A Pakistani helicopter has crash-landed in the central Logar province of Afghanistan earlier today, the provincial council officials said.
A member of the provincial council Dr. Abdul Wali Wakil said the helicopter crash-landed in the restive Azra district and all 6 on board were captured by the militants. ... [Khaama - 4/8/16]
A bodyguard of eastern Laghman Province's Provincial Council head was killed and eight others, including the head of the Provincial Council, were injured in an IED explosion in eastern Laghman province on Thursday morning, local officials said. ... [TOLO News - 4/8/16]
Foreign tourists attacked in West of Afghanistan, 4 wounded [Khaama - 4/8/16]
Former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai said in an interview this week that the efforts by international troops to help Afghan security forces regain territory taken by the Taliban was in fact doing more harm than any good. ... [TOLO News - 4/8/16]
A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a US citizen was killed and five other people were injured in a knife attack in central London.
Police believe the attack in Russell Square on Wednesday was "spontaneous", with victims "selected at random".
The woman who died was thought to be in her 60s. The injured people were from Britain, America, Israel and Australia.
Police arrested a 19-year-old Norwegian national of Somali origin.
They say there is no evidence of radicalisation. ... [BBC - 4/8/16]
The suicide rate among American veterans has increased by nearly a third since 2001, a bigger rise than in the wider population of the United States, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study released on Wednesday said. ... [Reuters - 3/8/16]
Will the Democrats fail the Khan family the way they failed Cindy Sheehan? [Slate - 2/8/16]
A video game that lets you torture Iraqi prisoners [Atlantic - 1/8/16]:
... Players also have to move captives around the prison camp, arranging them in cell blocks throughout the area.
Camp Bucca is best known for incubating the group of fighters who would go on to create ISIS: The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was held there for five years, where he likely forged many of the connections that make up the group’s network today. ...
Izadis in Iraq's Kurdistan region and across the world have held vigils to mark the second anniversary of Daesh massacre in the town of Sinjar, and call for the release of those still being kept as slaves.
Scores of people gathered at Sharafadeen Shrine on the outskirts of Sinjar northwest of Baghdad on Wednesday, calling for international help to bring perpetrators to justice and secure the freedom of some 3,770 women still in Daesh captivity. ... [Press TV - 4/8/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 4/8/16]
Syrian gay refugee Muhammed Wisam Sankari has been found dead in Yenikapı district of İstanbul.
Perpetrators of Sankari who was beheaded are yet to be caught.
Sankari who was threatened, kidnapped by a crowded group of men and raped earlier was trying to flee to another country for his life safety. ... [BIA News Desk - 4/8/16]
On Thursday a plastic boat carrying some 50 migrants sank off the coast of the Greek island of Lesvos, authorities are reporting.
The plastic boat carrying the migrants sank southeast of the island, where there are now two coast guard vessels and one navy vessel undertaking a search and rescue operations, authorities say.
Of the 50 migrants on the vessel, 2 people were thought to be missing at sea.
However, a few hours later, the 2 people were located and transferred safely to Mytilene.
In the past 24 hours, the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios have seen a total of 54 migrants arrive on the islands. ... [Greek Reporter - 4/8/16]
@MSF_Sea [4/8/16]: Welcome to #Catania! A cruise ship on one side and a rescue ship full of people seeking safe futures on the other.
Day 138 refugee protest, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [4/8/16]
Calling for anything less than CLOSING THE CAMPS AND RATIFYING OPCAT (as the media continue fetishing torture) is pathetic and shameful [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/8/16]:
Controversial spit masks [Guantanamo hoods] similar to those used on juvenile inmates in the Northern Territory have been deployed on [used to torture] asylum seekers in Australian immigration detention, and authorities reserve the right to use the equipment on children.
The revelation shows that contentious restraint methods are being used against vulnerable people in all types of Australian detention facilities, and are not limited to the NT youth justice system.
Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has called for a national monitoring system for all forms of detention, including scrutiny of restraint methods. ...
Hyde Park protester Ahmed Elomar freed from Goulburn prison after government appeal fails [Nine MSN - 4/8/16]
A man has been charged after allegedly slamming his car into a police station and threatening officers with a knife.
