Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday Links

Here are some things in the news, as the fiscal year comes to an end:

From CBS Houston, the Oklahoma beheading suspect had been in an altercation over his "not liking white people".

From the National Post, Husain Abdullah was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after scoring a touchdown, for sliding into an Islamic prayer position.

From The Independent, the Aral Sea, once the fourth-largest lake in the world, has been rendered almost completely dry.

From Fox News, the rise of ISIS has become an issue in the Senate race in North Carolina.

From Tech Crunch, Reddit plans to create its own crypto-currency.

From CNET, eBay will spin off PayPal into its own separate company.

From Pantagraph, the foreign minister of the Bahamas tells the UN that his country will crack down on illegal immigration.

From Breitbart California, after California Governor Jerry Brown signed a ban on plastic grocery bags, an effort begins to repeal the ban by referendum in 2016.

From ABC News, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is arrested in Maryland for DUI.

From BarbWire, during a moment of silence before a high school football game, cheerleaders lead the crowd in prayer.

From The Washington Post, a recent White House intruder was tackled by an off-duty Secret Service agent.

From ZDNet, tomorrow Microsoft will present a preview of Windows 10.

From My Fox Chicago, Kurdish leaders claim that their fighters have captured a border crossing with Syria from ISIS.

And from the New York Post, the next Star Trek movie might include a vaguely familiar face.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CT State Representative Charged With Voter Fraud

This one seems to have gotten bounced around from the New Haven Register to Weasel Zippers to American Thinker to Fox News.

The old saying "vote early and often" has been commonly attributed to Chicagoans such as Mayor Richard Dailey, but it seems to have been taken to heart by Connecticut state representative Christina Ayala (D-Bridgeport), who has been charged with 19 voting fraud charges, including 8 charges of fraudulently voting.  According to the above-mentioned Register:
Ayala, 31, is accused of voting in local and state elections in districts she did not live, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
The next time someone on the left says that requiring voters to show ID suppresses the vote, please tell them about Christina Ayala.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Another Would-Be Beheader In Oklahoma?

From The Oklahoman:
In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off.
Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, 30, is being held in the Oklahoma County jail on a terrorism complaint. His bail is set at $1 million.
A coincidence, a copycat, or (as I pointed out yesterday) someone answering the call of ISIS?  Back to The Oklahoman:
The co-worker reported Muriithi threatened her while they were both working at the nursing home Sept. 19, a police detective wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit.
The woman was not identified.
She said Muriithi identified himself as a Muslim and said he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians,” the detective told a judge in the affidavit. The two had not worked together before.
Muriithi is reported to be a native of Kenya.  Read the full story.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"Workplace Violence" Again?

Just as with the Fort Hood shooting, the beheading and stabbing at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma is being treated as "workplace violence", which has some terrorism experts befuddled.  While it's true that the incident occurred at the place where the suspect, Alton Nolen, had been fired, he had disparaged non-Muslims and stated "Sharia Law is coming" on Facebook, where he also posted a picture of a beheading.  The attack occurred just a few days after an ISIS leader called for the killing of "disbelievers".  Nolen is in a hospital recovering from gunshot wounds, and will be charged with first degree murder.

Friday, September 26, 2014

UK Couple Thrown Off Bus For Singing Peppa Pig Song

In England, a young couple from Rotherham riding on a bus tried to comfort their crying autistic daughter by singing the theme song from the TV show Peppa Pig, and were kicked off the bus because of a complaint by a Muslim rider.  Apparently, Muslims in Britain have the right, not only to avoid eating pork, as their religion requires, but also to remove from their environment all references to pigs.

Read the story at the Mail Online.

Oklahoma Man Allegedly Beheads Woman

A man in Moore, Oklahoma, who had been recently fired from a food processing plant, allegedly beheaded one woman and stabbed another, before being shot by an Oklahoma County reserve deputy.  He recently converted to Islam and was reportedly trying to likewise convert his co-workers.

Read more at Fox News, CNN, The Washington Times, KOCO and the New York Post.

