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Space

A recent U.S. military policy decision now explicitly states that observations by hush-hush government spacecraft of incoming bolides and fireballs are classified secret and are not to be released, SPACE.com has learned.

The satellites' main objectives include detecting nuclear bomb tests, and their characterizations of asteroids and lesser meteoroids as they crash through the atmosphere has been a byproduct data bonanza for scientists.

The upshot: Space rocks that ex

 

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AP

Pentagon employees have received millions of dollars in free travel and lodging from foreign countries, trade groups and companies with an interest in shaping policies or doing business with the US military.
 
Defense officials say the arrangement is legal, saves taxpayers money and is carefully monitored to ensure there are no conflicts of interest. But government watchdogs say it allows donors to subtly exert influence for a small investment compared with the potential gain.

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AP

The Supreme Court agreed with the Obama administration [request] and refused to review Pentagon policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The court said it will not hear an appeal from former Army Capt. James Pietrangelo II, who was dismissed under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

 

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RawStory

The mother of football star Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in 2004 but whose fratricide was deliberately kept from the public and his family, says a general’s testimony to Congress is yet another lie by a military officer about her son’s death. Testifying in his confirmation hearing as Obama’s new commander for Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he “didn’t see any activity by anyone to deceive” the public about the circumstances of Tillman’s death. The death was first reported as a result of enemy fire; Tillman was held up as a hero and quickly received the Silver Star. McChrystal personally helped expedite Tillman’s Silver Star award, even though he later acknowledged he had “suspicions” that the ex-NFL star had been killed by his own men. CNN reports that Tillman’s mother says McChrystal knew at the memorial service that her son died from friendly fire.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – A US weapons lab on Friday pulled back the curtain on a super laser with the power to burn as hot as a star. The National Ignition Facility's main purpose is to serve as a tool for gauging the reliability and safety of the US nuclear weapons arsenal but scientists say it could deliver breakthroughs in safe fusion power. "We have invented the world's largest laser system," actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a dedication ceremony attended by thousands including state and national officials. "We can create the stars right here on earth. And I can see already my friends in Hollywood being very upset that their stuff that they show on the big screen is obsolete. We have the real stuff right here." NIF is touted as the world's highest-energy laser system. It is located inside the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about an hour's drive from San Francisco. Equipment connected to a house-sized sph

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