Trump meets with coalition of Democrats and Republicans as shutdown drags on
Politics Poll shows federal workers don’t prefer a border wall to getting paid
The training is, in essence, an essential part of the war effort, according to William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. “Training pilots who go on to bomb civilian targets in Yemen is yet another U.S. form of complicity in a brutal war that has gone on for far too long,” says Hartung. “If the Trump administration is serious about getting Saudi Arabia and the UAE to negotiate in good faith for peace in Yemen, they should cut off training and other forms of military support until they play their part in ending the war.”Despite those documents, the Pentagon continues to insist that the training is not part of the Yemen war.The United States has not, said Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a Central Command spokesperson, “conducted exercises with members of the [Saudi-led coalition] to prepare for combat operations in Yemen.” When asked for clarification, Lt. Col. Josh Jacques, also from CENTCOM, repeated the denial. “As we said before in our statement, we do not conduct exercises with members of the [Saudi-led coalition] to prepare for combat operations in Yemen,” he told Yahoo News.Brown and CENTCOM’s media arm, known as the Communication Integration Directorate, did not address the discrepancy when asked to comment specifically on the Air Force documents, which appear to contradict this claim. “We remain committed to providing the Saudi armed forces with the equipment, training, and follow-on support necessary to protect Saudi Arabia, and the region, from the destabilizing effects of terrorism and other threats,” the directorate wrote in response, describing the Pentagon’s assistance as “limited non-combat support.”The UAE’s Ministry of Defense did not respond to multiple requests comment.Since 2015, the United States has backed the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition’s war against the Houthis providing weaponry, logistical assistance — including air-to-air refueling — intelligence sharing and advisory support. It also provides support to the war through a classified operation called “Yukon Journey.”A report by the United Nations Group of Regional and International Eminent Experts on Yemen determined that at least 16,706 civilians have been killed or wounded as of August 2018, although it noted that “the real figures are likely to be significantly higher.” Saudi-led coalition air strikes, which have hit residential areas, “have caused most of the documented civilian casualties,” according to the report.“We are thoroughly aligned with the Saudi and Emerati actions in Yemen — both the war against the Houthis and the counterterrorism campaign [against ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] — and it’s really important that we not only make claims about expecting our partners to abide by high standards of conduct, but also that we can prove that they are doing so,” says Luke Hartig, formerly the senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and now a fellow in New America’s International Security program.While U.S. support for Saudi Arabia has garnered headlines, U.S. assistance to the UAE has received far less press coverage. Since 2009, however, the United States has made offers of close to $30 billion worth of weaponry to the UAE under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales, including about $7.2 billion in bombs and missiles.“The UAE’s role is often overlooked, but they, and the militias they train, arm and finance, have been implicated in widespread human rights abuses, including torture,” the Center for International Policy’s Hartung told Yahoo News. “The UAE is a least as responsible as Saudi Arabia for the slaughter in Yemen, but it has not been held responsible for its actions in any significant way.”Between 2000 and 2013, the UAE purchased 110 F-16 combat aircraft, including 30 with standoff air-to-ground munitions. Late last year, Lockheed Martin and the UAE agreed on a $1.6 billion upgrade to its original 80 F-16s. “All partner-nation pilots flying aircraft purchased from the U.S. receive their training in the U.S.,” Brown, the CENTCOM spokesperson, told Yahoo News.Not all training, however, occurs in the United States. American personnel at the Air Warfare Center at Al Dhafra Air Base provided significant assistance to forces in the UAE, according to the documents Yahoo News obtained, and was even recognized for efforts that took place during 2016 and 2017.Last November, Saudi Arabia and the United States agreed to end U.S. refueling of aircraft from the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition. The change from U.S. to coalition capabilities, however, was not seen as significant, since only one-fifth of coalition aircraft reportedly required in-air refueling from the United States. Nor did this decision affect broader U.S. assistance, specifically the training of pilots.An Emirati pilot in his F-16 at an air base in Jordan, February 2015. (Photo: WAM/AP)A bipartisan effort to limit U.S. involvement in the Yemen war passed the Senate last year, but failed to pass in the House. With Democrats now in control of the House, a new piece of legislation designed to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen is expected in coming weeks.“The end of U.S. refueling is an important step, but it is woefully inadequate if the goal is to stop Saudi bombing of civilian targets. It should be supplemented by an end to the sale of bombs and other weapons used in the conflict; a stop to training of Saudi and UAE forces; and a cut-off of spare parts and maintenance for U.S.-supplied weapons being used to prosecute the war,” said the Center for International Policy’s William Hartung.Nick Turse reports on national security and foreign policy. He is the author, most recently, of “Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan.” He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Intercept and the Nation, among other publications._Read more from Yahoo News:
SUVs may rule America’s showrooms, but cars ain’t dead by a long shot. The first day at the 2019 Detroit auto show, whose official name is the North American International Auto Show, saw a dozen new vehicles, ranging from the revival of a beloved sport coupe to a major move upscale for Kia’s SUV lineup.