UPDATE:  From Heavy, five facts you need to know about the suspect.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Belgian City To Build Beer Pipeline

Via Fox News, from The Telegraph:
Tired of delivery trucks rumbling near its mythic canals, Belgium's medieval town of Bruges has approved the construction of a beer pipeline to link a five-century-old brewery to a bottling factory nearby.
The two-mile underground pipeline will link the De Halve Maan brewery in the heart of the "Venice of the North" to an industrial park where the beer will be bottled and shipped to drinkers worldwide, company director Xavier Vanneste said.
Read the full story.

Full disclosure:  I visited Brugge, Belgium in 2005.  The city is a World Heritage Centre and has some restrictions on motor vehicle traffic.  To learn more about Brugge, go here, here, here and here.

AG Eric Holder To Step Down

Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that he will resign, but will stay at his position until his successor is nominated and confirmed.

Read more at AOL News, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, ABC News and Yahoo News.

Considering Mr. Holder's opposition to voter ID, which he apparently believes amounts to voter suppression, and the free pass he gave to members of the New Black Panther Party, who really did suppress the vote, I sincerely hope that the door doesn't hit him on the way out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Links

Here in the middle of the week, a few stories in the news:

From UPI, National Security Advisor Susan Rice says that yesterday's air strikes against ISIS "had an impact".

From The Weekly Standard, President Obama brings up Ferguson, MO in his speech to the UN.

From CBS St. Louis, meanwhile back in Ferguson, there was more unrest, including a fire that destroyed a memorial to Michael Brown.

From Real Clear Politics, an excerpt and some video of Obama's speech.

The Daily Caller alleges that White House staff censors press pool reports.

From Chicagoist, former Mayor Dailey and C3 continue to mutually benefit.

From LifeNews, Michigan abortionist Alberto Hodari, who has killed four women in botched abortions, has been denied renewal of his license.

From Legal Insurrection, a whistle blower stands by his story.

From MyFoxChicago, Citizens Financial Group sees its stock price rise during its debut on the NYSE.

From The Local, Germany's attempt to arm Iraqi Kurds experiences technical difficulties.  (via Breitbart London)

From the Washington Free Beacon, Mr. Bill and Ms. Hill appear to have adopted Walls Street's position on inversions.

From the Mail Online, ISIS-linked terrorists in Algeria behead a French hostage.

From Fox News, Charlottesville police have charged a man with abduction in the case of a missing University of Virginia student.  UPDATE:  He has been arrested in Galveston, TX.

From Grantland, a professional athlete gets "the yips".

And from the New York Post, a woman claims that her boobs are real, including her surgically-added third one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

US And Arab Allies Launch Airstrikes Against ISIS In Syria

Late yesterday, the United States, with the participation or support of Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, launched airstrikes against ISIS positions in Syria.  The Syrian government appears to have had no objections to the bombings.  The United States also struck a little-known al Qaeda affiliate known as the Khorosan Group.

Read more at ABC News, The Independent, The Guardian, CNN and Reuters.

UPDATE:  Meanwhile, from CBS News, a Syrian plane enters Israeli airspace and gets shot down.

The Horseshoe Curve

The Horseshoe Curve is a section of railroad tracking a few miles west of Altoona, Pennsylvania, built onto the side of Kittanning Point and two adjacent hills.  It was originally constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1854, with many of the workers coming from Ireland.  During World War II, it was one of the targets of German saboteurs who landed on the east coast in 1942.  In recent decades, ownership of the line passed from the Pennsylvania to the Penn Central to Conrail and finally to Norfolk Southern, due to mergers and the purchase of Conrail by Norfolk Southern and CSX.  The curve originally included two tracks and was later expanded to four.  Conrail removed one, resulting in the present three-track layout.

The Horseshoe Curve is now a national landmark.  Here's the entrance and gift shop, through which you must pass if you want to go the side of the fence from which I took the photo.

To go up to the viewing area, you can either ride a funicular or climb up the stairs, which start behind the clock tower.

I got to the top of the stairs just as an eastbound (and downhill) Norfolk Southern freight train started to pass through.

Serving as a trackside monument is the retired Pennsylvania 7048 diesel-electric locomotive.

This is the old watchman's shanty.

Here's a look down the funicular tracks.  Connected to and behind the lower funicular station is an exhibit hall.

This is the view to the east, toward Altoona.  Of the two bodies of water, the more distant is the Kittanning Reservoir.

