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April 4, 2014

News Briefs April 4, 2014

Missing Korean War veteran’s remains return to Kentucky

Army Cpl. William F. Day was reported missing in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. Nearly 64 years later, his remains have been brought home to Kentucky.

The Paducah Sun reports Day’s daughter, Gloria Shonrock, was only four years old when her father went missing.

She began searching in earnest for information about Day in 1992. His remains were eventually found among boxes of remains given to the U.S. by North Korea in the early 1990s.

DNA provided by Shonrock and her father’s niece helped with the identification.

Day’s remains flew to Nashville April 2, where Shonrock, her husband and other family members met them and accompanied them to La Center. Day will be buried next to his mother on Monday in a service with full military honors. AP

China’s top brass in show of support for president

China’s top generals have issued an unusually lavish declaration of support for President Xi Jinping as he moves to consolidate his power with a crackdown on corruption in the military.

The commanders of the military’s 15 most powerful departments wrote articles published April 3 in a special edition of the People’s Liberation Army Daily expressing their understanding of Xi’s thoughts about defense and military reforms.

Such declarations usually contain little in substance but are important in showing support for a leader’s policies. State media and experts on China’s military said the articles were the most extensive since the abandonment of dogmatic Marxism in the late 1970s.

Xi has ordered audits of military units to check for abuses, as well as the court-martialing of a top general on corruption and other charges. AP

Maine wants recognition of Agent Orange exposure

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill calling on the federal government to recognize disabilities suffered by Maine soldiers who were exposed to Agent Orange at a military base in Canada.

The bill signed April 2, sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Tuttle, focuses on potential exposure by Maine Army National Guard members at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. Fields at the base were sprayed sometime in the 1960s with chemical herbicides, including a small amount of Agent Orange, a Vietnam War-era chemical defoliant linked to cancer and birth defects.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine have also proposed legislation calling on the federal government to investigate whether some veterans’ health problems are linked to herbicide. AP

NATO general: Russians capable of quick strike

The American general who commands all NATO forces in Europe says Russia has 40,000 troops along the border with neighboring Ukraine, and that they are capable of attacking by land and air on 12 hours’ notice.

In remarks to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Reuters news agency, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said that despite Russian claims it was beginning to withdraw troops, it is not yet apparent that any significant number are leaving the border area.

Breedlove statements were confirmed April 2 by a U.S. defense official in Brussels who is familiar with the general’s comments.

According to the official, Breedlove said the Russian force is well-equipped and capable of achieving Russian military objectives in Ukraine or beyond within three to five days. AP

Lockheed adds 200 jobs in Orlando

Lockheed Martin is adding 200 jobs to its Orlando operations.

The company announced this week it was adding the jobs to its Mission Systems and Training facility in Orlando. The company already employs about 7,000 workers in central Florida.

The new jobs will focus on training and logistics advancements for three fighter jet programs. AP

$13 million cleanup set for polluted Syracuse-area stream

A $13 million cleanup project is set for a Syracuse, N.Y.,-area stream polluted for decades by a former General Electric plant now owned by Lockheed Martin.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the voluntary cleanup will involve the removal of tons of soil and sediment along a stretch of Bloody Brook between the Thruway and Onondaga Lake in the town of Salina.

Tests have shown cadmium concentrations along the brook’s west branch. Cadmium can cause kidney damage if swallowed.

The site contamination is believed to have resulted from discharges from Electronic Park, owned by GE from 1949 and 1993. The site was transferred to Martin Marietta, the predecessor to Lockheed Martin.

GE used cadmium in the manufacturing of television picture tubes. AP

Air, space artifacts to get new display in D.C.

The most iconic artifacts of aviation and space history are getting an updated display for the 21st century.

For the first time since its 1976 opening, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum plans to overhaul its central exhibition showing the milestones of flight.

Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” John Glenn’s Mercury capsule from his first orbit and an Apollo Lunar Module recalling America’s first moon landing will be among the key pieces featured.

The extensive renovation through 2016 will be funded by the largest corporate donation in the Smithsonian’s history. April 3, Boeing is announcing a $30 million gift to the museum.

Curators at the nation’s most-visited museum plan to reimagine the exhibit with more stories and digital interaction. AP




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Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

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