The Guardian of London is reporting the Pentagon is developing a new line of superweapons including huge hypersonic drones that fly 10 times the speed of sound and space-based bombers. The new technology would allow the US military to strike anywhere in the globe at lightning speed from within the U.S. border.
The Guardian goes on to report the new superweapons would free the miltary’s dependence on overseas military bases and it would decrease the need for cooperation from its allies.
The U.S. is hoping to develop an unmanned attack drone that could fly 10 times the speed of sound and be able to drop 12,000 pounds of bombs.
The new weapons are being developed under a program codenamed Falcon which stands for Force Application and Launch from the Continental US.
Jane’s Defense Weekly reports the government has just begun accepting bids on the project which could take 20 years to develop.
The World Food Program has launched its largest emergency food operation in its 40 year history to feed the people of Iraq. This according to a report by the Inter Press Service. A new United Nations reports says the entire Iraqi population of 27 million is now in need of food aid. Before the U.S. invasion about 60 percent of the population was in need of assistance.
Agence France Press is reporting that four US soldiers were killed and two others were wounded in a rocket-propelled grenade attack on their Humvee today in Baghdad.
AFP based their report on eyewitness accounts. The US cordoned off the area and prevented access to journalists.
Meanwhile a huge explosion destroyed the al-Hassan mosque in Falluja last night. At least five Iraqis died and four more injured.
Iraqi civilians said the explosion was caused by a missile or a bomb strike. The U.S. disputed this charge saying the blast was likely caused by explosives from within the mosque.
In other Iraq news, the U.S. military has arrested the American-appointed governor of Najaf. The man, Abdul Munim Abud, was a former Iraqi army colonel. The U.S. charges he was involved in kidnappings and theft. The governor was one of 500 Iraqis detained over the past two days during massive sweeps by U.S. troops.
The Bush administration is threatening to cut military aid to 35 allied countries that have yet to sign agreements with Washington exempting U.S. citizens from prosecution by the International Criminal Court. This according to a report in the Washington Post.
8 Million May Lose Overtime Under Proposed Labor Department Rule Change
As many as 8 million Americans could lose overtime wages under a rule change being considered by the Labor Department. The Washington Post reports that unions say the changes would undermine the 40-hour week and strip overtime pay from workers who have grown to depend on it.
Under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, non-managerial workers are required to earn time and half for each hour they work beyond 40.
The Post reports the proposed changes would reclassify between between 600,000 and 8 million workers as managerial employees thus stripping them of overtime.
Yesterday more than 100 workers protested outside the Labor Department holding signs reading, “Bush, Why Cut My Pay?” and “Our Grandparents Died for the 40-hour Workweek.”
Among the groups lobbying for the new rules are the National Retail Federation, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. is considering offering for the first time direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority
Officials said the U.S. may offer up to $300 million to help Palestinians improve living conditions and the Authority’s intelligence and security apparatus.
The Guardian is reporting that general elections in Afghanistan scheduled for next June may have to be delayed to the general lawlessness in the country.
And finally, a new CNN-USA Today has revealed that 40 percent of Americans now believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.