After a while, a westbound (and uphill) NS train pulled into the curve.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Missing Afghan Soldiers Caught Trying To Enter Canada

Three Afghan soldiers, who recently went missing from a U.S. military base near Cape Cod, have been caught at Rainbow Bridge checkpoint in Niagara Falls, NY while trying to enter Canada.  They had previously last been seen in the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis.

Read more at CBS News, ABC News, USA Today and NBC News.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Turkey Accused Of Colluding With ISIS

After 49 Turkish diplomats were held by ISIS for three months, they were suddenly released.  The Turkish government denies having made any deal with ISIS, but will not say why ISIS released them.  Some Kurds have claimed that Turkey and ISIS have colluded in an effort to wipe out Kurdish enclaves in Syria.

From The Independent:
Hailed in Ankara as a triumph for Turkey, the freeing of the diplomats seized when Mosul fell to Isis on 10 June raises fresh questions about the relationship between the Turkish government and Isis. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the release is the result of a covert operation by Turkish intelligence that must remain a secret.
He added on Sunday that “there are things we cannot talk about. To run the state is not like running a grocery store. We have to protect our sensitive issues; if you don’t there would be a price to pay.” Turkey denies that a ransom was paid or promises made to Isis.
The freeing of the hostages comes at the same moment as 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled across the border into Turkey to escape an Isis offensive against the enclave of Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, which has seen the capture of many villages.
Read the full story.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland Votes To Stay In The UK

The people of Scotland voted yesterday to keep their country within the United Kingdom, by a vote of 55% "no" to 45% "yes".  Voter turnout was estimated to be at around 85%.  Of Scotland's 32 Council Areas, only four had a prevalence of the "yes" (pro-independence) vote.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Archaeologists Find Gas Chambers At Sobibór

Via The Blaze:

Archaeologists working in eastern Poland have discovered what they believe to be gas chambers at the site of the Nazi concentration camp Sobibór, located near the village having the same name.  After an uprising in October 1943, the occupying Germans closed the camp down and tried to remove all traces of its existence, including razing the gas chambers and constructing a road over their foundations.  The number of Jews killed in these chambers is estimated to be about 250,000.

Read the story at The World Post.

Terrorism Plot Foiled In Australia

More than 800 Australian federal and state police officers conducted raids in 12 suburbs of Sydney that foiled a plot by supporters of ISIS to abduct and behead a randomly selected person.  Other raids were conducted in Brisbane and Logan.  The plot was allegedly planned in response to exhortations by an Australian member of ISIS to his supporters to conduct "demonstration killings".

Read more at National Post, The Guardian, Fox News and CBS News.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

South Koreans Arrest American Trying To Swim To North Korea

An American man tried to swim from South Korea to North Korea, in hopes of meeting Kim Jong-un, but was found by South Korean marines as he lay exhausted on a river bank.  I'd say that he's extremely lucky to be arrested by South Koreans and not their northern counterparts.

Recently, another American in North Korea tore up his visa and demanded to be arrested, because he wanted to experience life in that country's prison system.  He was quickly accommodated, by being sentenced to six years hard labor.

Read the story at the Mail Online, and whatever you do, stay the heck away from North Korea.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obama Puts Boots On The Ground To Fight Ebola

Via Gateway Pundit:

President Obama will be sending up to 3,000 troops to western Africa, to help combat the region's ebola outbreak.  What will be called Operation United Assistance will be commanded by a general to be based in Monrovia, Liberia.  The operation will also create a regional staging base and 17 treatment centers.

Read the story at The Washington Post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Links

With the new work week upon us, here are some things in the news:

From ABC News, Hurricane Odile slams into Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

From MyFoxChicago, Urban Outfitters have been slammed for their Kent State sweatshirt.

From MyFoxDC, the FAA approves a runway for drones being tested in Texas.

From Fox News, the White House claims that Arab nations have offered to join in air strikes against ISIS.

From Politico, the Justice Department plans to "step up" their fight against terrorist recruitment.

From LifeNews, Germany dedicates a memorial to the disabled people killed in the Holocaust.

From UPI, a poll of people in the United Kingdom outside of Scotland indicates that they want Scotland to stay in the UK.

From The Verge, Coca-Cola has decided to bring back the lemon-lime soda called SURGE.

