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The most likely scenario is that the F-22/F-35 hybrid will remain in the realm of fantasy. Lockheed Martin Wants to Merge an F-22 and F-35 Into 1 Fighter for Japan. Reuters is reporting that Lockheed Martin is pitching an F-22 and F-35 combination to Japan to meet Tokyo’s requirement for a next-generation air superiority fighter.
At least 50 members of a migrant caravan that has been travelling through Central America and Mexico has reached the US border and are seeking asylum. The group, which at one point reached a peak of 1,500 people from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, had prompted US President Donald Trump to call in the National Guard troops from Arizona and Texas in order to secure the border and continues on with plans to build a 2,000-mile border wall. The group dwindled as word of Mr Trump’s threats spread and Mexican authorities separated those who were legally allowed to stay in Mexico from those who were not.
A Syrian-German jihadist linked to the 9/11 attacks on the United States has been captured in Syria by US-backed forces, the Pentagon said on Thursday. Mohammad Haydar Zammar, who has been accused of recruiting some of the 9/11 Al-Qaeda hijackers, was captured over a month ago by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led militia backed by the US. News of his capture was first reported on Wednesday by the Kurdish group. The Pentagon had said it was looking into the reports before confirming Zammar’s arrest. "We can confirm that Mohammad Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German national, was captured more than a month ago by SDF partners as part of their ongoing operations to defeat ISIS inside Syria," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said, using an alternate name for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). "We are working with our SDF partners to obtain additional details," Pahon said. The 9/11 Commission report into the attacks in Washington and New York that led to the deaths of almost 3,000 people described Zammar as an “outspoken, flamboyant Islamist” who “had fought in Afghanistan and relished any opportunity to extol the virtues of violent jihad.” According to the report, Zammar took credit for influencing people linked to the attacks including Mohammed Atta, who hijacked an American Airlines plane and flew it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Zammar had come into contact with Atta and others linked to the attacks while living in Hamburg, in 1997, the report says. Seven foiled UK terror plots Zammar was detained in Morocco in December 2001 in an operation involving CIA agents, and was handed over to the Syrian authorities two weeks later. He was subsequently sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2007 for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. He was reportedly freed from prison in 2014 in a prison swap organised with Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham. The SDF, which has been a key western ally in the fight against Isil, has detained several high-profile foreign members of Isil as the jihadist group’s grip on Syria has collapsed. They are currently holding two alleged members of the notorious Isil torture cell known as ‘the Beatles.’ El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexandra Kotey were captured by the group in February. The two are accused of being involved in the execution and torture of hostages. US officials believe there are hundreds of foreign fighters and thousands of Syrian Isil militants in SDF custody.
A dog feared to cancer had actually eaten four teddy bears, but the vet did not realise until halfway through the operation. Eight-year-old St Bernard Maisy was taken for a CT scan after she was taken ill, which showed a mass on her spleen and an unusually full stomach, seemingly showing she had not digested her food properly. Her owner, Jane Dickinson, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, feared the worst as she took her pet to Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield. It would not be unusual for Maisy, an elderly dog, to have cancer at her advanced age. However, vet surgeon Nick Blackburn ruled out any fatal disease when he carried out the operation to remove Maisy’s spleen and found her stomach was full of soft toys. Maisy is now reportedly 'loving life' Credit: Paragon Vet Referrals / SWNS.com He said : "It's fair to say this was not something we were expecting to find! We all know certain dogs enjoy chewing things they shouldn't but managing to devour four full teddy bears is quite a feat. "I know Jane was worried about Maisy as she is quite old for a St Bernard, so we were naturally delighted the operation was such a success and we were able to return a happy, healthy dog to the Dickinsons.” Her owner said she had never seen the gentle giant chewing or eating toys, but that now the operation has been completed Maisy is “loving life”. An x-ray showing the teddy bears within the stomach. Credit: Paragon Vet Referrals / SWNS.com Ms Dickinson explained: "When Maisy went in I did think 'is she coming out?' but she is loving life now - it's like she's got her youth back. "The toys weren't even hers! She will steal the chihuahuas' toys and play with them but I've never seen her trying to chew them. Her eating habits had been completely normal. "I didn't even recognise one of the toys - my brother also keeps chihuahuas and it turns out it belonged to his dog." Maisy has since made a full recovery from her operation and a histology report has shown no signs of cancer.
Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh said Friday the global market has the capacity to absorb higher oil prices, drawing a swift reaction from US President Donald Trump who accused OPEC of inflating prices. Faleh's statement at a meeting of oil producers in Saudi Arabia came as crude hit the highest level in more than three years. "Looks like OPEC is at it again," Trump tweeted.
By Denis Dumo JUBA (Reuters) - South Sudan's army chief died on Friday, the government said, in a development that further complicates the running of President Salva Kiir's administration amid a four-year-old civil war. General James Ajongo died in Cairo after a short illness at the age of 64. "It is with a heavy heart that I announce the untimely death of Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, SPLA army's chief of defence force," government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said.