The Honda sedan was driven into the automated doors of the station on Wakefield Street, just before 1:30am, before reversing into a patrol car which had moved to block its exit.
The 38-year-old Kilkenny man, who was known to police, was promptly arrested at the scene.
Police said the incident was not terrorism related. [Nine MSN - 4/8/16]
Two years after Ms Dhu’s death, family calls for footage release and charges [New Matilda - 4/8/16]
A former Anglican altar boy has told a Royal Commission of four years of abuse at the hands of a priest code-named CKC.
A trial against the priest was discontinued soon after it started and the 55-year-old former altar-boy – given the pseudonym CKA – told how his family suffered abuse and death threats as a result of him taking action against CKC.
He said an elderly woman from the church spat on him and said he was "nothing but a troublemaker".
He said he had nails put in his tyres and could have died when he realised the car he was driving felt funny and he pulled over to find all of its rear wheel nuts had been loosened.
CKA named the person he believed responsible, a prominent lay figure in the Newcastle Anglican church. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/8/16]
Hearing told of abuse by Catholic Church members on Guam in 1950s [RNZI – 4/8/16]
Woman rushed to hospital after being hit by police car in Bankstown [Nine MSN - 4/8/16]
A woman has died in hospital following a serious traffic crash north of Brisbane on Monday. ... [Brisbane Times - 4/8/16]
Elderly man hit by car at Burleigh Heads, critical [MYGC - 4/8/16]
Woman killed in crash at Pacific Fair carpark, Gold Coast [MYGC - 3/8/16]
A man has died after the car he was driving failed to take a turn and hit a tyre barrier wall at racing circuit near Brisbane.
The accident occurred about 2.35pm on Wednesday at Queensland Raceway in Willowbank.
Paramedics treated the man in his 60s who died at the scene, say police. ... [Yahoo - 3/8/16]
... Three people escaped unharmed after a car went through the lounge room and out the other side of their home on Susan Court, Runcorn, around 1.30am Thursday.
Neighbours say it's the second time a car has crashed into that home, while similar incidents have happened at other houses in the street. ... [Yahoo - 4/8/16]
Two people have been injured in a multi-vehicle crash at Surfers Paradise this morning.
Emergency crews raced to the corner of Clifford Street and Surfers Paradise Boulevard around 9.30am after receiving reports four cars had collided.
Paramedics treated a man and woman, both aged in their 20s, at the scene before transporting them to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition. [MYGC - 2/8/16]
Lack of legal aid funding for domestic violence forcing women to drop cases: lawyers [ABC - 4/8/16]
The woman who died after being dumped outside Joondalup Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning was young mother-of-three, Petal Fairhead.
Ms Fairhead, 27, was pronounced dead shortly after being discovered outside the hospital's emergency unit at 3.15am. ... [WA Today - 4/8/16]
Wyndham Vale lake deaths: Mother accused of murdering three children denied bail [Nine MSN - 4/8/16]
A man has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly trying to shoot another man during an argument at a house north of Brisbane.
It's alleged the 37-year-old accused shot at the man, who was known to him, during an argument at a house in Warner about 12.50pm on Wednesday.
An emergency situation was declared and a number of streets around the house closed while police negotiators attempted to make contact with the alleged shooter, who turned out to no longer be inside the home.
He was later found at a nearby house and arrested. No one was injured during the incident. [Yahoo - 4/8/16]
Weapon used in Townsville hostel death [Yahoo - 3/8/16]
A 24-year-old Australian soldier is the latest person to be arrested in a police crackdown on Nimbin’s cannabis trade. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 4/8/16]
A sixth person has been charged over the murder of a Gold Coast father who vanished more than a year ago.
Homicide detectives arrested a 21-year-old man over the murder of Greg Dufty, 37, at a house in Nerang around 7.30am this morning.
He is the sixth man to be charged over the Gold Coast father’s murder.
Mr Dufty was last seen in Ashmore on July 6 last year.