From The Washington Post, some Marriott hotels will be leaving envelops in their rooms, so you can tip the housekeepers.

From The Blaze, there's lithium in the water supply.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Israeli army officials believe that Hezbollah's future plans include ground assaults into Israel.

From the New York Post, in Australia, a vet performs life-saving surgery on a 10-year-old goldfish.

From Townhall, a CAIR spokesman compares Fox News to ISIS.

From the Northwest Herald, the US water ski show team wins the world championship.

From Page Six, an actress who claimed that she was stopped by police for being black and in the company of a white man, were allegedly having sex in their car.

And from Entertainment Weekly, the show Dating Naked will be renewed for a second season.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Terror Attack Foiled In Uganda

From Fox News:
Ugandan authorities on Saturday thwarted an attempted terror attack, just days after the terror group al-Shabaab vowed revenge for U.S. air strikes that killed its leader.
Uganda police reportedly arrested several suspects and recovered explosives in the capitol of Kampala, according to The Wall Street Journal. However authorities did not say whether the suspects are members of al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate.
In 2010, al-Shabaab killed 79 people, including one American, in an attack in Kampala, the largest city in Uganda.  Read the full story.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Indian Branch Of AQ Attacks, Fails Miserably

Via CNS News:

Yesterday, there were no terrorist attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 here in the United States, but in Pakistan, Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent attempted to attack what they thought was an American carrier docked at Karachi.  In reality, it was a Pakistani frigate.  In other words, they failed to even correctly identify what they were attacking.  Three attackers were killed, and 7 others were arrested.

Read more at The Telegraph.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pokemon Impersonator Jumps White House Fence

This year, 9/11 has gone by without any terrorist attacks, as far as I know.  However, one guy decided to jump over the White House fence, while wearing a Pokemon mask, and was soon thereafter apprehended by Secret Service agents.

Read more at ABC News, Yahoo News and Huff Post Politics.

The Man In A Red Bandana

The following video was created by ESPN and posted on a TechSideline message board.  Let me give a brief summary.

Welles Crowther grew up in Nyack, NY and attended Boston College, where he played lacrosse.  He graduated in 1999 and moved to New York, where he worked as an equities trader, in the south tower of the World Trade Center.  He eventually grew dissatisfied with his choice of career and decided that he would rather be a firefighter.  Starting when he was a child, he often carried or wore a red bandana.  For him, 9/11/2001 started out like any other day at work.  To learn what happened that day, watch the video.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back To Harper's Ferry

For the first in two years, I recently drove out to Harper's Ferry, the town in (at the time) Virginia where John Brown led his unsuccessful raid.  Today, it's part of West Virginia.  I was able to park on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, adjacent to the C&O Towpath, and walk over the river into Harper's Ferry itself, before continuing southward on the Appalachian Trail.  To one side of the trail is Jefferson's Rock.  In this shot, the bridge in the background is U.S. highway 340 going over the Shenandoah River, and includes a walkway forming another section of the AT.  After crossing the bridge, I continued uphill for a while on the other side of the Shenandoah before turning back.

Back in Harper's Ferry, but still well above the eastern end of town, I got this shot of the two railroad bridges that cross the Potomac, my view partially blocked by trees.  The bridge just right of center includes one track and a pedestrian walkway that forms another part of the Appalachian Trail, by which I had earlier crossed over from Maryland.  The bridge to the left includes two tracks that also go through Harper's Ferry's railroad station.  On the Maryland side of the river are hiking trails in an area called Maryland Heights.

The Maryland end of the railroad bridge walkway connects to a metal stairway that goes to the C&O Towpath below the two bridges.  Continuing northward, the AT joins the C&O going eastward for about 3 miles, after which the two trails split.  After a slow eastbound freight train came to a stop, I took this shot from the bottom of the stairway, which led under the bridge on which I had crossed.

