review

U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Gallagher leaves court with his wife after the first day of jury selection at the court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego
U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves court with his wife Andrea, her name tattooed on his wrist, after the first day of jury selection at this court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 18, 2019

By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Opening arguments are set to begin on Tuesday in the trial of a U.S. Navy SEAL court-martialed on charges of murdering a wounded Iraqi prisoner and shooting unarmed civilians, a war crimes case that has drawn the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump.

A jury was selected on Monday in the trial of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, City News Service and the Fox affiliate in San Diego reported.

Gallagher, a 39-year-old career combat veteran, has denied all the charges but could face life in prison if convicted in the trial arising from his 2017 deployment to Mosul, Iraq.

The platoon leader is charged with murdering a wounded, helpless Islamic State fighter in his custody by stabbing him in the neck, and with attempted murder in the wounding of two civilians – a schoolgirl and an elderly man – shot from a sniper’s perch in Iraq.

He maintains that fellow SEAL team members in his platoon, who turned him in and are testifying against him under grants of immunity, are disgruntled subordinates who fabricated allegations to force him from command.

Details of the jury were not immediately available. A Navy spokesman said on Monday between 5 and 15 jurors would be selected from a pool, half of whom are officers and the other half enlisted men.

The proceedings in a military courthouse at U.S. Naval Base San Diego are due to last three weeks.

The prosecution’s case rests crucially on the SEAL team members’ testimony as there are no bodies or crime scenes from the Iraqi war zone. Names and other details about the alleged crimes were not disclosed.

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT?

The opening of the trial was postponed several times by a lengthy round of proceedings to deal with defense allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Gallagher’s lawyers sought dismissal of the charges after learning that Navy prosecutors had electronically tracked email communications of defense lawyers without a warrant, ostensibly to pinpoint the source of material leaked from sealed case files.

The presiding judge, a Navy captain, ultimately removed the lead prosecutor from the case and freed Gallagher from pre-trial confinement.

The judge also granted defense lawyers a potentially valuable edge in jury selection – the right to reject, with no reason given, two more potential jurors than they otherwise could exclude through the use of a peremptory challenge.

Before he was released from custody late last month, Gallagher had been ordered restricted to base at the nearby Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Trump said last month that he is considering pardons for a number of military service members accused of war crimes, and Gallagher’s case was believed to be one of those under review.

The prospect of presidential clemency seemed heightened by last month’s appointment to Gallagher’s defense team of Marc Mukasey, one of Trump’s personal lawyers.

Gallagher’s lead civilian attorney, Timothy Parlatore, has said his client has not sought a pardon.

(Reporting by Marty Graham in San Diego; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman and Rich McKay; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

A Rohingya refugee child looks at others studying at a makeshift madrasa at the Burma Para refugee camp near Cox's Bazar
A Rohingya refugee child looks at others studying at a makeshift madrasa at the Burma Para refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh December 27, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

June 18, 2019

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – There was a “systemic failure” of the United Nations in dealing with the situation in Myanmar ahead of a deadly 2017 military crackdown because it did not have a unified strategy and lacked Security Council support, according to an internal report.

The crackdown drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. U.N. investigators have said the operation was executed with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson.

Myanmar denies widespread wrongdoing and says the military campaign across hundreds of villages in northern Rakhine was in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents.

“Without question serious errors were committed and opportunities were lost in the U.N. system following a fragmented strategy rather than a common plan of action,” wrote former Guatemalan foreign minister and U.N. ambassador Gert Rosenthal in a 34-page internal review, seen by Reuters prior to its publication on Monday.

“The overall responsibility was of a collective character; in other words, it truly can be characterized as a systemic failure of the United Nations,” wrote Rosenthal, who was appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this year to look at U.N. involvement in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018.

He said senior U.N. officials in New York could not agree on whether to take a more robust public approach with Myanmar or pursue quiet diplomacy and that conflicting reports on the situation were also sent to U.N. headquarters from the field.

The United Nations struggled to balance supporting the Myanmar government with development and humanitarian assistance, while also calling out the authorities over accusations of human rights violations, Rosenthal concluded.

“The United Nations system … has been relatively impotent to effectively work with the authorities of Myanmar to reverse the negative trends in the area of human rights and consolidate the positive trends in other areas,” he said.

“The United Nations’ collective membership, represented by the Security Council, bears part of that responsibility, by not providing enough support to the secretariat when such backing was and continues to be essential,” Rosenthal wrote.

The 15-member Security Council, which visited Myanmar’s Rakhine state last year, has been deadlocked with Myanmar allies China and Russia pitted against western states over how to deal with the situation.

Human Rights Watch said the report was disappointing, given the scale of the Rohingya crisis, for not identifying specific U.N. officials responsible for the failures.

