Headlines – March 23, 2018

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Pentagon used taxpayer money meant for masks and swabs to make jet engine parts and body armor-
Shortly after Congress passed the Cares Act, the Pentagon began directing pandemic-related money to defense contractors.
 
As Afghanistan peace talks stutter, U.S. says violence levels too high-
The level of violence in Afghanistan is unacceptably high and the United States expects further setbacks during talks, the Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Sept. 22, as the Afghan government and Taliban remained far apart on even basic issues 10 days into talks meant to end two decades of war.
 
U.S. scrambles to do nuclear deal with Russia before election, issuing ultimatum-
Frustration is mounting inside the Trump administration as Russia gives little indication of whether it will agree to an arms control deal before President Trump faces reelection, according to senior U.S. administration officials, who are trying to secure the deal.
 
 

Business

U.S., UAE eye December goal to agree on F-35 deal-
The United States and the United Arab Emirates hope to have an initial agreement on the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf state in place by December, as the Trump administration studies how to structure a deal without running afoul of Israel.
 
U.S. Army grounds upgraded Boeing copters on inspection doubts-
The U.S. Army has grounded 12 upgraded Apache AH-64 helicopters while it conducts a review of quality procedures at a Boeing plant after the contractor alerted the service to improperly performed inspections, according to officials.
 
Cash-strapped Britain eyes shrinking its order of new early-warning planes-
Britain is poised to cut an order for Boeing E-7 Wedgetails, with the airborne early warning and control aircraft possibly becoming the first confirmed victim of the government’s upcoming integrated defense review.
 
Lockheed Martin teams with Vigor for Navy’s LUSV study-
As prime contractor, Lockheed Martin will manage the program, deliver platform integration, systems engineering, combat management, automation and cyber solutions, Lockheed Martin said in a Sept. 17 release.
 
BAE shipyard sues Navy over extra work on USS Bataan-
BAE Systems’ Norfolk, Va., shipyard is suing the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, claiming the yard is owed nearly $1.1 million for work it did on USS Bataan.
 
 

Defense

Air Force moves to cancel contracts for training on ‘white privilege’-
The Air Force is taking the first steps toward canceling any contracts for diversity and unconscious bias training that include segments on white privilege and other controversial subjects, as called for by the White House.
 
Space Force, NASA focused on cislunar space in new agreement-
The U.S. Space Force has signed a new memorandum of understanding with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, laying out areas for collaboration between the main military and civilian space organizations within the U.S. government.
 
 

Veterans

House approves bill ordering VA to change gender-exclusive motto-
The House passed bipartisan legislation Sept. 22 to change the Department of Veterans Affairs motto to be more inclusive of women who served.
 
Senators push to extend care to 34,000 more veterans for Agent Orange diseases-
Senators have ramped up efforts to add three new diseases to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ list of Agent Orange-related diseases, pressing the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to include them in the final version of the national defense policy bill.
 
After nine-week decline, VA sees spike in COVID cases-
A steady decline in new coronavirus cases over nine weeks at the Department of Veterans Affairs came to an end last weekend, with the department seeing a 7 percent spike in new diagnoses across its health system, according to data released Sept. 21.
 
 
 

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