The Air Force Will Start Work on Flying Cars This Fall | Defense One


If you thought that flying cars were just for Marty McFly or maybe Rick Deckard, the U.S. Air Force has some good news for you. This fall, service officials will kick off Agility Prime, an effort to harness the commercial world’s work on flying cars and, eventually, replace the V-22 Osprey.

Will Roper, the service’s assistant secretary for acquisition, described the program at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space & Cyber conference on Tuesday as “a low-hanging opportunity” to “look into where commercial innovation is going in flying cars.”

Source: The Air Force Will Start Work on Flying Cars This Fall – Defense One

Extra-Long Sustainment Contracts Are Lockheed’s Latest Bid to Cut F-35 Costs | Defense One


Lockheed Martin is pitching the Pentagon on a new idea for reducing the cost of the F-35 combat jet: sign a five-year maintenance deal instead of negotiating a new contract every year. There’s also a performance-based twist: the company would provide enough spare parts to keep 80 percent of the world’s F-35s battle-ready — or face penalties.

Currently, Lockheed and the Pentagon’s F-35 program office negotiate new deals every year to maintain the hundreds of F-35s flown by U.S. and allied forces. The negotiations often take most of the year and by the time a contract is signed, it’s time to begin negotiating the next one.

Source: Extra-Long Sustainment Contracts Are Lockheed’s Latest Bid to Cut F-35 Costs – Defense One

Democrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House | TheHill


Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are headed for a confrontation with the White House after setting a series of key deadlines this week for documents and witness hearings.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) set Tuesday as the deadline for three witnesses to provide testimony at a hearing and for the Department of Homeland Security to provide materials on whether President Trump dangled pardons to border officials.

So far, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is the only witness to agree to attend the hearing that is expected to focus on a key episode of possible obstruction by Trump, as laid out in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Source: Democrats headed for a subpoena showdown with White House | TheHill

Back to school 2019: A lesson plan from the science of learning


By the year 2000, every adult American will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy…”

These words were penned in 1990 by the U.S. Department of Education. Sadly, the goals were not met. Two decades later, 43 million adults—roughly 20 percent —in the United States struggle with written texts needed to participate in society.

And in our knowledge economy, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require a post-secondary education. Thus salaries and even adequate health care demand that we solve the reading problem.

The need to improve literacy helps illuminate two points. First, there is serious misalignment between what the science tells us and what we are doing in the classroom.

Second, it is imperative that our schools train teachers in the latest science so that they can teach in ways that best suit how human brains learn.

Source: Back to school 2019: A lesson plan from the science of learning

Divided Fed set to cut interest rates this week, but then what? | Reuters


Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that begins on Tuesday.

While an oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness, the deep divide evident around the Fed’s policymaking table means further rate cuts could be far from a done deal.

Source: Divided Fed set to cut interest rates this week, but then what? – Reuters

U.S. value fund managers betting shift to value stocks won’t last | Reuters


The massive U.S. market rotation into value stocks over the last two weeks is finally giving value fund managers a reason to be hopeful after years of underperformance.

Yet portfolio managers from firms such as Hillman Funds, Artisan Partners and Eaton Vance say that they are taking the rally in value stocks – so called because they trade at cheaper valuations than the rapidly expanding companies in the growth stock category – to sell some of their best performers and move into companies that are further out of favor.

The move is based on views that the market’s shift to value stocks will not last.

Source: U.S. value fund managers betting shift to value stocks won’t last – Reuters

Hong Kong leader to hold dialogue aimed at easing tensions | Reuters


Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, said on Tuesday she and her team would begin dialogue sessions with the community next week, while reiterating that violence that has roiled the city over three months of protests must end.

Lam, who is under pressure from Beijing to defuse the public anger stirring the protests, said the dialogue sessions would be as open as possible, with members of the public able to sign up to attend.

Source: Hong Kong leader to hold dialogue aimed at easing tensions – Reuters

Warning of election ‘disaster’, Israel’s Netanyahu battles for survival | Reuters


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu battled for his political survival in the final hours of a close-run election on Tuesday, urging voters to support him to avert a “disaster.”

His voice hoarse from weeks of campaigning, the veteran leader took to the streets and social media, at one point using a megaphone in Jerusalem’s bus station, to urge voters to extend his unbroken decade in power.

Source: Warning of election ‘disaster’, Israel’s Netanyahu battles for survival – Reuters

Strikes on Saudi oil disrupt global supply

The oil-processing plant of Abqaiq is located 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters. It handles crude from the world’s largest conventional oil field, the supergiant Ghawar, and exports to terminals Ras Tanura — the world’s biggest offshore oil loading facility — and Juaymah. It also pumps westwards across the kingdom to export terminals on the Red Sea.

While the Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the blame squarely on Iran, writing on Twitter that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

Source: Strikes on Saudi oil disrupt global supply

India arrests senior Kashmir leader under controversial law


A Parliament member who is a senior pro-India politician in Indian-controlled Kashmir was arrested Monday under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.

Farooq Abdullah, 81, who also was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital and main city of the disputed Himalayan region.

“We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be,” said Muneer Khan, a top police official.

Abdullah is the first pro-India politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades.

Source: India arrests senior Kashmir leader under controversial law