“The report now looks increasingly like a check-the-box exercise by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, designed to show commitment to accountability when in reality it accomplishes exactly the opposite,” Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy director for Asia, said in a statement.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Rosenthal’s report was due to be sent to all 193 U.N. members states.

“Its conclusions and observations have been fully accepted by the Secretary-General, and he will work very closely with the senior leadership to make sure they’re implemented,” he said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; additional reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Susan Thomas & Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda speaks during a group interview at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a group interview at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

June 18, 2019

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank will “certainly” debate heightening overseas risks at a rate review this week, underscoring concerns among policymakers about the economic fallout of a U.S.-China trade war.

The trade frictions and slowing global demand have cast doubt on the BOJ’s forecast that Japan’s economy will continue to expand moderately, pressuring central bank to deploy additional monetary easing to underpin growth.

“As for recent overseas economic developments, there are strong downside risks regarding the Sino-U.S. trade friction and China’s economy,” Kuroda told parliament on Tuesday.

“We’ll certainly debate such overseas developments” at the upcoming rate review, he said, but added that the BOJ is already keeping monetary policy ultra-loose.

At the two-day meeting kicking off on Wednesday, the BOJ is expected to keep monetary policy steady but signal its readiness to ramp up stimulus if growing overseas risks threaten the economy’s modest expansion.

“The BOJ will guide monetary policy appropriately taking into account the impact overseas economic changes could have on Japan’s economic outlook and the momentum for achieving our inflation target,” Kuroda said.

Under a policy dubbed yield curve control (YCC), the BOJ guides short-term interest rates at -0.1% and the 10-year government bond yield around zero percent in an effort to accelerate inflation to its elusive 2 percent target.

Some analysts say the central bank could be forced to ease more if the U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates in coming months and trigger an unwelcome yen rise against the dollar in a blow to Japan’s export-reliant economy.

Many BOJ policymakers are wary of deploying stimulus any time soon, given their dwindling ammunition and the rising cost of prolonged easing such as the damage years of near zero rates are inflicting on financial institution’s profits.

Barclays expect financial markets to start factoring in the chance of additional easing at the BOJ’s July policy meeting.

“We expect the BOJ to keep any actual easing measures on hold for now, instead strengthening its forward guidance” at the July meeting, their analysts wrote in a research note.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Chris Gallagher & Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN


Why have national Democrats and not national Republicans fallen under the tyranny of the 70-somethings? It seems so contrary to common expectation. Democrats are, as they often remind us, the party of progress and the future. The question seems to rival those enduring, unanswerable mysteries such as “What happens when you die?” and “Why did Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones?”

People in their mid-to-late 70s are thick on the ground nowadays, while in an earlier era, of course, you’d have been more likely to find them under it. This is especially true in the urban centers of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, according to a recent survey of census data by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In particular, the Washington, D.C., area is a leader in “senior labor force participation,” by which the researchers mean the region is loaded with people who have passed the age of retirement yet somehow neglected to retire.

Look no further than the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill. For whatever reason—perhaps they’re more easily bored by government work, or perhaps they’re more eager to cash in on government work—Republicans have less of a 70-something problem. House Republicans are relatively youthful, in chronology if not in disposition: They are led by a trio ages 54, 53, and 52. Indeed, the only 70-something among the GOP leadership on the Hill is the 77-year-old Mitch McConnell (I’m omitting the constitutional office of president pro tempore of the Senate, now occupied by the Republican Chuck Grassley, who is 85 but doesn’t look a day over 86.)

Going down the ranks, the public-affairs software firm Quorum reckoned that the average age of the Democratic House leadership is 72, fully 24 years more than the average of the Republican House leadership. Infamously, the three leading Democrats in the House are 79, 78, and 79, for a staggering combined age of 236, making the Democratic leadership team older, in aggregate, than the Constitution itself.

The party’s congressional gerontocracy has now inevitably bled into the field of presidential candidates. The front-runner, Joe Biden, is 76. Second place, according to most polls, belongs to Bernie Sanders, who’s a year older than Biden. They hope to replace the oldest man ever to be elected president. He’s younger than both of them. If either Biden or Sanders gets to the White House and then wins a second term, we will be governed by a man in his early 80s, nearly two decades older than Franklin D. Roosevelt was when, having won his fourth term, he pegged out from overwork. Needless to say, Sanders and Biden are each much spryer than FDR. Imagine Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins Returns clicking his heels in the Oval Office.

