National briefs: Air Force calls for lower costs

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WASHINGTON — In an acknowledgment that the military may be pricing itself out of business, the Air Force on Wednesday called for a shift away from big-ticket weapon systems that take decades to develop and a move toward what Defense Department officials are calling more “agile” high-tech armaments that can be adapted quickly to meet a range of emerging threats.

A 20-year Air Force strategic forecast, spurred in part by looming budget constraints, also calls for a faster pace, with lower price tags, in developing both airmen and the technology they use, warning that the current way of acquiring warplanes and weapons is too plodding.

The report, labeled a “call to action” by the Air Force secretary, Deborah Lee James, limits itself to how the country’s most tech-heavy military service can adapt to looming threats and budget constraints. But it is also a warning to, and an admission from, the entire Defense Department that with military compensation and retirement costs rising sharply, the country may soon be unable to afford the military it has without making significant changes to the way it does business.

Boy killed by stray bullet

DETROIT An 8-year-old Detroit boy who was sleeping in his bed was struck and killed on Wednesday by a stray bullet fired from outside his home, police said.

The boy died at a hospital of a single gunshot wound. No arrests have been made yet but there is a person of interest who is being investigated, they said.

The boy, identified by family and neighbors as Jakari Pearson, lived at the home with his mother. At least three shots were fired into his bedroom, broadcaster WDIV Local 4 reported.

Ohio man gets life

CLEVELAND - An Ohio man convicted of stabbing his mother and living with her corpse for six months was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Michael Petrie, 33, of Barberton, a suburb of Akron, was found guilty of murder and abuse of a corpse after a short trial in June.

Prosecutors said Petrie killed his 67-year-old mother in October 2012 by stabbing her in the face, neck and heart with a sai, a traditional Asian martial arts weapon.

Police corruption case

PHILADELPHIA — Six city narcotics officers used gangland tactics to shake down drug dealers, relying on guns, badges, beatings and threats to extort huge piles of cash and cocaine, federal authorities charged in an indictment Wednesday.

The scheme ran from 2006 to 2012, when Officer Jeffrey Walker was arrested. He has since pleaded guilty and cooperated in the ensuing two-year probe. Mr. Walker and a colleague “stole and distributed a multi-kilo quantity of cocaine, like everyday drug dealers do,” U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger said.

The six accused officers — Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman and John Speiser — all pleaded not guilty during brief federal court hearings Wednesday afternoon. They will be held without bail until detention hearings Monday.

Pipe break floods UCLA

LOS ANGELES — Authorities said Wednesday that a pipe break that flooded UCLA’s famed Pauley Pavilion has now released 20 million gallons of water and continues to gush.

Jim McDaniel of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power says the century-old pipe that burst on Sunset Boulevard is releasing about 1,000 gallons of water a minute despite shutdown efforts.

The break and sent water cascading into sports pavilion and parking structures at University of California/​Los Angeles.

— Compiled from wire reports



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