Morning Security Brief: Congress Poised to Act on Aid to Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines Search Moves North, And More
Congress poised to act on legislation to aid Ukraine, the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight moves almost 700 miles north, and the Air Force fires nine officers in the wake of a missile test cheating scandal.
► The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to act on legislation that would provide aid to Ukraine and impose additional sanctions on Russian officials for the annexation of Crimea, Bloomberg reports. The Senate passed the measure yesterday with broad bipartisan support and the House could take up the bill in a session at 11 a.m. this morning. “The measure includes about $1 billion in loan guarantees and authorizes $150 million in direct assistance to Ukraine,” according to the report. “It would impose sanctions against Ukrainians and Russians deemed responsible for corruption and violence.” The possible passage comes one day after the International Monetary Fund agreed to loan Ukraine $18 billion and the European Union promised $15 billion in loans to the nation to help bolster its struggling economy.
► The search for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 has moved almost 700 miles north after Australian authorities coordinating the search effort received new information suggesting the plane ran out of fuel earlier than originally estimated, according to Reuters. The search effort was moved because further analysis of radar and satellite data showed that the missing plane had traveled faster than originally calculated, causing it to burn through its fuel load faster. “Australia said late on Friday that a New Zealand air force plane had spotted objects in the new search area,” Reuters reports. However, the sightings still need to be confirmed by ship, which is unlikely to happen before Saturday.
► The Air Force fired nine officers and accepted the resignation of the commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana yesterday as it continues to handle the fallout of a missile test cheating scandal, reports The New York Times. The commander, Col. Robert Stanley, was directly responsible for the approximately 100 officers implicated in the cheating scandal and resigned Thursday morning. “The long-running case has led to the largest number of dismissals in the history of the intercontinental ballistic missiles force, which controls 450 nuclear-tipped Minuteman missile at three bases, in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming,” according to the Times. The other nine officers were fired not because they were cheating, but because they “failed to provide adequate oversight of their crew force,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.