To be sure, anyone who criticizes our gerontocracy must insert a “to be sure” paragraph right about now, praising the gumption and resilience of our oldsters, marveling at their energy and their bottomless reservoirs of wisdom. Stipulated! Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Biden, and Sanders—and especially the McDonald’s-loving 72-year-old incumbent—are walking testaments to the advances made by geriatric medicine since the 1950s, when they were teenagers. The idea that with length of days comes wisdom is a commonplace of our patrimony, from Aristotle and Job to Shakespeare and Austen. And all the flattering things we are required to say about old age and the people caught up in it do serve as a much-needed counterbalance to our culture’s childish obsession with youth.

But this traditional picture of old age as the repository of wisdom comes with certain complications. Gerontocracy is rule by people who insist on turning the peak of their career into a plateau. Aristotle and the others acknowledged that it carries hidden and insidious effects, and reveals unflattering qualities in the gerontocrats themselves. We can see this most obviously in the effect it has had on the Democratic Party generationally. There is a huge gap between where the energy and creativity of the party lie, with a group of dynamic activists and House members in their 30s and even their 20s (thank you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and the ruling class of 70-somethings layered far above like a crumbling porte cochere.

In the farm system that trains and seasons the leaders of tomorrow—assuming tomorrow ever comes—that gap signifies a lost generation. One day, presumably, power within the party will pass, and when it does, if present trends continue, it will leapfrog from seniors born around the time of V-J Day to people who can barely remember 9/11. More likely than not, members of Generation X will never get their turn—an entire cohort condemned to the fate of Prince Charles. After the indignities that Boomers inflicted on Generation X, from disco to postmodern literary theory, this scarcely seems fair.

The situation pushes some Gen Xers to take extreme measures. The far-fetched presidential campaigns of backbenchers such as Tim Ryan and Seth Moulton are best understood as cries for help, as ambitious young politicians try to free themselves from the professional bottleneck created by unbudgeable leadership.

Some 70-somethings are easier to forgive than others. Pelosi and her team are simply aging in place, clinging to a version of the jobs they’ve held for a decade or more; inertia could be as much to blame for their refusal to move along as an unslakable thirst for power and attention. There’s less to forgive in the actions of Biden and Sanders. Three years ago, both were given the chance to leave the field gracefully. But they. Will. Not. Go. Away.

Sanders, holding political positions virtually identical to those of his rivals, offered a less plausible case for his candidacy than Biden did. Biden’s case, which you could strain to make if you were willing to risk a herniated disk, was ideological: He filled a slot that no one else would fill. He was carrying the pragmatic liberalism of an earlier time into a scrum of leftish contenders who believe that pragmatism is for chumps.

That case was dashed last week with Biden’s head-snapping reversal of his 40-year support of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Far from serving as an alternative to the radicalism of one segment of his party, Biden showed that he is willing to be its slave—if that’s what it takes to win approval for his dream of apotheosis. Such groveling is unlovely enough in people in the robust prime of life; it is doubly so in old people, who, by virtue of their age and experience, are supposed to know their own mind.

The only cure for the desire to be president, a wise politician once said, is embalming fluid. Let’s stipulate to that, too. We all need purpose and meaning in life. The trick for old folks is to adjust their search for purpose and meaning as they follow nature’s course and give way to their juniors. The avenues to self-fulfillment that were open to them as younger men and women are now the rightful territory of a newer generation, and dignity requires them to find other paths of service and satisfaction.

I can easily imagine a host of dignified futures for our 70-something presidential candidates, far from New Hampshire and Iowa. Sanders could work as a tour guide in Nicaragua or a docent on fundraising cruises for The New York Review of Books. Biden, for his part, could take on the once-popular, now-neglected role of “elder statesman,” happy to serve when called to a blue-ribbon panel or as a special envoy to trouble spots here and there, to offer advice when his advice is sought, and otherwise to lead a life of recreation, reading, and contemplation. No one will think less of either of them.

Instead, they have chosen the way of vanity and self-indulgence, to the detriment of the political cause they say they want to advance. Sanders and Biden have made themselves the equivalent of the old dude cruising the pool at Club Med in his sagging Speedo, capped teeth gleaming, knobby shoulders and fallen pecs bronzed and shiny with tanning oil, gold chains twinkling through the chest hair. I’m not saying one of them won’t succeed in his quest—though I have my doubts about both—but in a saner world, it would be obvious that the quest itself is unseemly. They do no credit to their peers with their refusal to acknowledge their natural and inevitable station in life. And they do no favors to the younger people—from Pete Buttigieg, age 37; to Kamala Harris, age 54; and even to Elizabeth Warren, age 69—who are eager, as they are entitled to be, to take their shot.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.


Why have national Democrats and not national Republicans fallen under the tyranny of the 70-somethings? It seems so contrary to common expectation. Democrats are, as they often remind us, the party of progress and the future. The question seems to rival those enduring, unanswerable mysteries such as “What happens when you die?” and “Why did Mick Taylor quit the Rolling Stones?”

