By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. missile defense system managed by Boeing Co on Sunday hit a simulated enemy missile over the Pacific in the first successful intercept test of the program since 2008, the U.S. Defense Department said. The intercept will help validate the troubled Boeing-run Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system which provides the sole U.S. defense against long-range ballistic missiles, and the Raytheon Co kill vehicle that separates from the rocket and hits an incoming warhead. "This is a very important step in our continuing efforts to improve and increase the reliability of our homeland ballistic missile defense system," said Missile Defense Agency (MDA)Director Vice Admiral James Syring. He said the agency would continue its ongoing drive to ensure that the ground-based interceptors and overall homeland defense system were effective and dependable. Reuters reported on Friday that the Pentagon is restructuring its $3.48 billion contract with Boeing for management of the missile defense system to put more emphasis on maintenance and reliability. Sunday's high-stakes test came after the system had failed to hit a dummy missile in five of eight previous tests since the Bush administration rushed to deploy the system in 2004 to counter growing threats by North Korea. Earlier this month, Syring said that another test failure would have forced the Pentagon to reassess its plans to add 14 more interceptors to the 30 already in silos in the ground in Alaska and California. During the test, a ground-based interceptor launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, hit a target built by Lockheed Martin Corp that was launched from the U.S. Army's Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, according to the Pentagon and Lockheed. Lockheed said the unarmed 45-foot (14-meter) target was configured to closely mirror the capabilities of ground-launched missiles that can travel 3,000 km to 5,000 km (1,800 to 3,400 miles). All components involved in the test appeared to have performed as designed, the Pentagon said. Program officials will spend the next several months assessing the performance of the system using telemetry and other data obtained during the test. The test marked the first successful intercept by Raytheon's Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle Capability Enhancement II, or EKV CE-II, which failed in both previous tests conducted in 2010. Jim Chilton, vice president of Boeing Strategic Missile & Defense Systems, demonstrated the system’s performance under "an expanded set of conditions that reflect real-world operational requirements." Boeing said the operational complexity of the GMD system was "a major engineering challenge." Raytheon underscored the importance of testing and said Sunday's successful intercept kept the United States on target to increase its interceptor inventory to 44 from 30 by 2017. Northrop Grumman Corp integrated data from U.S. missile warning satellites and sea-based radars to help identify, track and destroy the target. Ten of the interceptors now in place carry the kill vehicle used in Sunday's test. The other 20 carry an earlier kill vehicle that failed in a July 2013 test. Syring has said a fix will be implemented for that issue by year's end. Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, hailed the successful test as a big step forward for the troubled program, and said it would allow U.S. military commanders to reduce the number of interceptors that would be fired at an incoming ballistic missile. "This success is a significant milestone ... that demonstrates the system's reliability and increases the confidence of the North American Combatant Commander ... responsible for the defense of the country," he said. Critics said the Raytheon kill vehicle had still only succeeded in one of three tries, and urged Congress to rethink plans to buy 14 more of the flawed interceptors at a cost of $75 million each, or just over $1 billion. "Would you spend $1 billion on an insurance policy that only worked one third of the time?" said Tom Collina, research director at the Arms Control Association. "We need to put the money into making the system better, not bigger." Phil Coyle, former Pentagon chief tester and a longtime critic, called for accelerated work on a new design. "We need to make sure we have a system that works, not expand a system we know to be deeply flawed," he said in a statement. (Editing by Eric Walsh and Mohammad Zargham)
- Kansas City Star
“It is a deliberate attempt to fundamentally change a core institution of American government and to overturn, effectively overturn the results of past elections,” said Hawley, who voted to overturn the 2020 election.
- Raleigh News and Observer
The Siler City police department said there may be other victims because of his role at the church.