To see pictures from my 2012 visit to Harper's Ferry, go to the blog archive and click on "2012" and "May", under which two posts will have "Harper's Ferry" in their titles.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Joan Rivers Banned Three People From Her Funeral

Via The Blaze:

The recently-departed Joan Rivers had three people banned from attending her funeral.  All are female, and were the targets of some of her most recent insults.  To find out who they are, read the story at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Child Respiratory Illness Spikes In 10 States

From Fox News:
Hundreds of children across America have been sickened in recent weeks by what health officials suspect is a rare respiratory virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that human enterovirus 68 is at the root of the epidemic, though testing of samples has not produced a definitive answer.
The Denver Post reported that officials at Children's Hospital Colorado have treated more than 900 children for severe respiratory illnesses since August 18, with 86 admitted to the hospital.
This type of virus normally effects the digestive system, but this one infects the respiratory system.  This outbreak coincides with the start of the school year, with many schools being recently forced by the federal government to accommodate recently-arrived illegal alien children, and while medical personnel were forbidden to publicly discuss the condition of such children whom they have seen.  Coincidence and nothing more?

Read the full story.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Teenage Girl Arrested For Smuggling 14 Illegal Aliens

A 17-year-old girl in Texas was able to fit other 14 people, all in the United States illegally, in her Ford F-150 pickup truck and then lead Border Patrol and sheriff's deputies on a 119-mile chase before being caught.  From The Washington Times:
Selena Amanda Huitron, 17, of Austin reached speeds up to 100 mph Friday while being pursued by police through LaSalle, Frio and Bexar counties, the ABC-affiliated KSAT reported.
Ms. Huitron, a U.S. citizen, is accused of transporting and smuggling immigrants in her Ford F-150.
Read the full story, and the original report at KSAT.  Can a Ford F-150 hold a total of 15 people, including the driver?  Go here to get a look at that type of pickup.

Obamacare Not Helping Rural Hospitals

(H/T Call Me Mom)

A man in Linden, Texas had to be taken to a nearby hospital.  After being released, he learned that the hospital would soon be closing.  From MSN News:
In January, Linden, Texas native Richard Bowden suffered a mild stroke. Within minutes, medics had taken the 68-year-old to the local hospital emergency room, less than a block from his house.
“They checked me out real good,” said the former city councilor, whose East Texas community of nearly 2,000 has relied on the Linden hospital since the 1960s.
Shortly after returning home, Bowden learned he would outlast the hospital itself: the facility was about to close because there weren't enough patients. “It blindsided me,” he said. “It's 15 miles to the next hospital. Out in the country, that seems like a long way.”
The environment faced by rural hospitals is difficult, and has been worsened by Obamacare.
Now the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is bringing additional pressure. Obamacare is designed to fold the poor and uninsured into the healthcare system, but changes in how the federal government pays for the disadvantaged are already pressuring the hospitals that cater to them, such as rural ones.
Looks like you can't keep your doctor, you can't keep your insurance plan, and you can't even keep your local hospital.  Read the full story.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ball Boy Shows Off His Speed

Via Saturday Down South:

During last week's NCAA football game between Auburn and Arkansas, Auburn wide receiver Melvin Ray catches a pass and runs for the end zone.  He is joined in a footrace by Auburn's ball boy, running along the sideline.

Go over to the YouTube page and read the comments, which discuss whether the ball boy is legitimately as fast as the wide receiver.

Was Bush Right?

Via The Blaze:

Fox News host Megyn Kelly presents a clip from 2007 in which then-President Bush warned about taking American forces out of Iraq too soon, calling his warning "frighteningly accurate".  There is one thing, however, that Bush could not have predicted, and that is the takeover of much of Iraq, not by Al Qaeda, but by a new terrorist organization.  But overall, a pretty good prediction by someone who was often accused of being extraordinarily stupid.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Joan Rivers 1933-2014

Joan Rivers, who had been in a medically-induced coma after she stopped breathing during an operation on her vocal chords, died at 1:17 p.m. today at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, according to an announcement by her daughter Melissa.  She had been unconscious and in critical but stable condition for a week.  Rivers was a lifelong comedienne and fashion critic, whose humor knew few boundaries, with her harshest barbs often aimed at herself.

Joan Alexandra Molinsky was born to Russian immigrant parents on June 8, 1933.  She grew up in Brooklyn and Westchester County, NY, and attended Connecticut College and Barnard College, earning degrees in English and anthropology.  Before becoming famous, she took Joan Rivers as her stage name.  She got her big break in 1965 on The Tonight Show: Starring Johnny Carson and later became the show's first permanent guest host, but was banned from the show when she got her own show during the same time slot.  The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers was short-lived, but she later launched The Joan Rivers Show.  Besides appearing in numerous other shows, and even selling jewelry on QVC, Rivers wrote 12 books.