People in their mid-to-late 70s are thick on the ground nowadays, while in an earlier era, of course, you’d have been more likely to find them under it. This is especially true in the urban centers of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, according to a recent survey of census data by the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In particular, the Washington, D.C., area is a leader in “senior labor force participation,” by which the researchers mean the region is loaded with people who have passed the age of retirement yet somehow neglected to retire.

Look no further than the Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill. For whatever reason—perhaps they’re more easily bored by government work, or perhaps they’re more eager to cash in on government work—Republicans have less of a 70-something problem. House Republicans are relatively youthful, in chronology if not in disposition: They are led by a trio ages 54, 53, and 52. Indeed, the only 70-something among the GOP leadership on the Hill is the 77-year-old Mitch McConnell (I’m omitting the constitutional office of president pro tempore of the Senate, now occupied by the Republican Chuck Grassley, who is 85 but doesn’t look a day over 86.)

Going down the ranks, the public-affairs software firm Quorum reckoned that the average age of the Democratic House leadership is 72, fully 24 years more than the average of the Republican House leadership. Infamously, the three leading Democrats in the House are 79, 78, and 79, for a staggering combined age of 236, making the Democratic leadership team older, in aggregate, than the Constitution itself.

The party’s congressional gerontocracy has now inevitably bled into the field of presidential candidates. The front-runner, Joe Biden, is 76. Second place, according to most polls, belongs to Bernie Sanders, who’s a year older than Biden. They hope to replace the oldest man ever to be elected president. He’s younger than both of them. If either Biden or Sanders gets to the White House and then wins a second term, we will be governed by a man in his early 80s, nearly two decades older than Franklin D. Roosevelt was when, having won his fourth term, he pegged out from overwork. Needless to say, Sanders and Biden are each much spryer than FDR. Imagine Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins Returns clicking his heels in the Oval Office.

To be sure, anyone who criticizes our gerontocracy must insert a “to be sure” paragraph right about now, praising the gumption and resilience of our oldsters, marveling at their energy and their bottomless reservoirs of wisdom. Stipulated! Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Biden, and Sanders—and especially the McDonald’s-loving 72-year-old incumbent—are walking testaments to the advances made by geriatric medicine since the 1950s, when they were teenagers. The idea that with length of days comes wisdom is a commonplace of our patrimony, from Aristotle and Job to Shakespeare and Austen. And all the flattering things we are required to say about old age and the people caught up in it do serve as a much-needed counterbalance to our culture’s childish obsession with youth.

But this traditional picture of old age as the repository of wisdom comes with certain complications. Gerontocracy is rule by people who insist on turning the peak of their career into a plateau. Aristotle and the others acknowledged that it carries hidden and insidious effects, and reveals unflattering qualities in the gerontocrats themselves. We can see this most obviously in the effect it has had on the Democratic Party generationally. There is a huge gap between where the energy and creativity of the party lie, with a group of dynamic activists and House members in their 30s and even their 20s (thank you, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and the ruling class of 70-somethings layered far above like a crumbling porte cochere.

In the farm system that trains and seasons the leaders of tomorrow—assuming tomorrow ever comes—that gap signifies a lost generation. One day, presumably, power within the party will pass, and when it does, if present trends continue, it will leapfrog from seniors born around the time of V-J Day to people who can barely remember 9/11. More likely than not, members of Generation X will never get their turn—an entire cohort condemned to the fate of Prince Charles. After the indignities that Boomers inflicted on Generation X, from disco to postmodern literary theory, this scarcely seems fair.

The situation pushes some Gen Xers to take extreme measures. The far-fetched presidential campaigns of backbenchers such as Tim Ryan and Seth Moulton are best understood as cries for help, as ambitious young politicians try to free themselves from the professional bottleneck created by unbudgeable leadership.

Some 70-somethings are easier to forgive than others. Pelosi and her team are simply aging in place, clinging to a version of the jobs they’ve held for a decade or more; inertia could be as much to blame for their refusal to move along as an unslakable thirst for power and attention. There’s less to forgive in the actions of Biden and Sanders. Three years ago, both were given the chance to leave the field gracefully. But they. Will. Not. Go. Away.

Sanders, holding political positions virtually identical to those of his rivals, offered a less plausible case for his candidacy than Biden did. Biden’s case, which you could strain to make if you were willing to risk a herniated disk, was ideological: He filled a slot that no one else would fill. He was carrying the pragmatic liberalism of an earlier time into a scrum of leftish contenders who believe that pragmatism is for chumps.

