Trump approval rating drops following mass shootings in latest Fox News poll
The poll, conducted between August 11 and August 13, includes responses from more than 1,000 people who are currently registered to vote, on both sides of the aisle.The current rating is heavily influenced by Democratic responses. Only 7% of Democrats in the survey approved of Trump’s performance as president compared 88% of Republicans.More: Beto O’Rourke on Texas shooting: Trump ‘has no place’ in El Paso Trump’s reaction to the recent mass shootings is an issue for survey respondents; 52% disapproved. Following the deaths of 22 victims in El Paso, Texas, and 9 in Dayton, Ohio, Trump has called for stronger background checks. Background check measures were supported by the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans who were polled.According to the poll, a proposal to ban assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons in the country would be favored by 86% of Democrats and 46% of Republicans. Democrats and Republicans also both showed strong favor toward police removing guns from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump Serious discussions are taking place between House and Senate leadership on meaningful Background Checks. I have also been speaking to the NRA, and others, so that their very strong views can be fully represented and respected. Guns should not be placed in the hands of…..
I don’t care if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a mendacious Massachusetts liberal. She could tell me that she’s going to make me wear waffles as underpants and I’ll vote for her. I don’t care if Sen. Kamala Harris is an opportunistic California prosecutor who wants to relitigate busing. She could tell me that I have to drive to work in a go-cart covered with Barbie decals and I’ll vote for her. I don’t care if Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is a muddle-headed socialist from a rural class-warfare state (where I once lived as one of his constituents). He could tell me he’s going to tax used kitty litter and I’ll vote for him.
Wait. I do care about that. It’s the reason they won’t get my vote next year, and why the president won’t either.
Trump is getting worse
All of the policy “what about” hypotheticals from my conservative friends are diversions. They’re trying to move the argument to policy to blind us to the reality that President Donald Trump is both unstable and compromised.
As I have argued for well over two years, there is plenty of evidence that the president is compromised by our most dedicated enemy. Even before the Mueller report laid bare the degree to which the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help, it was obvious that Trump feared Russian President Vladimir Putin — not only because Putin knew how much Trump had lied to the American people during the campaign about his dealings with Russia, but also likely because Moscow holds Trump’s closest financial secrets after years of shady dealings with Russian oligarchs.
And obviously, I would care if Warren or Harris wanted me to do something insane, because it would be evidence of their mental or emotional impairment. As much as conservatives hate to admit it, governing by executive order or supporting the financial evisceration of rich people is not a sign of an emotional disorder.
I can live with policies I hate
Compulsive lying, fantastic and easily refuted claims, base insults and bizarre public meltdowns, however, are indeed signs of serious emotional problems. Trump has never been a reasonable man, but for two years, he has gotten worse. He literally cannot tell the truth from a lie, he often seems completely unable to comprehend even basic information, and he flies off the handle in ways that would make most of us take our children to a pediatrician for evaluation.
Montel Williams at wit’s end: Trump has gone off a narcissistic cliff
This is why policy doesn’t matter. I have only two requirements from the Democratic nominee. First, he or she must not be obviously mentally unstable. Second, the nominee must not be in any way sympathetic — or worse, potentially beholden — to a hostile foreign power. This rules out Gabbard, Williamson and maybe New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, although in de Blasio’s case it’s hard to tell whether he is unstable or just a terrible person.
As for the rest of them, I am willing to live with whoever wins the Democratic primary process. I will likely hate the nominee’s policies, but at least I will not be concerned that he or she is incapable of understanding “the nuclear” or “the cyber.” I will feel like I have a shot at trying to convince my elected representatives that they should listen to the policy preferences of normal human beings instead of two old men wearing shirts that say they’d “rather be a Russian than a Democrat,” or a woman in a shirt indicating that she is willing to have the president grab her genitalia.
I can’t believe I miss Eric Holder
The Democratic candidate will promise to nominate people into Cabinet posts who will make me tear my hair out. But at least I will be confident that they are in charge of their own inner circle, instead of surrounded by unprincipled cronies who keep their own boss in the dark while taking a hatchet to the Constitution. Is there anyone that Warren or former Vice President Joe Biden could bring to, say, the Justice Department, whom I would fear more than an odious and sinister courtier like William Barr?
I never thought I could miss Eric Holder, yet here we are.
