US military loses $100 million F-35 jet and asks for public’s help finding it – National & International News – MON 18Sep2023

US military loses $100 million F-35 jet and asks for public’s help finding it.

UAW strike in fourth day; negotiations continue.

Five Americans released from Iran after $6 billion payout.



US military loses $100 million F-35 jet and asks for public’s help finding it

In South Carolina on Sunday, the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II jet had to eject mid-flight due to a “mishap”. The pilot parachuted out safely and is at a hospital in stable condition. When the pilot ejected, the jet was on auto-pilot and no one can say what happened to it after that. Joint Base Charleston has reached out to members of the public to find their state-of-the-art $100 million piece of equipment, which they have apparently been unable to track down. Anyone with information is encouraged to call JB Charleston’s operation center.

Lockheed Martin, the jet’s manufacturer, says that one of the jet’s advantages is that is nearly impossible to track on radar and other types of surveillance.

Officials believe it may have landed in a body of water and are focusing their searches around Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, north of Charleston.

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UAW strike in fourth day; negotiations continue

Last Friday, about 13,000 United Auto Workers members walked off the job at three plants belonging to Ford, GM and Stellantis, Chrysler’s parent company. Over the weekend, UAW President Shawn Fain said there were “reasonably productive” talks with Ford on Saturday, when the strike was in its second day. Talks with Stellantis are expected to happen today.

UAW is using what it calls a “stand up” strike strategy in which workers at certain key facilities walk off while workers at other facilities continue working. The strategy helps UAW conserve its strike fund and allows them to ratchet up pressure as necessary as negotiations continue. It also means that the union can stay out longer and maximize the strike’s economic impact on the company. 

The union and the automakers remain far apart in negotiations. In addition to other demands, UAW is seeking a 40% increase in worker pay, which Fain has linked explicitly to a 40% increase in CEO pay over the last four years. Workers’ wages rose 6% over the same period, and the cost of vehicles went up 30%. 

Fain says furloughs an attempt to “squeeze” workers

Hours after the strike was called, both Ford and GM temporarily laid off workers at non-striking facilities. Ford said it had told 600 workers at an assembly plant to stay home, saying that since a nearby paint shop was striking, the assembly workers had nothing to assemble. GM says it will tell 2000 assembly workers in Kansas to stay home, possibly by early this week, citing similar reasons. Stellantis has announced no plans to idle any of its non-striking workforce.

Fain issued a statement about the furloughs on Saturday: “Let’s be clear: if the Big Three decide to lay people off who aren’t on strike, that’s them trying to put the squeeze on our members to settle for less. With their record profits, they don’t have to lay off a single employee. In fact, they could double every autoworker’s pay, not raise car prices, and still rake in billions of dollars.”

“Their plan won’t work,” the statement continued. “The UAW will make sure any worker laid off in the Big Three’s latest attack will not go without an income. We’ll organize one day longer than they can and go the distance to win economic and social justice at the Big Three.”

With a 97% vote back in August to authorize a strike, UAW members sent a clear message that they are resolved to stay out as long as necessary to get an equitable deal.



Five Americans released from Iran after $6 billion payout

Five American citizens who have been imprisoned in Iran for years (some going back to 2015) have landed in Qatar after the US and Iran struck a prisoner swap deal. As part of the deal, the US also agreed to release $6 billion in Iranian assets, which Iran has not previously had access to due to international sanctions. The US State Department says the money will be transferred into a controlled account and that Iranian authorities will only be allowed to spend it for humanitarian needs. Iranian leadership denies there are any limits on how they can spend the money.

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