News Briefs – July 18, 2016

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Federal appeals court rejects Navy sonar use rules

A federal appeals court says the U.S. Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar in the nation’s oceans that could harm whales and other marine life.
The court ruled in San Francisco July 15 that the National Marine Fisheries Services didn’t meet marine mammal protection requirements in 2012 when it granted the Navy permission to use low-frequency sonar in peacetime operations in the world’s oceans.
Environmental groups sued to challenge the approval.
Sonar, used to detect submarines, can injure whales, seals, dolphins and walruses and disrupt their feeding and mating.
The appellate court said it believes the Navy has tried to limit such harm, but it also said the 2012 permission didn’t give enough protection to some waters considered biologically important.
The matter now goes back to a lower court. AP
 

U.S. Military: Pentagon open to sending more troops to Iraq

The U.S. military says the Pentagon is open to sending additional troops to Iraq if needed to meet specific requirements of the Iraqi security forces as the fight against Islamic State militants continues.
Air Force Col. Pat Ryder, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said the military is keeping its options open. He says more troops may be needed as the battle for the key city of Mosul moves ahead. Any decision would require presidential approval.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in Iraq on July 11 that the U.S. will deploy 560 more troops to the war to help set up a logistics base at an airfield south of Mosul. That would bring the U.S. troop authorization in Iraq to 4,647.
Ryder says there currently are nearly 3,700 U.S. troops in Iraq. AP

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