Top Marine: Fixes for troubled F-35B aircraft ahead of schedule
F-35 B at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland Photo By: Larry Shaughnessy/CNN
July 29th, 2011
06:26 PM ET

Top Marine: Fixes for troubled F-35B aircraft ahead of schedule

The most expensive version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the one designed for the US Marine Corps' special needs, has been on "probation" since former Defense Secretary Robert Gates decided last fall that there were too many problems with the plane to justify sticking with it. Friday, the top Marine, Commandant James Amos, said the effort to correct the problems is farther along then expected.

"The metrics for determining how the airplane is flying and testing have improved dramatically, not in every area, but in most areas the airplane is ahead of schedule on tests," Gen. Amos said Friday during a demonstration of the F-35B at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

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Filed under: Military
US labels North Korea talks "constructive and business like"
US Ambass. Stephen Bosworth arrives for talks with North Korean delegation Photo By: AFP/Getty Images
July 29th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

US labels North Korea talks "constructive and business like"

As diplomats like to say, the U.S. was managing expectations even before the talks with North Korea began on Thursday at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. And after two days of discussions between teams in New York led by U.S. Special Representative Stephen Bosworth and North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kae-Gwan, the State Department was tight lipped, calling the talks "constructive and business like."

In a written statement on Friday, the State Department said, "the path is open to North Korea towards the resumption of talks, improved relations with the United States and greater regional stability if North Korea demonstrates through actions that it supports the resumption of the Six-Party process as a committed and constructive partner."

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Fort Hood bomb suspect defiant during court proceeding
KIlleen Police Dept. booking photo of Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo Photo by: AFP/Getty Images
July 29th, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Fort Hood bomb suspect defiant during court proceeding

The U.S. Army private who admitted he was planning to bomb a restaurant popular with soldiers from Fort Hood should be held without bond, a federal magistrate ordered Friday.

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo was ordered held on one federal count of possession of a destructive device. It was unclear whether additional charges were pending against him.

Abdo, who refused to stand when Judge Jeffrey C. Manske entered the courtroom, shouted an apparent reference to the 2006 rape of an Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers and the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan before being hustled out of the courtroom by U.S. marshals.

He was being held Friday in federal custody at an undisclosed location.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Terrorism
July 29th, 2011
10:36 AM ET

Security brief – July 29, 2011

compiled by Tim Lister

Who killed Libyan rebel commander and why?

Syria pipeline blown up ahead of Friday protests

18 civilians die in Afghan IED attack

Fort Hood suspect had jihadist bomb recipe

US accuses Iran of helping al Qaeda network

Iraq end-game: US "losing to Iran"

Senior al Qaeda figure in Algeria killed

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Filed under: Security Brief