Here is CurrentHow’s daily briefing for September the 17th, 2016:-
1. U.S. Airforce grounds its F-35 fighter jet fleet:-
In a major embarrassment, the U.S. Airforce has decided to ground 15 of its F-35 fighter jets due to the discovery of “peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks”, just a month after being declared “combat ready”. The repairs will further add to the whopping production cost of $400 billion, making it the most expensive weapons system fielded by any country to date.
2. Swedish court refuses to withdraw Assange warrant, sets date for questioning in October:-
In a setback for the founder of WikiLeaks and beleaguered whistleblower Julian Assange, the Swedish Court of Appeals has declared that Assange will be questioned in the Ecuadorian Embassy, London for charges of rape. Both Sweden and the United Kingdom have an extradition agreement with the United States, and Assange fears that if he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy, which has provided him asylum, he will be extradited to the U.S. on charges of treason. Assange legal team has expressed its intention to appeal the verdict.
3. Venezuela Non-Alignment Summit draws only a handful of leaders:-
In a major blow to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuela hosted Non- Alignment Summit has attracted record-low number of leaders. The number of guests attending The summit in Margarita is reported to be in single-digits, the lowest number since the group’s formation in 1961. Ironically, Maduro touted the summit as one that would “be remembered for centuries”.This is believed to be due to a major economic crisis in the country that has sparked worsening food shortages and triple-digit inflation.
4. Brexit process might begin as early as February: European Council President
European Council President, Donald Tusk has said that the British Prime Minister, Theresa May has assured him that she will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty- the formal notification for leaving the EU as early as February. Formal negotiations for withdrawal cannot begin until the Article is invoked. The foreign ministry of Britain refused to comment.
5. Colombia’s FARC will fight the elections as a political party:-
Colombia’s FARC rebels will fight the elections as a political party under a peace deal with the government, FARC’s top commander said at the group’s final meeting as an armed group. The deal was reached after almost 4 years of hard negotiations, which culminated in the peace accord last month. However many people feel that the FARC leadership will not serve jail time, which they deserve.