It is a sign of how low we have fallen as a nation that “rational” and “not compromised by an enemy” are now my only two requirements for the office of the president of the United States. Perhaps years of peace and prosperity have made us forget the terrifying responsibilities that attend the presidency, including the stewardship of enough nuclear weapons to blow the Northern Hemisphere to smithereens.
As long as the Democrats can provide someone who can pass these simple tests, their nominee has my vote.
Pass the waffles.
Tom Nichols is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors and author of „The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.” Follow him on Twitter: @RadioFreeTom
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Never Trump ex-Republican: Why I’ll vote for almost any 2020 Democrat
These Are the 25 Best College Towns for Food-Lovers, According to OpenTable Bridget Hallinan,•These Are the 25 Best College Towns for Food-Lovers, According to OpenTableWith summer coming to a close, college move-in weekend is nigh—and after a long day or two of hauling boxes around, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Luckily, OpenTable just released its 2019 list of the “25 Best College Towns for Foodies,” which highlights university areas with the best dining scenes. New York City soundly topped the list (for once, California hasn’t won), with 983 restaurants deemed worthy for food-lovers—great news for students at NYU, Columbia, Manhattan College, FIT, and more. Chicago took home second place with 362 restaurants, while Washington, D.C. ranks third, with 258 restaurants. (We’d recommend heading to the waterfront.) Surprisingly, known food cities like New Orleans, Nashville, and Austin ranked outside the top 10. It is worth noting, however, that Nashville’s Henrietta Red got a well-deserved shoutout.
To make the rankings, OpenTable identified college towns based on the “home towns” of universities featured in U.S. News and World Report’s National University Rankings—they were then sorted by the total number of restaurants they had with “foodie” tags in their reviews. (OpenTable collected diner reviews between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018 for this list, and restaurants qualified if they had the minimum number of reservations tagged with “foodie” in the review.) The top 25 towns ended up on the list—check it out below to see if yours made the cut.
1. New York, New York
2. Chicago, Illinois
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5. Boston, Massachusetts
6. Los Angeles, California
7. Atlanta, Georgia
8. Houston, Texas
9. Seattle, Washington
10. Dallas, Texas
11. Austin, Texas
12. New Orleans, Louisiana
13. Nashville, Tennessee
14. Baltimore, Maryland
15. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
16. St. Louis, Missouri
17. Columbus, Ohio
18. Cleveland, Ohio
19. Cambridge, Massachusetts
20. Pasadena, California
21. Durham, North Carolina
22. Providence, Rhode Island
23. Santa Barbara, California
24. Berkeley, California
25. Charlottesville, Virginia
Southwest denied seats to 22,364 people voluntarily through June, compared with 10,364 in the first half of 2018, while it involuntarily denied boarding to 2,525, up from 1,045 in the first six months of 2018.
The FAA noted the airlines told the agency „the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft has negatively impacted their involuntary denied boarding statistics.”
American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said the airline’s „biggest challenge in the operation continues to be out of service aircraft. This reduces our ability to start the day right and to swap aircraft when needed as the day goes on.”
American has canceled about 115 daily flights into early November because of the ongoing grounding. It has been substituting other aircraft for its busiest flights while canceling others and temporarily suspending direct flights between Oakland, California, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Some analysts have said they do not expect the MAX jets to fly again before the end of the year. American, with 24 of the 737 MAX aircraft and dozens more on order, is scheduling without the jets through Nov. 2.
Southwest has removed the aircraft from its scheduling through Jan. 5, 2020 and last month said it was ending operations at Newark Liberty International airport.
Southwest said in a statement that it does not oversell flights but that „there were times that we had to down gauge a 175-seat MAX to our 143-seat 737-700 or try and accommodate customers on already-full flights.”
The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March after an Ethiopian Airlines plane plunged to the ground soon after take-off, five months after a similar Lion Air fatal crash off the coast of Indonesia.
Boeing <BA.N> hopes a software upgrade and new pilot training will add layers of protection to prevent erroneous data from triggering a system called MCAS, which was activated in both the planes before they crashed. Boeing hopes to conduct a certification test flight in the „September time frame,” a key step before the FAA can unground the planes.
