smaller counties, yet we will never accept unreasonable demands from smaller countries, Wang told reporters at a briefing on the sidelines of the weeklong session of the National People’s Congress, China’s ceremonial legislature.

On issues of territory and sovereignty, China’s position is firm and clear: We will not take anything that is not ours, but we will defend every inch of territory that belongs to us, Wang said.

While relations with the U.S. have generally been good by comparison, Wang indicated that Beijing still felt slighted by U.S. criticism of its human rights record. AP




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