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June 11, 2014

News Briefs June 11, 2014

Environmental agency criticize Kirtland proposal

New Mexico environmental regulators are criticizing Kirtland Air Force Base’s proposal for cleaning up a massive underground fuel leak, saying it would threaten Albuquerque’s water supply.

Kirtland’s plan centers on using a Kirtland water well to remove fuel-contaminated groundwater to keep it away from a neighborhood where municipal drinking wells are located. The contaminated water then would be treated to meet drinking water standards.

However, the Albuquerque Journal reports that the state Environment Department concluded in a letter that the proposed strategy would help spread the contamination toward the municipal water supply.

A consultant for the metro area’s water authority said the Kirtland proposal wouldn’t succeed because it wouldn’t remove enough water to divert the main flow of contamination. AP

 

Eurofighter jet crashes near Spanish air base

The Spanish Defense Ministry says an air force combat jet crashed just before a planned landing at a base in southern Spain, killing the pilot.

Ministry spokesman Miguel Morer said the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft went down June 9 at the end of a routine practice flight at the Moron de la Frontera base near Seville.

The ministry said in a tweet that the pilot, Capt. Fernando Lluna Carrascosa, died in the crash close to the end of a runway.

The ministry said the cause of the accident was being investigated. AP

 

United Arab Emirates mandates military service

The United Arab Emirates has issued a law requiring compulsory military service for adult males, formalizing a proposal outlined earlier in the year to bolster the ranks of the U.S.-allied Gulf federation’s armed forces.

The official state news agency WAM announced the move June 7, saying the law “aims to instill values of loyalty and sacrifice in the hearts of the citizens.”

The legislation requires male high school graduates between the ages of 18 and 30 to serve nine months. Those without a high school diploma must serve two years. Military service for Emirati women will be voluntary.

The seven-state federation, formed in 1971 after decades under British protection, has been spared the political unrest that has roiled much of the Middle East in recent years.

It has longstanding cultural and trade links to Iran but nonetheless remains wary of its powerful neighbor, which boasts a larger military and possesses significant stockpiles of missiles in range of the Emirates. Both countries claim sovereignty over three islands in the Persian Gulf that are occupied by Iran.

The UAE military currently has an estimated 51,000 active-duty personnel, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Emirati citizens are vastly outnumbered by foreign guest workers in their own country, and the UAE military and police forces include foreigners in their ranks. The country’s leaders have taken steps to get more nationals into public and private-sector jobs, including in the military.

In recent years, UAE troops have joined the NATO-led mission to Afghanistan and provided humanitarian relief to Pakistan. AP

 




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NASA photograph by Brian Tietz

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navy-china

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