That case was dashed last week with Biden’s head-snapping reversal of his 40-year support of the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. Far from serving as an alternative to the radicalism of one segment of his party, Biden showed that he is willing to be its slave—if that’s what it takes to win approval for his dream of apotheosis. Such groveling is unlovely enough in people in the robust prime of life; it is doubly so in old people, who, by virtue of their age and experience, are supposed to know their own mind.

The only cure for the desire to be president, a wise politician once said, is embalming fluid. Let’s stipulate to that, too. We all need purpose and meaning in life. The trick for old folks is to adjust their search for purpose and meaning as they follow nature’s course and give way to their juniors. The avenues to self-fulfillment that were open to them as younger men and women are now the rightful territory of a newer generation, and dignity requires them to find other paths of service and satisfaction.

I can easily imagine a host of dignified futures for our 70-something presidential candidates, far from New Hampshire and Iowa. Sanders could work as a tour guide in Nicaragua or a docent on fundraising cruises for The New York Review of Books. Biden, for his part, could take on the once-popular, now-neglected role of “elder statesman,” happy to serve when called to a blue-ribbon panel or as a special envoy to trouble spots here and there, to offer advice when his advice is sought, and otherwise to lead a life of recreation, reading, and contemplation. No one will think less of either of them.

Instead, they have chosen the way of vanity and self-indulgence, to the detriment of the political cause they say they want to advance. Sanders and Biden have made themselves the equivalent of the old dude cruising the pool at Club Med in his sagging Speedo, capped teeth gleaming, knobby shoulders and fallen pecs bronzed and shiny with tanning oil, gold chains twinkling through the chest hair. I’m not saying one of them won’t succeed in his quest—though I have my doubts about both—but in a saner world, it would be obvious that the quest itself is unseemly. They do no credit to their peers with their refusal to acknowledge their natural and inevitable station in life. And they do no favors to the younger people—from Pete Buttigieg, age 37; to Kamala Harris, age 54; and even to Elizabeth Warren, age 69—who are eager, as they are entitled to be, to take their shot.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Laurence Frost and Eric M. Johnson

PARIS, France (Reuters) – Boeing suffered a fresh setback at the opening of the Paris Airshow on Monday as the U.S. planemaker’s engine supplier revealed a delay affecting its all-new 777X jet, while Airbus targeted the middle of the market with a rival plane.

GE Aviation said it had found unexpected wear in a component for the GE9X engine it is making for Boeing’s 777X, the world’s largest twin-engined jet, forcing a delay of several months while it redesigns and tests the part.

The aerospace industry’s biggest annual event, which alternates with Britain’s Farnborough Airshow, is traditionally a slugging match between Airbus and Boeing in the $150 billion a year commercial aircraft market.

But this year Boeing is still grappling with the grounding of its top-selling 737 MAX aircraft in March after two deadly crashes, while European arch-rival Airbus is dealing with the fallout from a long-running corruption scandal.

Airbus used the show to launch a long-range version of its A321neo jet, aiming to carve out new routes for airlines with smaller planes and steal a march on Boeing’s owns plans for another potential all-new jet, the NMA.

“We can fly from north-eastern Asia into south Asia, from the Middle East to Bali or from Japan deep into Australia, and so on,” Airbus chief salesman Christian Scherer said.

“It is therefore the lowest-risk investment for airlines on these kinds of routes.”

Leasing company Air Lease Corp became the first customer of the new aircraft – the A321XLR – lining up for 27 as part of a deal for 100 Airbus planes.

Sources familiar with the matter said Airbus was trying to assemble close to 200 orders or conversions to the new model as it chases deals with carriers including American Airlines, JetBlue, Cebu Air and Frontier Airlines owner Indigo Partners.

Despite a flurry of delegates dashing in golf carts between parked jetliners, missiles and spy planes, this year’s gathering appeared relatively subdued, with a profit warning from Lufthansa adding to trade tensions and slowing economies.

French President Emmanuel Macron watched as France and Germany unveiled a sleek, dagger-shaped mockup of a new fighter plane the two close European allies plan to develop.

Analysts expect anything from 400 to 800 commercial aircraft orders and commitments at the show, compared with 959 at Farnborough last year, though it can be hard to identify truly new business against firmed-up commitments and switched models.

Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister said it was premature to predict any delays to the 777X program. The planemaker is targeting a maiden flight this year and entry into service the next.

Gulf airline Emirates has said it expects the first plane in June 2020. Flight tests often take more than a year.

(For a graphic on ‘Airbus, Boeing, Raytheon, UTC shares’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ip8dvj)

SIZE VS COMFORT

The Airbus A321XLR will be the longest-range narrow-body jetliner and arrives as airlines look to maximize the flexibility of more fuel-efficient, single-aisle aircraft.

Its range of up to 4,700 nautical miles – about 15% more than the previous A321LR – will leapfrog the out-of-production Boeing 757 and nudges it into the long-jump category occupied by more costly wide-body jets.