(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington Additional reporting by Traci Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
Moscow (AFP) – An unexploded World War II bomb was found in the grounds of the Kremlin in Moscow during construction works on Thursday, Russian news agencies reported.
„As you know, between 1941 and 1942 the Kremlin was bombed,” Sergei Khlebnikov, the commandant of the Kremlin, told the Ria Novosti agency.
„During construction work, an aviation bomb was found,” he said.
The bomb was taken out of the Kremlin complex and will be liquidated, he said.
„All measures ensuring the Kremlin’s security have been completed,” he added.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman also assured the media that the bomb didn’t disrupt the Russian leader’s schedule.
The Kremlin is one of the oldest medieval fortresses in Europe, having served as the seat of tsars, Soviet leaders and now Russian presidents, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nazi Germany’s 1941 invasion of the then Soviet Union led to brutal fighting and sieges of Russian cities.
The Kremlin was a primary target for Nazi bombers during the Battle for Moscow when Hitler launched air raids on the city.
The roof of one of its palaces was badly damaged during the raids.
DERRY, Northern Ireland — From the 400-year-old walls of Derry, famous for blocking the siege of King James II and his Catholics in 1689, you can easily look out across the River Foyle to see the hills of County Donegal beyond the Irish border. In this city where history is a living battle, the border is once again at the center of the ancient Irish question.
“It’s not the Irish border, it’s the British border,” shouts Paul Doherty, a local tour guide who specializes in “The Troubles” of Derry’s recent history. “They put it there.”
It’s not even a border anymore, a local cabdriver offers. Though it may become one again if those idiots in London have their way, he says.
Almost a century after the British offered Ireland a deal — its freedom for the partition of Northern Ireland — the European Union is essentially offering the British the same thing to achieve Brexit. The deal for the United Kingdom to leave Europe has come down embarrassingly and almost entirely to what happens to this 310-mile stretch of land.
As new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson digs in against the idea of ensuring an open border after Brexit in what is known as the Irish „backstop,” the ensuing panic in Ireland is leading some to an idea unthinkable a generation ago: The best way to preserve the open border would be to finally unite the island.
A turbulent history
While a lot of that talk is led by pro-unification political parties such as Sinn Fein, even Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar admitted in a recent speech that “if Britain takes Northern Ireland out of the EU against the wishes of the majority of people in Northern Ireland … those questions will arise, whether we like it or not.”
The border itself has changed dramatically since the turbulent days of the 1970s and 1980s, when the British army reduced its more than 200 crossings to just 20 imposing checkpoints with turrets and watchtowers, barbed wire and spiked roads. As a young foreign correspondent covering the 1994 peace talks for Bloomberg News, I remember the menacing atmosphere of „Bandit Country” near Crossmaglen in County Armagh, and Enniskillen, where if your car got stopped you weren’t sure by which side.
On Brexit: Britain and Europe — Will Brexit never end?
Returning 25 years later and more than 20 years after the Belfast Agreement of 1998 opened up the border between north and south, it is refreshing to see the border simply marked by changes in road signs. Some 6,000 trucks, or lorries, cross each day, according to the BBC, bringing goods between the North and what many still call the Free State. More than 30,000 people cross each day for their jobs, the news service said.
Though for all the progress, little of the historic tension has dissipated. At least in Derry. The Catholic Bogside neighborhood outside and below the city walls remains poor, and it’s marked with murals of revolutionary activity and Irish martyrs on building walls. Doherty the tour guide, whose father was one of 13 killed by British paratroopers on „Bloody Sunday” in 1972, leads a dozen tourists on a grim path of history through that horrible day.
He stops to point out where his dad was shot “in the back.” And brings the group to the memorial with the names of his dad and the others killed. Many were just teenagers eager to march with the civil rights protest that day for the excitement, he said. Across the street is the famous wall where “You are now entering Free Derry” has stood for decades.
Up on the walls later, a British flag can be viewed from another part of town, near a mural supporting loyalists and their slogan “No Surrender.” The walls are only open to walk on during the daytime, and there is still a fence on part of one side facing the Bogside, to protect against projectiles.
The tension created by these divisions simmers to this day, made worse by the killing of young journalist Lyra McKee in April during a riot. As Johnson ratchets up the talk of a hard Brexit and possible return to direct rule in Northern Ireland, concerns on both sides of the border are soaring.