- The Daily Beast
GettyDespite a seemingly daily string of new revelations, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pressed ahead Thursday with his position that Rep. Matt Gaetz should retain his seats on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees.“Matt Gaetz is the same as any American—he’s innocent until proven guilty,” McCarthy said Thursday. “There’s no charges against him yet. If a charge comes forward, that would be dealt with at that time.”Gaetz, who’s currently under federal investigation for his involvement with an alleged sex ring, also faces a probe from the House Ethics Committee for a litany of potential violations.“The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds for personal use, and/or accepted a bribe/improper gratuity, or impermissible gift in violation of House rules,” the Ethics Committee wrote in a letter last week.But McCarthy continues to insist that everyone needs to “wait for the facts” before Gaetz faces any internal repercussions in Congress, even as he’s insisted that Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) should be stripped of committee assignments for having repeated contact with a woman who turned out to be a Chinese government operative. Swalwell cut off contact as soon as he became aware of the situation, and there are no allegations that he broke any law.Gaetz Paid Accused Sex Trafficker, Who Then Venmo’d TeenGaetz’s situation seems far more precarious. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, he has oversight responsibilities of the very same Justice Department that is investigating him—and which he has accused of fomenting a witch hunt against him under President Joe Biden.But McCarthy ignored that question Thursday. He repeated that Gaetz was innocent until proven guilty, that he had spoken with Gaetz and the Florida Republican said he was innocent, and that he would “let the investigation take care of itself.” (Gaetz has publicly denied wrongdoing.)The GOP leader’s continued punting on Gaetz comes as his party largely settles into a circumspect stance on the allegations—unless, or until, there are more developments. Most aides believe wider calls for his resignation, or disciplinary measures like a loss of committee assignments, will only come if Gaetz is indicted.On Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the second-ranking House Republican, told reporters that party leadership will “of course react and take action” if “something really formal” happens with the Department of Justice probe.Matt Gaetz’s Wingman Paid Dozens of Young Women—and a 17-Year-OldMeanwhile, rank-and-file Republicans aren’t exactly circling the wagons around the embattled congressman. Most don’t like Gaetz, and the congressman himself acknowledges he has few friends on Capitol Hill. Only close MAGA allies like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have actively rallied to his defense—Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Jim Jordan (R-OH) to a lesser extent—but even fewer Republicans have tried to build pressure on him to resign. Only one Republican lawmaker, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, has called on Gaetz to leave office over the allegations, and the two very different Republicans already had an acrimonious beef. Kinzinger’s final straw with Gaetz cited The Daily Beast’s reporting on the congressman’s payments to Joel Greenberg, the Florida official said to have facilitated his access to girls and young women.Through it all, Gaetz has been defiant. At first, he claimed that the allegations he paid for underage sex were part of a sweeping extortion plot against his family. He has since moved on to framing the rapidly mounting scandal as proof the “deep state” and mainstream media are out to get him.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- FOX News Videos
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- The Independent
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Jonathan Pentland's social-media accounts list him as a drill sergeant at the Fort Jackson garrison, the Associated Press reported.
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- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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- The Independent
Justin Trudeau claims UK is facing ‘very serious’ third Covid wave amid Canada’s slow vaccine rollout
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- Associated Press
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- Yahoo News
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McConnell reportedly wants GOP senators to praise Manchin and Sinema, so they won't move to scrap filibuster
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If one Tyrannosaurus rex - the school bus-sized meat-eating dinosaur that stalked the Cretaceous Period landscape - seems impressive, how about 2.5 billion of them? Researchers on Thursday unveiled the first calculation of the total T. rex population during the estimated 2.4 million years that this fearsome species inhabited western North America during the twilight of the age of dinosaurs. They considered factors including the size of its geographic range, its body mass, growth pattern, age at sexual maturity, life expectancy, duration of a single generation and the total time that T. rex existed before extinction 66 million years ago.
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Biden administration reveals the intelligence community is not very confident Russia actually put bounties on US troops
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- Business Insider
Walmart, Delta, and Coca-Cola refused to join hundreds of other companies in opposing restrictive voting laws - here's why
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