Read more at USA Today, ABC News, NBC News and People.

Thursday Links

A few stories in the news out there:

From Fredericksburg(dot)com, Mary Washington Healthcare will lay off 66 workers and cut back the hours of 46 others.

From Catholic Vote, five ways you are affected by gay marriage - even if you're neither gay nor married.

From Fox News, a fetus has been found at a sewage plant in Connecticut.

From Fox Business, jobless claims have risen more than had been expected.

From Reuters, Microsoft launches a new smartphone.

From CBS New York, the New York Daily News will no longer mention the name "Redskins" or the team's logo.

From EAG News, a school in Australia has banned "unsupervised cartwheels".

From Watchdog(dot)org, two teachers union bosses earn hefty salaries.

From The Verge, Sphero's Ollie is a smartphone-controlled toy that can move at up to 14 mph.

From The Weekly Standard, Secretary of State and former Senator John Kerry (D-Mass) is "sort of" thinking about running for the presidency in 2016.  (via Weasel Zippers)

From Real Clear Politics, Vice President and former Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) might also be running in 2016.

From the New York Post, the 9/11 Museum will display the shirt worn by the Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden.

And from Live Science, a dinosaur unearthed in Argentina weighed as much as 12 modern elephants.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

American Ex-Cop Wanted To Join ISIS

Via the New York Post:

Last month, a man who was born and raised an American Catholic in North Carolina, and who served as a sheriff's deputy, was arrested at Kennedy Airport for attempting to sell a weapon online.  During the time he was outside the United States, he had been trying to get into Syria in order to join ISIS.

Read the story at NBC News.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Libyan Jetliners Reported Missing

Via Political Pistachio:

Last month, Islamist groups took control 11 jet airliners, after seizing the airport in Tripoli, Libya.  The planes are property of two state-owned airlines.  Seven planes were also reportedly damaged during the battle to take over the airport.  Any American who remembers what happened on 9/11/2001 knows that terrorists may be willing to use commercial airplanes as weapons.

Read the story at The Washington Free Beacon.

Monday, September 1, 2014

U.S. Military Attacks Somali Terrorists

According to the Pentagon, the United States military attacked the Al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia earlier today.  The group is reportedly linked to Al-Qaeda, and was designated as a foreign terrorist organization in 2008.  Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby stated, "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate."

Read the story at CNN, NBC News and The Washington Post, all of whom quote Adm. Kirby.

NASA Developing New Space Rocket

Although its activities seem to have been curtailed during the last few years, NASA has been developing a rocket that, if completed, will be taller and more powerful than the Saturn V, which propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the moon.  Like the recently-retired Space Shuttle, the new Space Launch System includes two solid booster rockets, which will be attached to the sides of a four-engine liquid-fueled "Core Stage".  From The Verge:
NASA has worked on some inspiring interplanetary projects in the last few years, but few have been as ambitious as the simply-named Space Launch System, a new rocket that will be the largest ever built at 384 feet tall, surpassing even the mighty Saturn V (363 feet), the rocket that took humanity to the moon. It will also be more powerful, with 20 percent more thrust using liquid hydrogen and oxygen as fuel. Last week, NASA announced that the Space Launch System, SLS for short, is on track to perform its first unmanned test launch in 2018. The larger goal is to carry humans into orbit around an asteroid, and then to Mars by the 2030s. After that, NASA says the rocket could be used to reach Saturn and Jupiter.
At the moment, even getting off the ground would be progress: since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, NASA has been left without any domestic capability to launch American astronauts into space; instead it has been purchasing rides for them aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft at high cost. While SpaceX and other private companies are working furiously to provide their own human passenger spacecraft for travel into Earth's orbit, NASA wants to go even further. The agency has begun testing models of the SLS and initial construction of some the major components. It says the first test flight will have an initial cost of $7 billion. The SLS will also be reusing some leftover parts from the inventory of the retired Space Shuttle, including its engines.
Read the full story, and in this case, look at the pictures, too.