His body has never been found, although detectives allege he was murdered over a drug debt. ... [MYGC - 3/8/16]
Cole Miller: Armstrong Renata pleads guilty over Fortitude Valley death [ABC - 3/8/16]
Raymond John Mead found guilty of murdering his stepdaughter at Logan property [ABC - 2/8/16]
Mystery surrounds man found with serious stab wound at Coomera [MYGC - 3/8/16]
A Brisbane man has been accused of preying on drunk young men, offering them lifts home but taking them to secluded sites where they were sexually assaulted.
The 48-year-old faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday over two sex attacks that are part of a wider investigation into a string of similar crimes dating back 10 years. ... [Yahoo - 3/8/16]
Two Queensland police officers under investigation, another charged with drink driving [Yahoo - 3/8/16]
A Queensland police officer who allegedly pulled a gun on a driver suspected of speeding near Longreach has lost his bid to avoid a trial. ... [ABC - 2/8/16]
Former Queensland police officer suffering PTSD unsuccessful in $1m lawsuit [ABC - 1/8/16]
Mount Isa Mines remains in the court system after charges against the company were adjourned on Wednesday.
Charges are connected to the death of cleaning subcontractor Jordan Richard Taurima.
Mr Taurima was 29-years-old when he died at the mine’s copper smelter on March 6, 2013.
A Department of Natural Resources and Mines statement published in June, 2014, alleged at the time that Mr Taurima died from a dislodged sump pipe.
The Glencore owned mining company faces three charges of failing to discharge a health and safety obligation.
Contractor Chelden Pty, which is connected to the same matter, faces two charges of failing to discharge a health and safety obligation.
These matters were first heard in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on Tuesday, June 10, 2014.
Both companies are listed for hearing in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on October 19. [North West Star - 4/8/16]
CFMEU raid Brisbane: AFP ordered to provide copies of documents seized to union [ABC - 4/8/16]
Bentley Park College tuberculosis diagnosis prompts screening [Brisbane Times - 4/8/16]
The Palaszczuk Government signed an agreement between Queensland and the US state of Nevada, in Brisbane today, to progress cooperation across key industries and opportunities.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval signed the Statement of Intent which acknowledges an ongoing commitment to work collaboratively in sectors of significance to both the Queensland and Nevada economies. ... [Queensland Government Media Release - 4/8/16]
Democrats complained Thursday about a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing about creating a proposed nuclear waste facility at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, saying it was a waste of time to discuss a proposal that has little local support and isn’t going anywhere.
Some Nevada Republicans, meanwhile, indicated a tepid willingness to negotiate. ... [Morning Consult - 7/7/16]
Missoula, Montana scored a major victory for community ownership of public resources when the state's supreme court ruled 5-2 on Tuesday that the city's use of its water system was "more necessary" than its use by a private company.
The city has been embroiled in a costly, years-long legal battle over control of its water supply.
Missoula previously argued it has the right to use its powers of eminent domain to purchase Mountain Water Co. from then-owner the Carlyle Group—which has since sold the water company to Canada-based Liberty Utility—an argument which the Missoula County District Court agreed with last June. ... [Common Dreams - 3/8/16]
Global software firm ThoughtWorks has lent its voice to the campaign against the Australian statistics body's move to retain names and addresses collected from this year's Census, calling on the ABS to reverse its decision immediately. ... [IT News - 4/8/16]
Australia submits names of officials in charge of refugee concentration camp on Manus Island to PNG Supreme Court - deliberations on bogus refugee exile process, and who is responsible for the illegally imprisoned men, will resume next Monday [PNG Loop - 4/8/16]:
The question on who is responsible for the running of the Manus Regional Processing Centre remains hanging in the Supreme Court of PNG after the court ruled its establishment was illegal and unconstitutional.
Parties in the case filed by former opposition leader, Belden Namah in 2013 returned to court today where the inquiry conducted by the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia continued.
The inquiry has been conducted to see if orders of April 26 are complied with. One of the orders was to have both PNG and Australian governments take necessary steps to cease the unconstitutional and illegal detention of Asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Names of two Australian officials in charge of the Australian Immigration in Manus were submitted to court today.
Persons currently in charge in Manus are Leonie Spooner, Manager Boader Force of Australian Immigration in Manus and Myles Hannah.
This was done after the court on Monday received statements from PNG’s Deputy Chief Migration Officer for Refugee Division Esther Gaegaming.