Uniting Ireland may be in the cards
The stated purpose of the backstop is to ensure free trade and movement across what would become an EU border after Brexit. But its real purpose is to protect the fragile peace of the Belfast Agreement. A hard Brexit would be an economic calamity for both sides in Ireland, but losing the peace would be worse. More than 3,000 people were killed in the Troubles, and in the closely packed communities of the Republic and the North, their relatives still live with it.
The potential flashpoints are everywhere. Talk of uniting the island to bring the Northern Irish back into Europe will also be viewed as dangerous spin, with threats of return to violence a real possibility. Many on both sides would resist.
More on Brexit: British politics reflect change and stability
Brexit by any stretch is going to be a milestone in Europe’s postwar experiment of unifying its economies. It could foretell the end of the euro currency if other countries, say Italy, decide to leave. Or it could simply just further distance Britain from the days of its once great empire. In Ireland, the stakes are higher and more immediate. Not just jobs but lives could depend on what happens in the next few months.
As the 100th anniversary of the Irish Republic approaches in two years, and the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday the year after that, the future of Ireland is again at stake. A poker chip in the hands of a British prime minister who has grander visions for himself and his role in Brexit, that future must be grabbed by Irish leaders on both sides of the border.
It would be one of the great ironies of European history if the U.K. departure from the EU actually led to the final chapter in its 800-year occupation of Ireland. It is in the furnace of ancient passions like the ones we now witness that such history is forged.
David Callaway is vice president of the World Editors Forum and former editor in chief of USA TODAY. Follow him on Twitter: @dcallaway
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: In response to Brexit, Ireland should unite
Russian pilots land plane in cornfield, earn Kremlin praise
By Tom Balmforth and Andrey Ostroukh
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two Russian pilots safely landed an airliner carrying 233 people in a cornfield outside Moscow after striking a flock of birds, prompting the Kremlin to hail them as heroes who will receive top state awards.
Russians have said it was a miracle that no one was killed when the Ural Airlines Airbus 321 came down in a field southeast of Moscow with its landing gear up after hitting a passing flock of gulls, disrupting the plane’s engines.
Up to 74 people, including 19 children, were treated for injuries, six of whom have been hospitalized, Russian news agencies quoted the emergencies ministry as saying.
State television said the incident was being dubbed the „miracle over Ramensk”, the name of the district near Moscow where the plane came down around one kilometer (0.62 miles) from Zhukovsky International Airport.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid praised pilot Damir Yusupov as a „hero,” saying he had saved 233 lives, „having masterfully landed a plane without its landing gear with a failing engine right in a corn field.”
Some drew comparisons with U.S. Airways Flight 1549 which performed a landing on the Hudson River in New York in 2009 after striking a flock of geese.
„We congratulate the hero pilots who saved people’s lives,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that the Kremlin would see that the men were quickly given state honors. „There’s no doubt about this. They will be given awards.”
Russian passenger jet: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Nf5esb
The plane’s engines were turned off when it executed the emergency landing and it also had its landing gear up, according to Elena Mikheyeva, a spokeswoman for Russia’s civil aviation authority.
Footage shot by passengers showed the flight lasted less than two minutes and that the engines had experienced difficulties almost immediately after take-off.
Vitya Babin, 11, who was on the plane with his mother and sister, said passengers had not been warned there was going to be an emergency landing. There was silence in the cabin and then screams began when it touched down, footage showed.
„We were not warned,” said Babin.
An unnamed passenger interviewed by state television said the plane had started to shake moments after it took off.
„Five seconds later, the lights on the right side of the plane started flashing and there was a smell of burning. Then we landed and everyone ran away,” he said.
Passengers were evacuated via escape slides and were told to distance themselves from the plane.
„One of the stewardesses said there was smoke coming from the plane and we immediately panicked. We ran after one of the men. He said follow me,” Babin said.
A local resident quoted by radio station Govorit Moskva said the gulls that struck the plane had probably come from an illegal rubbish dump near Zhukovsky airport.
Moscow region officials, however, rejected that assertion and said the nearest rubbish dump to the airport was 14 kilometers away, TASS news agency reported.
The plane was due to fly to Simferopol in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
Safety concerns have plagued Russia’s airline industry since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, though standards are widely recognized to have sharply risen on international routes in particular in recent years.
