The end of U.S. Space Shuttle launches three years ago has boosted the cost of fuel for British nuclear missiles, the London Telegraph reports.
The price of the solid fuel used in Trident 2 D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missiles leaped by 80 percent in just one year, the newspaper said in a Tuesday report. The United Kingdom maintains 58 of the U.S.-supplied weapons under a 1982 bilateral defense pact.
Washington is now limiting its annual purchases of the weapons to the minimum necessary to keep the fuel market afloat, prompting concern among some officials, according to the Telegraph.
Vice Adm. Terry Benedict, director of the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, warned last month that the absence of fuel demand from the Space Shuttle program is posing problems for an “already-fragile industry.”
The United Kingdom, though, said such concerns had not altered missile cooperation with Washington, or a pending plan to revamp the British nuclear force.
“The U.S. has supplied the U.K. with solid fuel-powered missiles for over 40 years with an excellent safety and reliability record. The U.K. also has a sufficient pool of Trident missiles to meet our needs for decades to come,” a British defense ministry spokeswoman said.
One agency insider, though, said the United States has yet to determine how it will ensure continued supplies of missile fuel.
The U.S. Navy wants NASA to purchase solid-fuel boosters for a next-generation rocket system, potentially stabilizing the market, the Telegraph reported. The U.S. space agency is slated to start work on the planned Space Launch System in 2017.
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Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
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