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In Brief | Nation & World 8-14-13

Air Force nuclear unit fails inspection

WASHINGTON — An Air Force unit that operates one-third of the nation’s land-based nuclear missiles has failed a safety and security inspection, marking the second major setback this year for a force charged with the military’s most sensitive mission, the general in charge of the nuclear air force told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. James M. Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, said a team of “relatively low ranking” airmen failed one exercise as part of a broader inspection, which began last week and ended Tuesday. He said that for security reasons he could not be specific about the team or the exercise.

“This unit fumbled on this exercise,” Kowalski said, adding that this did not call into question the safety or control of nuclear weapons at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana.

“The team did not demonstrate the right procedures,” he said, and as a result was rated a failure.

To elaborate “could reveal a potential vulnerability” in the force, Kowalski said.

Dem Booker, GOP’s Lonegan win NJ’s special US Senate primaries

TRENTON, N.J. — A rising star in the Democratic Party and a Republican former mayor won their parties’ primaries on Tuesday to set up a campaign of political and stylistic contrasts as they seek to fill the final 15 months of the term of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker defeated three experienced politicians — U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallone and state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver — in a Democratic primary that may have been more competitive had the field been less crowded. The race was a major draw for them partly because of New Jersey’s history of electing only Democrats to the Senate over the past 40 years.

In the Republican primary, former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan won handily over Franklin Township physician Alieta Eck, who had never run for office before.

With about 60 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Booker had about 75 percent of the vote in the Democratic contest, with Pallone, who had the support of Lautenberg’s family, a distant second. Lonegan had about 80 percent of the vote in the GOP contest.

The election is on a compressed schedule. The day after Lautenberg’s death in June, Republican Gov. Chris Christie scheduled the primaries for Tuesday and a special election for Oct. 16, 20 days before the voting day on which he’s seeking re-election.

Rohani picks female vice president after vow to back women

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who has promised to back women’s increased participation in Iranian society, appointed Elham Aminzadeh as his vice president for legal affairs.

Rohani cited her “scientific competence and judicial qualifications as well as legislative experience and moral merits” in his appointment letter, which was published on the president’s website. Rohani appointed former industry minister Eshagh Jahangiri as his first vice president a day after he took the oath of office.

During his presidential campaign, Rohani pledged to create more jobs for women. Rohani, a cleric and lawyer, has also criticized the government of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having increased police patrols and the use of force to ensure women’s hair and body curves were covered.

Aminzadeh, a former member of the parliament, holds a doctorate in international law from the University of Glasgow and teaches at the Allameh Tabatabaei University in Tehran, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency and the state-run Fars news agency. Aminzadeh’s doctoral thesis was titled “The United Nations And International Peace and Security: A Legal and Practical Analysis.”

By wire sources