The next step now is for the court to identify who is actually responsible for the processing of the refugees held in Manus.
Lawyers representing Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato as well as the Chief Migration officer, Mataio Rabura, the state and over 600 ‘residents’ in Manus will return to court next Monday and present arguments on who is responsible for the centre, whether it’s PNG, Australia or both.
High Commissioner to PNG rubs Australian fascism in everyone's face [PNG Loop - 4/8/16]:
... Australian High Commission Minister, Counsellor Catherine Fitch, says PNG and Australian Government, together with the RPNGC, the Manus Provincial Administration, the Law and Justice Sector as well as the Manus community, have worked together on this project since its inception.
“The new provincial police headquarters and Lorengau Police Station will serve Manus communities for many years to come,” says Fitch.
Lorengau Police Commander says Australia's illegally detained political prisoners should be confined following waterfall tragedy [EMTV - 3/8/16]:
... [Kamil Hussain] resided at the detention centre at the Lombrum Naval Base with his wife and daughter and was released for the day on a recreational day-trip-pass.
Local police said the deceased was accompanied to the waterfall to swim by a group of fellow refugees who raised the alarm when he failed to return to the group after two hours.
Lorengau Provincial Police Commander, David Yapu, said police and locals conducted a search and the body was found underwater two hours later, caught between rocks.
He says, considering geography, it is questionable whether the deceased knew how to swim.
Yapu says it is believed the deceased died in a tragic drowning, however for lack of eyewitnesses of the actual drowning, police are treating it as a suspicious case and will conduct a thorough investigation.
He says the refugees are foreigners to the land and are unfamiliar with the locality, allowing them to roam freely on the island is a cause for concern as portrayed by the tragic incident.
He appealed to the responsible authorities to confine the refugees for their own safety, until an amicable agreement is reached. ...
... Bloodshed, terror, despair and fears
Trapped in limbo over three years ...
Day 83 of protest on Manus ... via @Mums4Refugees [4/8/16]
Australian government signals to the world they are liars and cheats [Huffington Post - 3/8/16]:
... Ben Lomai, a lawyer for some of the Manus detainees who is seeking compensation for the men's detention, claimed the Australian government was trying to drag out the legal proceedings for as long as possible.
"My clients are concerned it has been going on and on without any end to it," he told HuffPost Australia.
"From day one last year, when I filed [his case for compensation for the men], I sent all the documents to the Australian High Commission, and there has been no response from the government. As I understand it, they may claim immunity, that they can't be subject to another country's jurisdiction. This might be the case tomorrow, that they might claim immunity."
Lomai said the case was being advanced "piecemeal", as lawyers for the asylum seekers waited for responses.
"We don't know what happens next. The way things are going on, it will take a long while. We have two separate enforcement applications and that hasn't helped. Its very unfair on our clients. What more time do we require to resolve the matter? It will go on and on forever," he said.
"The Australian government must step up. That is the whole reason this has been tied up, because at the moment they're keeping their hands closed, they're delaying it. From my perspective as a lawyer for the asylum seekers, I'm blaming the Australian government, they're not coming up straight. The court has made a decision." ...
... Ms Thompson is the first staff member to publicly resign from Manus Island following a recent outbreak of violence [attack on refugees] which left one dead.
She was originally bought in to conduct refugee-assessment interviews and claims she was told to tell inmates their only option was resettlement in Papua New Guinea.
Ms Thompson said she knew their only option was indefinite detention, and so did they.
"I would not go back because there is no process, nothing for me to do, no process to assist people with - it's fake," she said.
"It's not designed as a processing facility, it's designed as an experiment in the active creation of horror to deter people from trying in the first place."
Ms Thompson told Dateline she was given a script to follow while conducting refugee assessments.
"We were informed that we were not to discuss resettlement, we were not to discuss third country options," she said.
"It was made very clear to us every day, sometimes even twice a day, under the threat of being removed from the island, we were not to talk about a third country, we were not to suggest there were any resettlement options, we were not to suggest they would be able to get off PNG," she said.
“We knew that this was ridiculous, but we were lying to people and we were told to keep that message going to keep it clear."
