News Briefs – November 1, 2019

Collins Aerospace asked to sell Iowa-based business

Federal antitrust regulators reviewing the proposed merger of defense contractors United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon have requested that United Technologies unit Collins Aerospace sell its Cedar Rapids-based military GPS business.
The Gazette reports that the GPS business employs hundreds in Cedar Rapids.
In a Oct. 29 email, employees were notified that regulatory agencies asked the company to explore the divestiture of the Rockwell Collins operation “to satisfy certain competitive concerns.”
Phil Jasper with Collins Aerospace said in the email that the company has not yet determined a buyer or timing for a transaction.
Jasper says employees who might be affected will be notified this week.
Collins Aerospace, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., was created last year with the merger of UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins. AP

NATO chief lauds Ukraine’s weaponry pullback in the east

NATO’s chief has lauded Ukraine’s weaponry pullback in the east but has also called upon Russia to step up efforts to bring peace to the war-torn region.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Oct. 29 at the Black Sea port of Odessa that NATO welcomes Ukraine’s efforts to pull back heavy weapons in the east, the final hurdle before much-anticipated peace talksábetweenáthe leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany. The talks aim to put an end to a deadly conflict between government troops and Russia-backed separatists.
Stoltenberg, who visited four NATO vessels that stopped by Odessa during their Black Sea patrol, also said Russia has a “special responsibility” in the conflict and urged Moscow to “withdraw all their troops and their officers” from the area.
Russia has denied sending in troops to support the separatists. AP

Hungary nixes NATO statement on Ukraine due to minority spat

Hungary has vetoed a joint NATO statement about Ukraine because it didn’t mention the “deprivation of rights” of the Hungarian minority in the neighboring country.
At the same time, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto rejected criticism that Hungary’s relationship with Russia is too cozy or that Hungary advocates for “pragmatic relations” with the Russia because “we are Russian spies.”
Szijjarto said that such comments were “laughable insults on part of our Western friends.”
Hungary says that changes to Ukrainian education and language laws curtail minority rights and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government is also at odds with Ukraine because it rejects allowing ethnic Hungarians there to hold dual citizenship.
Szijjarto’s comments came before a visit to Budapest later Oct. 29 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP