Report: Women could begin training for combat roles in 2015
CNN reports women could start training for Army Ranger and Navy SEAL units in mid-2015 under plans expected to be announced by the Pentagon on Tuesday, according to a Defense Department official.
It is part of the next step in a longstanding effort to open as many combat jobs as possible to women.
The plan now is for jobs in special operations to be available to women possibly in mid-2015.
The official argued the latest development is not a delay, but is more of an acknowledgment by the military that it needs more time to study the issue.
Full implementation of women into combat positions, including infantry and armor units, is to be completed by January 2016.
The move could open approximately another 6,000 jobs to women in the Army.
Photo via CNN’s Security Clearance
Google launches balloons in goal to provide Internet world-wide
AP: Inflatable balloons believed to be capable of sharing Internet around the world were launched this week in New Zealand as part of Google’s Project Loon.
The project, which began 18 months ago, is an attempt to share Internet with countries that lack fiber cables. The balloons are powered by solar panels are moved via prevailing winds. Each balloon is reportedly capable of providing Internet to an area twice the size of New York City.
A farmer in New Zealand was the first person to receive Internet access this week as the balloons passed overhead.
Photo: In this June 10, 2013 photo released by Jon Shenk, a Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps mountains in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand. Google is testing the balloons which sail in the stratosphere and beam the Internet to Earth. (AP Photo/Jon Shenk)
Reuters: Facebook announced today that it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests for user data from the U.S. government in the second half of 2012. Following suit, Microsoft said it received 6,000 to 7,000 criminal and national security warrants from local, state, and federal U.S….
DOT: Washington bridge could be out for months
Skagit Valley Herald: It may be months before a replacement bridge can be built across the Skagit River in Washington, the state Department of Transportation spokeswoman said today.
The bridge collapsed Thursday, sending two vehicles into the river. All three occupants suffered minor injuries.
A truck marked as an oversized load struck several trusses on the I-5 bridge near Mount Vernon, Wash., before it collapsed Thursday, a Washington State Patrol trooper said.
So far, the State Patrol does not know if the man was speeding. His name is not being released because he has not been charged with a crime. The incident remains under investigation, Francis said.
“He gave a voluntary blood draw, and it appears he will be released after he is done with his statements and interviews,” Francis said at about 1 a.m. Friday.
The bridge was rated in 2000 and 2010 as functionally obsolete, or outdated, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kris Olsen said.
Photo: The Skagit River Bridge on Interstate 5 between Burlington and Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday just after 7 p.m. PT. (Colette Weeks / Skagit Valley Herald)
UPDATE: At least 51 killed as tornado tears through Oklahoma
NBC News: At least 51 people have died after a monster tornado roared through Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, destroying homes, tearing the walls off an elementary school and leaving behind mangled cars and splintered wood.
“The whole city looks like a debris field,” says Mayor Glenn Lewis of the city of Moore, which appears to have been the hardest hit.
Continue following updates on BreakingNews.com.
CBS News: The National Transportation Safety Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to recommend to states that they lower the blood alcohol level threshold that indicates drunken driving from .08 to .05.
Drunk driving causes a third of all deaths on US highways each year.
“Our goal is to get to zero deaths because each alcohol-impaired death is preventable,” NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said.
Through my excessive use, double expresso has been set back to regular. Dang.
Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder
NBCNews: A jury in Arizona on Wednesday found Jodi Arias, the woman accused of murdering her one-time boyfriend in Arizona, guilty of first-degree murder.
Arias, 32, was charged with murder in the 2008 death of Travis Alexander.
The woman admitted she killed Alexander but claimed self-defense. Arias faces life in prison – potentially even the death penalty.
Photo: Charlie Leight/Pool via Reuters
More from NBC News here.
France legalizes gay marriage
AP: French lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday in a 331-225 vote in the Socialist majority National Assembly.
France’s justice minister says the first weddings under the new legislation could be in June. Tuesday’s legalization comes after months of powerful protests against the bill which brought hundreds of thousands to Paris in mass marches.
France is the 14th country to legalize gay marriage.
Photo: Opponents to gay marriage, adoption and procreation assistance wave flags and shout slogans during a demonstration in Marseille, France, in February. (Jean-paul Pelissier/Reuters)
Computer problems ground American Airlines flights in the US
Bloomberg News: All American Airlines flights have been grounded in the US due to computer system malfunctions.
Initially the 3rd largest US carrier told its customers that flight delays were due to its reservation and booking tool being offline,but Sabre, which provides the service, said there are currently no problems with this system.
American Airlines later requested a nationwide ‘ground stop’ on its flights due to unspecified computer problems.
Photo: An American Airlines aircraft is shown on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport in February. (Mike Stone/Reuters)