The A321XLR also eats into a range category targeted by the possible NMA mid-market, twin-aisle jet under review by Boeing.

“It does provide a very effective airplane for many of the same routes as the NMA, and it does so many years earlier,” Air Lease CEO John Plueger said of the new Airbus jet.

But there is a debate over whether passengers will enjoy flying longer distances in medium-haul planes.

Airbus did not give a price for the A321XLR. The current A321neo has a list price of $129.5 million.

Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Sunday said the A321XLR would only “scratch an edge” of the market segment targeted by the NMA. But Air Lease founder Steven Udvar-Hazy, a doyen of the leasing industry, said the NMA project remained “a little bit in cold storage” as long as the MAX grounding lasted.

He added that Boeing expected to announce orders for wide-body jets at the Paris show but its main focus at the event was safety, with executives taking turns to apologize for the MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.

“This is the most trying of times,” Boeing’s McAllister told a press briefing.

“But without a doubt this is a pivotal moment for all of us. It’s a time to capture learnings. It’s a time to be introspective. And it’s a time for us to make sure accidents like this never happen again.”

(Additional reporting by Tim Hepher, Andrea Shala, Alistair Smout and Cyril Altmeyerhenzien; Editing by Mark Potter, David Goodman and Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A man stands at an Airbus trade pavilion at Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, Britain
FILE PHOTO: A man stands at an Airbus trade pavilion at Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, Britain, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus has broken records by launching the longest-range narrow-body jetliner at the Paris Airshow, but planemakers are having to rethink their mantra on comfort as they squeeze ever more miles out of jets designed for shorter trips.

Airbus and Boeing have been promoting new carbon-fiber long-haul aircraft such as the 787 Dreamliner and A350, which offer roomier cabins and help passengers avoid jet lag by providing a cabin pressure closer to that felt on the ground.

But they have also been adding more range and capacity to older and narrower models such as the A320neo family and the 737 MAX as airlines demand more flexibility with the advantages of highly efficient single-aisle planes, supporting low fares.

Airbus pushed that further on Monday by adding a longer stride to the A321neo with its new A321XLR, whose range of 4,700 nautical miles leapfrogs the out-of-production Boeing 757 and nudges it into the long-jump category enjoyed by wide-body jets.

It also eats into a range category targeted by a possible new mid-market twin-aisle jet, the NMA, under review by Boeing.

But there is a debate over whether passengers will enjoy flying longer distances in medium-haul planes, or at what price.

Airline bosses on the long-haul low-cost panel at the Paris Air Forum on Friday differed over whether extended-range narrow-body jets or wider twin-aisles were best suited for their growing industry.

In particular, the rise of the single-aisle long-distance jet involves revisiting years of industry marketing about the benefit of escaping jet lag and fatigue on long trips.

Aircraft cabins are pumped to a higher pressure than the ultra-thin outside air at cruising altitude. But the pressure is still lower than at sea level due to structural limitations.

That’s not a problem for shorter trips but travel experts say the higher altitude setting on older planes can contribute to jet lag on long flights, worsening the effect of time zones.

WELL BEING

Although Airbus stresses the 1980s-designed A320 fuselage is wider than the competing 737 MAX and therefore has roomier seats, it also has a lower cabin pressure than modern long-haul alternatives like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or Airbus A350.

On those airplanes the cabin is pressurized at a level equivalent to 6,000 feet compared with 8,000 feet for the A320 and most other metal-built jets of all sizes.

For the Airbus A330neo wide-body jet the cabin altitude is above 7,000 feet but still below 8,000 feet.

“XLR cabin pressure could be an issue,” said an airline executive who has studied the plane, asking not to be named.

The company itself set out the disadvantages of flying with a high cabin altitude on long journeys when it launched the business-jet version of the A320neo family in 2015.

“A lower cabin altitude makes most sense on long flights, especially toward their end, when an aircraft is able to reach its highest cruising altitude,” Airbus said then on its website.

For the business jet version, Airbus was able to lower the cabin altitude below 6,400 feet. But it could only do so by reducing the maximum number of trips, which matters relatively little to luxury operators but is less attractive to airlines.

That said, cabin pressure is one of many factors influencing the feel of a cabin and is rarely marketed separately.

“Everyone is pushing the ‘well being’ trend … but an A321XLR will arguably be more comfortable than a 9-abreast Boeing 787,” passenger experience expert John Walton said, referring to denser seat configurations used by some airlines.

Airbus declined to comment.

Placing the first order for the XLR, leasing magnate Steven Udvar-Hazy, executive chairman of Air Lease Corp, said: “We are working on a number of improvements in the cabin to accommodate long-haul operations”.

