Pentagon’s empty posts cause uncertainty for defense contractors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to fill dozens of senior-level positions at the Pentagon is making it difficult for defense contractors to forecast business.

The next step for EPA to relax fuel economy standards: Public comment period

Yesterday Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency would start a public comment period in efforts to overhaul Obama-era fuel economy standards for cars and light duty trucks from 2021 to 2025.

Much like the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States Act, the fuel economy standards that were proposed and finalized by Obama’s EPA have also been in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump’s EPA. The new administration argues that the current fuel economy standards will cost automakers too much money. However, the current standards were based on extensive research that showed consumers saving hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in fuel expenses. Although the EPA estimated that automakers would collectively lose $200 billion over 13 years in complying with the fuel economy standards, the International Council on Clean Transportation—the same group that helped bring to light Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal—released a study showing that the EPA’s estimates had been too conservative, and automakers can meet aggressive fuel economy standards more economically.

The Obama-era EPA’s fuel economy standards require that automakers reach an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025, which would reduce consumption of fossil fuels and reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere. Many in Trump’s administration, including Pruitt and Trump himself, falsely claim that climate science is either bogus or murkier than it actually is.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

World’s oldest man, Holocaust survivor, dies in Israel aged 113

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Holocaust survivor Israel Kristal, who last year was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living man, died in Israel on Friday, aged 113, local news media reports said.

Anthem to exit Obamacare market in Virginia next year

(Reuters) – U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc said on Friday it will exit Obamacare markets in Virginia and reduce its plan offerings in Washington and Scott counties and the city of Bristol next year.

Lockheed Martin wins $8 billion U.S. special forces contract: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp has been awarded an $8 billion contract for global logistics support services for U.S. special operations forces, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Ex-Los Angeles investment banker gets extra five years for tribal bond fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former Los Angeles investment banker imprisoned for 11 years for a stock manipulation scheme was sentenced on Friday to an additional five years for misappropriating proceeds from a bond issue by a Native American tribe.

Peru’s president urges Venezuela’s Maduro to step down

LIMA (Reuters) – Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Friday urged Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro to step down, calling him a “dictator”, and rejected the socialist leader’s call for the two to meet face-to-face along with other presidents in the region.

Peru expels Venezuelan ambassador to protest constituent assembly

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru has decided to expel Venezuela’s ambassador to Peru after Caracas sent an “unacceptable” response to a new Western Hemisphere group’s condemnation of the country’s new legislative superbody, Peru’s foreign affairs ministry said Friday.