"What's not happening is any clarification on where they are going to end up."
@Mums4Refugees [3/8/16]: Day 137 protest on Nauru. ...
"WHAT'S HAPPENED TO HODAN?" @elahe_zivardar Monday 18th July day121- peaceful protest in Nauru
Why stopping people from seeking asylum is more than just wrong [Jesuit Refugee Service - 28/7/16]:
... What about the people who would have boarded boats headed for Australia, but have not done so because of its current policy of absolute deterrence?
Has a “stop the boats” policy resolved the global challenge of forced migration?
Evidence has emerged in a recent paper by Caroline Fleay and Lisa Hartley  that “Australian policies are having disturbing impacts beyond our borders.”
The authors describe how the Australian government’s direct collaboration with Sri Lankan security agencies has prevented the departure of people who are in fear of persecution and would like to seek asylum elsewhere.
The paper also outlines how the government’s policies restrict the ability of people seeking asylum to move beyond transit countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, and effectively warehouse them in countries that deny them access to health services, education, and the labour market; these people also have little to no prospect of resettlement.
Alarmingly, the paper cites community members in Malaysia who claim that, because the route to Australia has been blocked, “those seeking safety and protection from their home countries are now undertaking longer and more hazardous journeys to Europe.”
This troubling development points to an uncomfortable truth: all because people are not drowning on their way to Australia, this does not mean that they are not dying elsewhere.
The complacency in Australia about the fate of those who can no longer arrive here by boat can be summed up in the old adage: out of sight, out of mind. ...
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the 1997 settlement in Flores v. Reno—which governs the detention, treatment and release of immigrant children—covers both unaccompanied and accompanied minors.
This was a direct repudiation of the position the government took while defending its family detention policies in court.
The government argued that the Flores settlement applies only to unaccompanied minors.
However, documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation by the American Immigration Council, the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project, the National Immigration Law Center, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild suggest that the government was previously operating under the assumption that the settlement applies to all minors. ... [American Immigration Council - 3/8/16]
Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.
Samuel P. Huntington
Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres could cement himself as the ninth United Nations Secretary-General when the Security Council holds its second secret ballot on Friday, some diplomats said.
Although the candidates to be the first woman U.N. leader appear to have faded, other envoys say it remained too early to tell who might replace U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who will step down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms. ... [Reuters - 3/8/16]
Canada: First Nations judge to lead inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls [CBC - 3/8/16]
Teen couple shot to death on Whitefish First Nation to be buried side by side [CBC - 3/8/16]
Prison ministry claims services for released prisoners inadequate [Catholic Leader - 16/5/14]
... DAVE MARTIN, CATHOLIC PRISON MINISTRY: I think people would be shocked. I'm still shocked when I go in.
KAREN BERKMAN: David Martin is one of two authors of the report, visiting every Queensland prison and interviewing hundreds of inmates. The Report’s concerns about remedial programs are shared by other prison advocates. ... [ABC - 3 April, 2009]
... Returning to Australia in 1988, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Opposition Leader in Queensland, Wayne Goss.
He remained in that role when Goss was elected Premier in 1989, a position he held until 1992 when Goss appointed him Director-General of the Office of Cabinet. ...
The Northern Territory's chief minister wants to know if the Four Corners program on youth detention centre abuse was politically motivated and how many of the lawyers interviewed were Labor party members.
Adam Giles has also questioned whether several current Labor politicians should be serving given they were in power when much of the damning footage was filmed.
Meanwhile, a report led by Keith Hamburger, the former Director-General of Queensland's corrective services, on the entire NT prison system will be released next week. [HOT 100 - 29/7/16]
Keith Hamburger AM - Managing Director [Knowledge Consulting]:
... Keith, as Director-General of Corrective Services (1988 to 1997), led a major successful reform of the Queensland Prison System.
This success was demonstrated by Commonwealth Industry Commission reports showing Queensland to have, at the conclusion of Keith’s stewardship, the most cost-effective system of Corrections in Australia, including the lowest return to prison rate.
Keith has considerable expertise in the area of outsourcing of public services to the private sector, including issues relating to the separation of “purchaser” and “provider” roles, specification of deliverables and the auditing and monitoring of “provider” services.