The A321XLR is expected to be able to fly around eight hours in most cases, linking U.S. eastern cities deep into Europe.

The head of International Airlines Group’s low-cost long-haul carrier Level, Vincent Hodder, told the Paris Air Forum the XLR could be configured to fly as long as 10 hours. Level and others are studying it, he said.

Airbus is chasing potential customers including American Airlines and JetBlue for the XLR and aims to grab up to 200 orders. It is expected to announce a deal with U.S. airline investor Indigo Partners later this week.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editing by Louise Heavens and Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

“It is a great advantage to a president,” said the 30th of them, “and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man.” Or, Calvin Coolidge would say today, a great woman.

While today’s incumbent advertises himself as an “extremely stable genius” and those who would replace him promise national transformation, attention should be paid to the granular details of presidential politics, which suggest that a politics of modesty might produce voting changes where they matter, and at least 270 electoral votes for a Democrat.

If the near future resembles the immediate past, which it often does, the Democratic nominee in 2020 will be, as the Republican nominee was in 2016, the person favored by the party faction for whom government is more a practical than an ideological concern. For Republicans in 2016, the faction — non-college whites — felt itself a casualty of an economic dynamism that has most benefited people who admire this faction least.

In 2020, the decisive Democratic faction in the nomination contest is apt to be, as it was in 2016, African-Americans , whose appraisal of government is particularly practical: What will it do regarding health care, employment, schools? For them, packing the Supreme Court, impeaching the president, abolishing the Electoral College and other gesture-promises probably are distractions.

African-Americans were at least 20 percent of the vote in 15 of the 2016 primaries, and in all the primaries combined they gave 76 percent of their votes to Hillary Clinton. This is why Trump did not get a chance to defeat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who narrowly defeated Clinton among white voters in the primaries. These numbers are from the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar, who referred to a 2016 Pew survey that found just 27 percent of African-American Democrats identify as liberal, and a plurality describe themselves as moderate. Some of that plurality surely resent the idea of reparations for slavery as a badge of an irremediable damage. And the importance of ensuring robust African-American turnout for Democrats is illustrated by this fact: If in 2004 John Kerry had received as many black votes in Ohio as Barack Obama was to receive in 2008, Kerry would have been the 44th president.

Furthermore, in the 110-day sprint between the end of the Democratic nominating convention in Milwaukee and Election Day, the earliest voting — this is subject to change — begins Sept. 18 in Minnesota and at least one fifth of 2020 voters will probably cast their ballots before Election Day. The decisive voters might be those who crave not transformation but restoration — the recovery of national governance that is neither embarrassing nor exhausting. So, the Democratic Party, the world’s oldest party, which for the first time in its history has won the popular vote in six of seven presidential elections, should be keenly focused on how to subtract states from Donald Trump’s 2016 roster, and to do so by carrying more than the 487 counties (out of 3,142) that Clinton carried. Democrats might try to decipher the almost 41-point swing in northeast Iowa’s inscrutable Howard County, the only U.S. county that voted in a landslide for Obama over Mitt Romney (by 20.9 points) in 2012 and four years later in a landslide for Trump over Clinton (by 20.1 points).

Democrats must make amends with the 402 other counties that voted for Trump after voting for Obama at least once. This will require the Democrats’ progressive lions to lay down with the Democrats’ moderate lambs, a spectacle as biblical as it is inimical to progressives’ pride about their wokeness. They might, however, be encouraged to be more politically ecumenical by remembering this: In 2016, Clinton won cumulatively a million more votes than Obama did in 2012 in New York, Massachusetts and California, but won one million fewer than he received everywhere else.

Everything, however, depends on Democrats jettisoning, before they allow it to influence their selection of a candidate, their self-flattering explanation of 2016. As William Voegeli, senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, has written: “Ascribing the 2016 election to your opponents’ bigotry makes clear that the problem was not that Democrats didn’t do enough to deserve people’s votes, but that the people weren’t good enough to deserve Democrats’ governance. … One imagines that, sooner rather than later, even Democrats will come to suspect that denigrating people until they vote for you lacks a certain strategic plausibility.” Sooner than the Milwaukee convention?

Will is a Washington Post columnist. His email address is georgewill@washpost.com.

AOC Warned That Trump Will Win 2020 : Do You Agree?

US-China trade war takes center stage
The US. Trade Representative’s office is set to hold public hearings Monday that will focus on the new round of 25 percent tariffs the Trump administration plans to slap on $300 billion in imported Chinese items not already hit with levies, including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers. President Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China and has said a See More new round of tariffs are needed to force the nation to end unfair trade practices. Meanwhile, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart and Target, have signed a letter telling the president that an escalating trade war with China will hurt families, jobs and the U.S. economy.

