Troops could face delays in pay if government shuts down
September 23rd, 2013
06:55 PM ET

Troops could face delays in pay if government shuts down

By Barbara Starr

U.S. troops throughout the world - including those fighting in Afghanistan - could face delays in getting their paychecks if the government shuts down, according to the Defense Department.

On Monday, all 1.4 million active-duty personnel and 800,000 civilians were informed the department is now preparing for a shutdown if a budget deal with Congress is not reached.

Read the DoD memo to its personnel here.

The department has been "directed to review and update plans" for a shutdown that could result in delayed pay for all members of the department, according to DOD Press Secretary George Little. Depending on how close a shutdown might be to a pay period for DOD personnel, paychecks could be delayed for up to two weeks, or the next pay period, some officials said.

All uniform military personnel will be required to report to work, and will be paid eventually, according to Little and other DOD officials, because under the law it is required the military is paid. The war in Afghanistan will continue with operations, Little said.

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Police union, Navy at odds over security staffing when D.C. Navy Yard attacked
FBI van outside scene of deadly Navy Yard shooting.
September 23rd, 2013
05:55 PM ET

Police union, Navy at odds over security staffing when D.C. Navy Yard attacked

One week after the attack at the Washington Navy Yard, the labor union that represents security forces at the installation and the U.S. Navy have widely differing views on whether the yard was fully staffed by the required number of security forces.

Both sides agree on one thing, though - that the staffing situation would not have prevented Aaron Alexis from entering the facility because he had a legal badge to get through the gate.
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Al-Shabaab breaks new ground with complex Nairobi attack
An image grab taken from AFP TV shows a member of the Kenyan security forces taking position inside a shopping mall following an attack by masked gunmen in Nairobi
September 23rd, 2013
07:12 AM ET

Al-Shabaab breaks new ground with complex Nairobi attack

By Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister

The Al-Shabaab assault on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, is alarming for its audacity, its scale and the sophisticated planning that went into it. Both the choice of target and method of attack exactly fit the new al Qaeda playbook.

Few counterterrorism experts are surprised that the Somali group launched another attack in the Kenyan capital. It has threatened to take revenge ever since Kenyan forces entered Al-Shabaab's heartland in southern Somalia. Small-scale attacks, frequently with hand grenades, have already brought bloodshed to Nairobi's streets. Back in September of last year, Kenyan authorities said they had disrupted a major plot to attack public spaces in Nairobi in its final stages of planning. Authorities also broke up a plot by the group against Western tourists in the city in late 2007.

But the scope of the assault on the Westgate Mall - and especially its eerie similarities to the attack in Mumbai, India, in 2008 - show that Al-Shabaab has taken its ability to strike outside Somalia to a new level.

Only once before has the group caused such carnage in East Africa, when bombers attacked bars and restaurants in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, on the night of the World Cup Final in 2010. More than 60 people were killed. Al-Shabaab said the attacks were in retaliation for Uganda's leading role in the African Union force supporting Somalia's weak government in Mogadishu.

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Filed under: Al-Shabaab • Kenya • Somalia
Photos show North Korea likely testing more rocket engines
September 23rd, 2013
12:00 AM ET

Photos show North Korea likely testing more rocket engines

By Jamie Crawford

North Korea more than likely tested a long-range rocket engine late last month, according to analysis of new satellite imagery over the site.

In the photos released by 38 North, a blog run by the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, indicators of a probable test are seen through the presence of a probable rocket stage, propellant tanks, as well as the appearance of burned vegetation around the launch stand.

The photos were taken between August 25 and 30.

"These are not in and of themselves indicators that there is going to be a rocket test six months from now," Joel Wit, a former North Korea specialist at the State Department who is now with 38 North, told CNN about the photos.
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Filed under: North Korea