President Donald Trump declared Monday he will move to make a new branch of the military focused solely on space.
"I am hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces," Trump said during a meeting of the National Space Council.
"Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity but a matter of national security," Trump said.
He floated the idea for the force as a part of his national security strategy on March 13, saying "space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea." The president described then how he had originally coined the term as a joke, while discussing U.S. government spending and private investment in space.
"We have the Air Force, we'll have the space force," Trump said in March.
As it turns out, the space force sounds a lot like the space corps legislation the Trump administration opposed last year.
In the National Defense Authorization Act, the House Armed Services Committee proposed last June the establishment of a space corps, a new branch of the military that would fall under the command of the Air Force. This branch's relationship to the Air Force would be similar to the Marine Corps' ties to the Navy. The space corps would have an area of responsibility that encompasses the vast expanse outside of the Earth's atmosphere.
At the time, the White House, the Air Force as well as Secretary of Defense James Mattis disapproved of creating a sixth branch of the military.
"I oppose the creation of a new military service and additional organizational layers at a time when we are focused on reducing overhead and integrating joint warfighting efforts," Mattis wrote in a letter to the House and Senate armed services committees.
While the legislation passed the House, the space corps bid did not make it into the final defense authorization bill in November.
The addition of a service branch would be the first in 71 years. The Air Force is the nation's youngest branch and was added shortly after World War II.
Hearing of this recent announcement, former Supreme Commander of the Galactic Empire, Darth Vader, immediately volunteered for the position.
The US, UK and France launched coordinated strikes in Syria, hitting targets associated with the Syrian regime's chemical weapons program.
Over an hour of raw footage has been uploaded to Youtube and the person filming can be heard cursing the US for the strike.
Syria: Russian developed air defenses shot down many missiles
The Russian news agency RIA added "over 100 cruise missiles and air to ground missiles were launched by the air and sea missile carriers of USA, France and the UK, aimed at military and civilian objects of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported government forces "confronted on Saturday a tripartite aggression launched by the US, France and Britain on a number of sites in the surroundings of Damascus and Homs."
Targets included a research center in Barzeh and warehouses for the Syrian army in Homs, SANA said.
Air defenses over Homs "intercepted several missiles and downed them," it added.
"The missiles that targeted a military site in Homs have been intercepted to change their track and cause the injury of three civilians."
A building containing scientific labs and centers in Barzeh was destroyed, the report added.
Separately, Russian state-run outlet Sputnik said the majority of missiles launched against Syria were intercepted by air defenses.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Sputnik said, Syria repelled the Western attack using air defense systems made in the Soviet Union, including the S-125, BUK, and S-200.
Spy kits that can track mobile phones and intercept calls and messages have been discovered in Washington and across the country, the US government has said.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it has observed "anomalous activity" consistent with the use of so-called stingrays.
They could be used by foreign spies or criminals, although the DHS said it did not know who was using them.
It added that such devices pose a "growing risk".
Stingrays, a brand name for a type of International Mobile Subscriber Identity catcher (IMSI), are mobile phone surveillance devices that mimic mobile phone towers.
The size of a briefcase, the devices send out signals to trick mobile phones into transmitting their location and identifying information.
As well as tracking the mobile phone of a suspect, the devices also gather information about phones of bystanders who are nearby.
It is believed to be the first time the US government has acknowledged the use of rogue spying devices in Washington.
The revelation came in response to a letter from US senator Ron Wyden to the DHS, asking about the unauthorised use of such devices.
The agency response was obtained by the Associated Press from Wyden's office.
In it, a senior official at the DHS acknowledged that it had "observed anomalous activity in the National Capital Region (NCR) that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers".
It added that it had observed similar activity "outside the NCR" but had "not validated or attributed such activity to specific entities or devices."
The use of Stingray devices by police forces across the US is being tracked by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It has identified 73 agencies in 25 states that own such devices but believes there could be many more in use which are not formally declared.
There are concerns among politicians in Washington that such devices could also be used by unauthorised agencies, such as foreign governments.
(Editor’s note: Snopes made an effort to debunk this article. They claim it is misleading to quote the work of a student as a “Harvard Study,” but we specifically said she did “what any person with Google Trends could do.” The original article was published in 2014, and it is still relevant today. The purpose of this article is to get people questioning the incentives and behavior of powerful corporations.)
If you were Apple, what tricks would you utilize to increase the sales of your latest product?
If you know corporations, you’d know they use any possible trick they can as a generality to increase their profit: think of how huge a factor it would make in the sale of new iPhones if the old ones became slower.
People have made the anecdotal observation that their Apple products become much slower right before the release of a new model.
Now, a Harvard student’s study has done what any person with Google Trends could do, and pointed out that Google searches for “iPhone slow” spiked multiple times, just before the release of a new iPhone each time.
Youtuber Dutchsinse gives a new global earthquake forecast. Major seismic unrest on the West Coast of the USA and parts of Japan is predicted.
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