Under Keith’s leadership Queensland Corrective Services became the first jurisdiction outside of the United States of America to successfully outsource the management of high security prisons to private sector correctional service providers.
Israel approves prison sentences for 'terrorists' as young as 12 [Middle East Eye - 3/8/16]
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday have arrested 18 Palestinians including minors in different locations in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem. ... [PNN - 3/8/16]
Chelsea Manning faces indefinite solitary confinement and extra prison time after suicide attempt [Democracy Now - 3/8/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [3/8/16]:
A local and international community's silence prevail towards the massacres committed by the government and coalition planes against the neighborhoods and civilians including Sinjik neighborhood massacre in Qai'm City west of Anbar yesterday in which 45 civilians -3 families-were killed most of them were women and children when coalition air force shelled the city and they usually announce that the raid target Islamic State ,and ignore the photos and videos showing dozens of killed and wounded women and children.........................................
Anbar: The government forces have arrested 4 women in Khalidiya Island under the pretext that they are families of Islamic State elements....
Baghdad: Militias attacked an employee at the parliament while he was passing through Baya' area south of Baghdad wounding him severely ....................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Sabe' Al-Bour area north of Baghdad resulted in two deaths and 8 injuries ..................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb attached to a car exploded while passing through Mashtal area east of Baghdad today morning killing a lawyer
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in a phone call on Wednesday discussed the importance of sustaining the fight against Islamic State and efforts to enhance Baghdad security, the White House said.
The leaders also discussed "the urgency of humanitarian and stabilization efforts for the Mosul campaign and the importance of mobilizing international support for those efforts," the White House said in a statement. [Reuters - 3/8/16]
Iraq war resisters who fled to Canada ask Justin Trudeau to allow them to stay [Guardian - 2/8/16]:
.. As Key seeks to describe the moment when he knew he had to desert the US army, he points an image that continues to haunt him from his eight-month stint in Iraq.
A smiling seven-year-old girl had begun approaching him daily while he was on patrol in Ramadi, asking for water and bread.
He couldn’t say no, handing over his army rations to her for weeks.
“Then one day the little girl comes running across the street with a smile on her face and her head exploded like a mushroom.”
She had been killed by a bullet, just 15ft from where Key was standing.
During a two-week break in the United States, he asked a military lawyer if there was any way to avoid returning to Iraq.
“He said, ‘Soldier, you’ve got two choices: you either get back on that plane and go to Iraq or you’re going to prison,’” Key told an audience in Winnipeg in 2009.
Key opted for a third way – packing his life into a U-Haul and fleeing with his wife and three kids.
After more than a year spent in hiding in Philadelphia, the family moved to Canada. ...
Russian defense ministry says terrorists block exit of civilians from eastern Aleppo [TASS - 3/8/16]
A Russian military source said on Wednesday that 7 civilians were killed while more than 20 others suffered suffocation cases in a terrorist attack by Nour Eddin Zinki terrorist movement with toxic gases on Salah al-Din neighborhood in Aleppo.
Head of the Russian coordination Center in Hmeimem, General Sergey Chivarkov added that the attack came from al-Sukkari neighborhood where Nour Eddin Zinki terrorist movement exists. [SANA - 3/8/16]
A citizen was killed and 7 others injured when terrorists of “Jaish al-Islam” fired rocket shells on Harasta Suburb in Damascus Countryside. ... [SANA - 3/8/16]
The US air force has declared an initial squadron of F-35 fighters jets ready for combat, marking a major milestone for a program dogged by serious cost overruns and delays that have infuriated US lawmakers and governments around the world that are buying the planes.
The $379bn program is the Pentagon’s largest weapons project.
The air force’s decision follows one by the US marines in July 2015 declaring a first squadron of the Lockheed Martin planes ready for combat.
The air force plans to buy a total of 1,763 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets in coming years, and to operate the largest F-35 fleet in the world.
Lockheed is building three models of the F-35 Lightning II for the US military and 10 countries that have ordered them: Britain, Australia, Norway, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Israel, South Korea and Japan. ... [Guardian - 3/8/16]
4 August 2016