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Demand for U.S. arms exports set to keep growing, official says

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International demand for U.S. weapons systems is expected to continue growing in coming years, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Sunday, citing strong interest in unmanned systems, munitions and fighter jets.

“The appetite just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” U.S. Air Force Deputy Undersecretary Heidi Grant told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow.

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U.S. arms sales approved by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency rose 36 percent to $46.6 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2015, and are likely to remain strong this year, Grant said.

Grant, the Air Force’s top international arms sales official, said she was working with many countries in eastern Europe and others that wanted to increase their defenses following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, but faced tough budget constraints.

Pooling resources was one option being explored, she said, noting that many European countries already pooled and shared their transport assets in the European Air Transport Command.

Transport has been a big concern for European countries given delays in deliveries of the Airbus Group SE A400M military transport plane caused by a series of technical challenges on the multi-national development program.

France recently purchased four Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes to help bridge the gap, particularly given its military operations in Africa. Germany is also considering buying C-130J planes to cover additional needs that government sources say would not be addressed by the A400M.

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Grant said there were early discussions about the U.S. military joining the European transport pool to help Europe meet its transportation and logistics needs.

The U.S. Air Force was also exploring the possibility of adding some C-130J aircraft to the Strategic Airlift Capability, a consortium of 12 nations that operates three Boeing Co C-17 transport planes from Papa Air Base in Hungary, she said.

“We’re looking at all kind of different options,” Grant said. “We’re just looking for creative solutions to get at this gap in a resource-constrained environment.”

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No decisions had been made and there were still important questions to resolve, including who would bear the cost of expanding the current efforts, she said.

Grant said newly confirmed Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein had carried out 14 bilateral meetings with officials from other countries and six industry partners during his visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, the world’s largest military air show, in England this past week.

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Goldfein’s top priority, she said, was to increase the ability of the U.S. military to cooperate and work together with allies and coalition partners, and he had talked with industry about how best to incentivize that kind of approach.

(Editing by Paul Simao)


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Watergate’s John Dean thinks Trump wrote part of his legal team’s brief — because it’s so terrible

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Former White House counsel for Richard Nixon, John Dean, explained that the legal brief out of President Donald Trump's White House was so bad that it had to have been dictated by Trump himself.

Saturday evening, Trump's legal team, chaired by Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, filed their own form of a legal brief that responded to the case filed by Democrats ahead of Tuesday's impeachment trial.

The document called the proceedings “constitutionally invalid” and claims House Democrats are staging a “dangerous attack” with a “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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WATCH: Prince Harry explains why he and Meghan are leaving the royal family — but promises ‘a life of service’

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Prince Harry posted a video from an HIV/AIDS fundraiser his mother once supported, where he explained his methodology for leaving his profile role as a royal.

"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear," said Harry.

He went on to say that he doesn't intend to walk away and he certainly won't walk away from his causes and interests. "We intend to live a life of service."

In the speech, he thanked those who took him under their wing in the absence of his mother

"I hope you can understand that it's what it had come to," he said for why their family intends to step back.

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‘You cannot expect anything but fascism’: Pedagogy theorist on how Trump ‘legitimated a culture of lying, cruelty and a collapse of social responsibility’

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The impeachment of Donald Trump appears to be a crisis without a history, at least a history that illuminates, not just comparisons with other presidential impeachments, but a history that provides historical lessons regarding its relationship to a previous age of tyranny that ushered in horrors associated with a fascist politics in the 1930s.  In the age of Trump, history is now used to divert and elude the most serious questions to be raised about the impeachment crisis. The legacy of earlier presidential impeachments, which include Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, provide a comparative historical context for analysis and criticism. And while Trump’s impeachment is often defined as a more serious constitutional crisis given his attempt to use the power of the presidency to advance his personal political agenda, it is a crisis that willfully ignores the conditions that gave rise to Trump’s presidency along with its recurring pattern of authoritarian behavior, policies, and practices.  One result is that the impeachment process with its abundance of political theater and insipid media coverage treats Trump’s crimes as the endpoint of an abuse of power and an illegal act, rather than as a political action that is symptomatic of a long legacy of conditions that have led to the United States’ slide into the abyss of authoritarianism.

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