Ford started the day with details about the hottest version of its new Explorer SUV and a fuel-saving hybrid.
The ST has standard sport-tuned all-wheel drive and a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. The hybrid features lithium-ion batteries under the floor. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Ford also unveiled the 700-horsepower-plus Shelby GT 500 Mustang, the most powerful street legal Mustang ever.
Stay connected: Sign up for USA TODAY’s Cars newsletter
Ram Heavy Duty
Ram built on its 1500 pickup’s victory as 2019 North American Truck of the Year with a big, capable HD model. An all-new 6.7L Cummins diesel produces 1,000 pound-feet of torque in the 2019 2500 and 3500 pickups. The 3500 can tow up to 35,100 pounds, probably enough to make it the class leader.
The 2500 and 3500 go on sale in the second quarter of this year and will offer all the same convenience and luxury features that helped make the smaller 1500 truck of the year.
Volkswagen updates Passat
Volkswagen updated its U.S.-built Passat midsize sedan. The 2020 model gets a new grille and a 2.0L turbocharged engine with torque increased to 207 pound-feet. Standard 17-inch wheels and LED headlights and taillights should also stand out for customers.
VW also announced it’s investing $800 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant to build electric vehicles in the United States.
Toyota Supra roars back
Racing enthusiast and Toyota Corp. President Akio Toyota was beside himself with pleasure as he revealed the 2020 Supra coupe.
Developed with BMW, and using a BMW chassis and straight-six engine, the Supra nonetheless is immediately recognizable as a Toyota. It boasts 335 hp.
Nissan: Electric Maxima successor?
Sleek and new, but with identifiable Nissan features such as a V-shaped grille, the IMs concept sedan likely foreshadows the next generation of the automaker’s signature Maxima sedan. The IMs has front and rear electric motors for all-wheel drive and a total of 483 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque.
Nissan projects a range of 380 miles.
Don’t be surprised if Nissan builds a production EV sport sedan that looks like the IMs in the next three-four years.
Kia Telluride’s luxury
In a world of increasing rounded SUVs, the 2020 Kia Telluride stands out thanks to distinctive squared-off looks – right down to square taillights. The three-row SUV can seat up to eight and has a 291-hp V6.
The Telluride shares its underpinnings with the new Hyundai Palisade, but looks nothing like it.
In addition to exterior difference, the Telluride’s interior boasts high-end materials, including a suede-like headliner.
Infiniti’s future style arrives
The QX Inspiration takes full advantage of the new engineering that will underpin electric vehicles to turn a new page in Infiniti design. The roof allows light to filter in, while the interior features five spring-like colors and a marble-topped center console.
The steering wheel is small and retractable, because the QX is capable of fully autonomous operation. Batteries would be fitted under the floor, making room for an open cabin with center-opening doors.
Lexus shows LC convertible
Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand made no secret of the fact that it’s considering building a convertible version of its LC coupe. The LC concept seems destined for production and sale, even though the show car at Cobo Center doesn’t have a roof and Lexus says whether it’s a soft or hardtop convertible will be determined by customer preference.
Other than that, the concept’s luxurious interior is a dead ringer for the coupe.
Lexus also unveiled a performance version of its smaller RC coupe that accelerates to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds.
The North American International Auto Show opens to the public Jan. 19. The annual Charity Preview raising money for local groups is Friday evening. Tickets at: naias.com.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Hottest vehicles at Detroit auto show: Shelby GT, electric SUV, Kia SUV