P5 + 1, Iran meet in Vienna to discuss comprehensive deal
Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau, Reuters – February 18, 2014
A new round of talks on Iran’s nuclear program began today as the two sides strive to craft a final deal that will alleviate concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and pave the way for the removal of sanctions. US and Iranian representatives had a separate, one-on-one meeting that lasted for about 90 minutes, though details of the discussion were not readily available. Both sides have tried to play down any expectations ahead of the new round of talks, though the 6-month Joint Plan of Action implemented in late January continues to be enforced.
Pentagon reduces F-35 orders for 2015
Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News – February 15, 2014
The Pentagon will purches only 34 F-35s in the 2015 fiscal year, 8 fewer than initially planned. This will include 26 planes for the Air Force, 6 for the Marine Corps, and 2 for the Navy. Total acquisitions of the F-35 are projected to cost about $391.2 billion, though some argue that the total cost of the program, including maintenance throughout the course of its lifespan, could cost close to $1.5 trillion.
Anti-nuke activists to be sentenced today
Travis Loller, AP – February 18, 2014
Three peace activists, including an 84-year-old nun, will be sentenced today after being found guilty of “sabotaging” a nuclear plant and damaging federal property. The three activists cut through three fences surrounding a nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and painted peace slogans on a bunker at the site.
Nuclear launch crews ought to be taken off alert, compensated for extra shifts
Eric Tamerlani, The Hill – February 14, 2014
Tamerlani’s opinion piece suggests that only a third of the ICBMs at each Air Force base ought to be kept on high alert, allowing nuclear “missileers” to spend less time underground and more time preparing for their routine proficiency exams.