A St. Louis judge on Thursday dealt Missouri Governor Eric Greitens another legal setback in the sex scandal embroiling his office, refusing to dismiss a criminal invasion of privacy charge stemming from an admitted extramarital affair. The decision by Judge Rex Burlison paved the way for the single-count felony case against Greitens, a Republican under mounting pressure from both parties to resign, to proceed to trial even as he comes under scrutiny for unrelated accusations of computer tampering. Greitens' lawyers last week sought to throw out the privacy case on grounds of prosecutor misconduct, saying St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, had tried to conceal video evidence supporting the governor and his assertions that the affair was entirely consensual.
Three US Air National Guard members have been disciplined, and one of them fired, for an incident involving a children’s dinosaur puppet. Master Sergeant Robin Brown, a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) with the Air National Guard, was removed from her position at the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office after video circulated of her taking her enlistment oath with a tyrannosaurus rex puppet in hand. Ms Brown repeats each line of the oath back, moving the sock puppet’s mouth along as she speaks.
By Angus McDowall and Suleiman Al-Khalidi BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian government stepped up its efforts on Thursday to retake the opposition's last besieged enclaves, as rebels prepared to withdraw from one and a newspaper reported an ultimatum against another. President Bashar al-Assad scored a major victory this month by retaking eastern Ghouta, the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus, putting his forces in by far their strongest position since the early months of the seven-year-old civil war. The United States, Britain and France launched a volley of air strikes on Saturday against three Syrian targets in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons strike during the Ghouta assault.
The US Air Force is awarding almost $1 billion (£700m) to Lockheed Martin to develop a hypersonic missile as it tries to keep up with recent strides made by Russia and China in building ever faster weapons. Moscow last month claimed the lead in the race to develop missiles that can travel at many times the speed of sound. Its defence ministry revealed video footage of its plane-launched Kinzhal missile, which is reportedly capable of accelerating to ten times the speed of sound. American officials have also expressed concern that China was building missiles that could outrace or outfox its existing defence and interceptor systems. Now the Pentagon says Lockheed is to receive up to $929 million to design and build a “hypersonic conventional strike weapon”. “This contract provides for the design, development, engineering, systems integration, test, logistics planning, and aircraft integration support of all the elements of a hypersonic, conventional, air-launched, stand-off weapon,” it said in a statement. The technology is at the forefront of today’s non-nuclear arms race. Most efforts focus on “boost-glide” weapons that use rockets to accelerate to high speeds at the edge of space, before the payload separates and glides unpowered to the target. Not only can they outrun efforts to shoot them down, but they can be manoeuvred in-flight unlike ballistic missiles that follow parabolic trajectories. Last month, Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia had tested a new generation of nuclear weapons that were invulnerable to US missile defences. A Kinzhal hypersonic missile is fired from a MiG-31 get in footage released by Moscow Credit: AP His rhetoric was backed up days later when the defence ministry released footage of a Kinzhal – Russian for “dagger” - missile being launched from a Mig-31 fighter jet. Earlier this week, Mike Griffin, the Pentagon's new defence undersecretary for research and engineering told Congress that China had also pulled ahead of the US in hypersonic technologies. 'Like a ball of fire' | New strategic weapons announced by Vladimir Putin “Our adversaries are presenting us today with a renewed challenge of a sophisticated, evolving threat,” he told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “We are in turn preparing to meet that challenge and to restore the technical overmatch of the United States armed forces that we have traditionally held.” He has repeatedly warned that time is running out for the US to maintain its technological dominance over enemies.
A former official of a subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] pleaded guilty on Thursday to a U.S. charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the U.S. Justice Department said. Cesar Rincon, a Venezuelan citizen who was extradited to the United States from Spain after his arrest there last year, pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the department said.
In an era of hyper-partisan feuding and noxious personal attacks, the life and lengthy marriage of former first lady Barbara Bush serve as poignant reminders in power-obsessed Washington that decency and grace can win out. Bush's death Tuesday at age 92 triggered an outpouring of affection for the snowy-haired matriarch of one of America's storied political dynasties. Smart, tough and quick-witted, Bush had a no-frills style, a focus on family, and a willingness to engage across the political aisle that endeared her to millions.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday called on India's leader to focus more on women in the wake of the "revolting" rape and murder of two young girls. While she praised the nation's economic performance, "what has happened is just revolting," Lagarde said when asked about the incidents in the past week involving a seven- and an eight-year-old girl. "I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, pay more attention, because it is needed for the women of India," a visibly angry Lagarde said.
KARLSRUHE/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a case brought by Axel Springer seeking to ban a popular application that blocks online advertising, in a landmark ruling that deals a blow to the publishing industry. The court found in favor of Adblock Plus https://adblockplus.org, an app marketed by a firm called Eyeo that has been downloaded more than 100 million times by users around the world seeking protection from unwanted or intrusive online advertising. "We are excited that Germany's highest court upheld the right every internet citizen possesses to block unwanted advertising online," Adblock Plus said after the verdict.
A volcano in southern Japan erupted for the first time in 250 years on Thursday, spewing steam and ash hundreds of metres into the air, as authorities warned locals not to approach the mountain. "There is a possibility that (Mount Io) will become more active," said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption. In a televised press conference, he warned residents in the area to stay away from the mountain, part of the Mount Kirishima group of volcanoes, as major ash deposits spread from the crater.