(Additional reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn/Mark Heinrich)
SALINAS, Calif. – A riot at a California prison sent eight inmates to local hospitals Wednesday, officials say.
Fifty more inmates suffered minor injuries.
Around 200 inmates began fighting just after 11 a.m. in the Facility C recreation yard at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, east of Monterey, according to Ike Dodson, public information officer for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The agency manages the prison system.
Guards ordered the rioters to stop, then fired tear gas, nonlethal weapons and nine rifle rounds to try to end the fighting. One group of inmates stopped, but a second group continued for about 12 minutes, Dodson said.
California prison slayings: Attacks part of Aryan Brotherhood conspiracy, prosecutors say
Eight inmates were taken to local hospitals to be treated for stab wounds, cuts and bruises and other injuries.
Dodson said their conditions are not life threatening.
Approximately 50 more reported minor injuries that are being treated on-site by medical staff.
No staff members were injured in the riot, Dodson said.
Four inmate-made weapons were found and the prison’s Investigative Services Unit is investigating what caused the riot, Dodson said. A deadly force review board will also review the incident.
Movement at Facility C, a medium-custody general population facility, has been limited as a result of the ongoing investigation, Dodson said.
The prison had more than 5,400 inmates as of Aug. 7, according to CDCR figures.
Less than three weeks ago, an inmate stabbed a guard at CTF.
On July 26, Michael Ellison, 36, stabbed a correctional officer multiple times in the face and body with an inmate-made weapon, Lt. Carlos Espinoza said.
Officers used physical force and pepper spray to stop Ellison. The officer was expected to make a full recovery.
In February, CTF also saw protests after activists alleged guards there staged fights between inmates to justify lockdowns, which prison staff flatly denied.
This article originally appeared on Salinas Californian: California prison riot: 58 inmates injured at Soledad facility
News of the nuclear explosion at a military base in the far north of Russia trickled out slowly.
First came the bulletins on state media of at least two people killed in a mysterious accident. Then came news of a spike in radiation in the area, and footage reportedly showing doctors in hazmat suits treating the victims. Finally, on Aug. 13 – five days after the blast – the Kremlin appeared to come clean, confirming that five nuclear scientists and at least two others had died while testing one of the newest weapons in President Vladimir Putin’s arsenal.
“Accidents, unfortunately, happen,” Putin’s spokesman told reporters on a conference call that morning.
Indeed, for nuclear experts and negotiators, there was a sense that this particular accident had been waiting to happen. Putin had promised the world a new type of nuclear missile during his state of the nation address last year, a pledge he illustrated with an animation of a rocket landing with a bang in Florida. But the types of weapons he was bragging about—from nuclear-armed cruise missiles to underwater drones packed with radioactive materials — are notoriously difficult and dangerous to build.
“The systems that Putin has been talking about publicly are rather exotic and not as far along, or anywhere close to being ready for deployment,” says Lynn Rusten, a nuclear expert who oversaw arms control issues at the National Security Council under the Obama Administration. “That is why the U.S. hasn’t pursued them.”
At least not yet. But one lesson from last week’s explosion may be that any country, be it Russia, the U.S. or China, can pursue such weapons without violating any rules. That’s because, over the past few years, the system of treaties that supports the world’s security architecture has been unraveling along with the diplomatic ties between Russia and the West.
On August 2, after accusing Russia of deploying banned weapons for years, the U.S. formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which was signed in 1987 to contain both countries’ arsenals. An even more ambitious nuclear disarmament deal between the U.S. and Russia, known as New START, is due to expire in 2021, and there isn’t much hope of it being renewed. Putin said in June that he would be willing to extend the treaty for another five years. But John Bolton, the National Security Adviser to President Trump, has said the U.S. is “unlikely” to go along.
The result is a world with less constraints on nuclear weapons, and more countries with the ability to build them. “There’s a qualitative arms race going on,” says Gary Samore, who helped negotiate New START. “There’s a whole new class of strategic weapons that the U.S., Russia and China are working on that are not subject to any arms control treaties,” Samore tells TIME.