AOC has a warning for Democrats — and Trump agrees (in a way)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., warned Sunday there is “very real risk” President Trump will win re-election in 2020, sparking a rare response of its kind from the president: “I agree.” “I think that we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News’ Jon Karl on “This Week” in her first Sunday morning show appearance since she took office in January.

The president quoted the congresswoman in a tweet Sunday night, adding: “I agree, and that is the only reason they play the impeach card, which cannot be legally used!” Ocasio-Cortez said she did not see herself endorsing a particular candidate “any timesoon,” however. Still, one must wonder if ultimately, she would support Sen. Bernie Sanders, who told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” that a “political revolution” is needed enact “real change” in the country.

Iran to defy uranium stockpile limits
Iran is set to break its uranium stockpile limit set by the nuclear deal within 10 days, according to a spokesman for the country’s atomic agency. The comment was broadcast live during a news conference on Iranian state television on Monday. The spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spoke to journalists at Iran’s Arak heavy water facility. He acknowledged that Iran has already quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium.

Buttigieg: I’m won’t be the first gay president — because I’m ‘almost certain’ we’ve already had one
Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t believe he’ll be the first gay president if elected in 2020. “I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones,” he told “Axios on HBO.” “I mean, statistically, it’s almost certain.” Asked if he possibly knew which commander-in-chief was gay, the Democratic hopeful said: “My gaydar even doesn’t work that well in the present, let alone retroactively. But one can only assume that’s the case.” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., has been rising in the polls and would be the first openly gay presidential candidate, if nominated next year.

Jury selection set to begin in trial of Navy SEAL accused of killing ISIS prisoner
The trial of a decorated Navy SEALcharged with killing an ISIS prisoner in his care is set to begin with jury selection on Monday. Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of an ISIS prisoner and attempted murder in the shootings of two Iraqi civilians in 2017. The politically-charged case has included the removal of the lead prosecutor for tracking the defense team’s emails and suggestions by President Trump that he may pardon the defendant.

Woodland plays spoiler in US Open win
In the contest of guts and nerve and skill that was the final round of the 119th U.S. Open, Gary Woodland was the last man standing. Woodland, 35, shot a two-under-par 69 at Pebble Beach Golf Links to win his first career major and deny Brooks Koepka (68) the chance to become the first man to win three straight U.S. Opens in more than a century.Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning.

TODAY’S MUST-READS
O.J. Simpson: Kris Jenner relationship rumors are ‘bogus.’
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share sweet Father’s Day photo of Archie.
Thousands of court cases under review in Ohio after former judge allegedly came to work drunk.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Boeing CEO acknowledges ‘mistake’ in handling of cockpit warning problem before fatal Max jet crashes.
DOJ, major banks meet to address elder financial abuse.
AOC blasts Amazon’s Bezos for paying workers ‘starvation wages.’

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The Justice Department published a legal opinion Friday backing up Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision not to turn over President Trump’s tax returns to Congress, arguing that House Democrats’ demand for the information was unconstitutional.

Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel argued in a 33-page memo that the demand, made under a law that grants the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee the power to request tax returns from the Treasury secretary, is a pretext for making Trump’s tax information public.

“Under the facts and circumstances, the Secretary of the Treasury reasonably and correctly concluded that the Committee’s asserted interest in reviewing the Internal Revenue Service’s audits of presidential returns was pretextual and that its true aim was to make the President’s tax returns public, which is not a legitimate legislative purpose,” Engel wrote.

The administration, as well as Trump’s lawyers, maintain that Congress does not have a right to review Trump’s financial information. Engel echoed arguments made by Trump’s lawyers that the request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and that Congress does not have the right to compel members of the executive branch to hand over confidential information — despite the fact that the law congressional Democrats cited was passed in the 1920s in response to a corruption scandal, the Teapot Dome Scandal, involving a Cabinet official.

Unauthorized disclosure of tax information is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, though there may be procedural mechanisms for Congress to publish the information or conclusions of an investigation into Trump’s taxes using his returns.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., has said that his purpose for the request is to have committee staff to privately review Trump’s taxes to see if the IRS is auditing him and his businesses, as directed by an agency rule, as well as to investigate whether Trump and his businesses may have failed to pay all taxes over the last several years.

Controversy over Trump’s taxes began during the 2016 campaign, when he became the first major party presidential candidate in decades to decline to release his tax returns. Past presidents have voluntarily disclosed their tax returns as a transparency measure, including former President Richard Nixon, who gave his tax returns to a congressional committee for their own independent audit.

Neal has said he plans to sue the Treasury Department and IRS to enforce the request and a follow-up subpoena, setting up another court battle between Congress and Trump over the president’s financial information.


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