The explosion on Aug. 8 highlights the danger of that new reality. State news agency Itar-Tass reported that the blast was powerful enough to throw several staff members from Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear agency, off the testing platform and into the White Sea. Though no jump in radiation levels has yet been detected outside Russia, officials across northern Europe have expressed concernthat the damaged weapon could contaminate the sea and pose a danger to their citizens. The Russian village closest to the blast site was reportedly ordered to evacuate on Monday, but local officials said the next day that no evacuation would take place.
The secrecy around the explosion highlights another unpleasant fact about the nuclear era: Governments hate to admit their mistakes when it comes to handling their most dangerous technology, and the desire to hide those mistakes has often made them even deadlier.
After the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, the Soviet authorities waited days before evacuating the area, exposing many thousands of its citizens to extreme levels of radiation. During the first year of Putin’s presidency in 2000, a Russian submarine known as the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea, and his generals were so obsessed with protecting the vessel’s nuclear secrets that they refused foreign help with the rescue effort for several days. By the time Norwegian divers were allowed to reach the submarine, all 118 sailors on board were dead.
Russia’s citizens, like the rest of the world, do not yet know the full extent of the damage caused by last week’s explosion near the city of Severodvinsk. Learning that will take time and a level of transparency that the Kremlin has not yet been able to meet.
But even the available details are enough to understand that this was not simply a case of rotten luck. Given the rate at which the present arms race is accelerating, and the legal constraints on building these kind of weapons are unraveling, such events seem all but inevitable.
“We’re entering a period of intense competition,” says Michael Carpenter, who formerly served as the top Russia expert at the Pentagon. “How we manage it is vitally important to our national security.” And, when it comes to managing nuclear weapons, to the security of the world.
With reporting by Madeline Roache / London
Recent news out of China suggests that the country is experiencing technical problems with its first homemade aircraft carrier. This points to an ongoing issue for countries that have elected to go the aircraft carrier route: carriers are really, really complicated and expensive things to build.
The first purpose-built aircraft carrier was the Royal Navy’s HMS Hermes. Laid down in 1918 and commissioned in 1926, it was the first carrier built from the ground up as a carrier and not converted from another type of ship for the aviation role. At six years, it had an unusually long development period for a 1920s warship.
A century later, a handful of countries are still building carriers, with ships under construction in the U.S., U.K., China, India, and Italy. Russia and South Korea are pondering building new aircraft carriers, while Japan is planning to convert a helicopter carrier into one capable of embarking the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
One design consideration with carriers is that they must be very large. Carrier-based aircraft typically need a rolling start, aided by a catapult or ski ramp, to get airborne, though some aircraft such as the Harrier or F-35B Joint Strike Fighter can take off vertically. Most carriers have a flight deck 600 feet (or more), while America’s Ford-class carriers have a flight deck 1,092 feet long. This means the ship must be equally large, resulting in one that displaces from 40,000 to 100,000 tons of seawater.
Carriers must also incorporate everything the embarked aircraft—typically known as the air wing—need for sustained operations at sea. Carriers must hold large amounts of aviation fuel and weapons, and supplies including spare aircraft engines. It must have locations to test engines, a noisy and dangerous operation, and hangar space for maintainers to store and service airplanes. In the case of larger carriers, it must have the systems necessary to launch and recover aircraft, including catapults and arresting gear.
One of the major issues for a carrier is propulsion. Aircraft carriers are up to nine times larger than other surface warships in the U.S. Navy, necessitating large, powerful engines to propel them through the world’s oceans. Carriers that use conventional propulsion must include large fuel tanks to keep the engines humming. Alternately carriers can use nuclear propulsion, but that is a level of complexity an order of magnitude greater than conventional engines.
Carriers are often called “floating cities,” with the U.S. Navy’s carriers carrying up to 6,000 personnel at any one time. These people not only need places to work but to eat, drink, live, and even sometimes play. A population large enough to man an aircraft carrier requires dedicated medical and dental services, a gym, ship’s store, and other amenities. Food must be refrigerated, sewage must be managed, and life must be made bearable for the people onboard to do their jobs.
Aircraft carriers are large, powerful ships. Their mission and size means navies must address thousands, if not tens of thousands of considerations when designing and building the ships.
A country like China, which has never built a carrier before, will naturally experience technical problems. Even the U.S., with literally hundreds of built carriers under its belt, has experienced two years of delays getting the brand-new USS Ford out to sea.
In the world of aircraft carriers, delays and holdups are simply part of doing business.