By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional auditors have joined the Pentagon's chief arms tester in raising concerns about the pace of development of software on Lockheed Martin Corp's new F-35 fighter jet and recommended the military's F-35 program office assess the plane's ability to integrate specific weapons by July. A report by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency, said delays in software testing could increase development costs and might mean that the Marine Corps and other military services might not have all the weapons capabilities on their F-35 planes when they want to start using them in combat, according to sources briefed on the report. Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who runs the F-35 for the Pentagon, acknowledged that software remained the No. 1 technical risk on the $392 billion weapons program. Bogdan said the F-35 program agreed with the GAO's call for an assessment of the specific weapons capabilities that the F-35 would have when the Marine Corps and other military services want to start using it in combat, and already carefully monitored a series of software metrics.
PERTH, Australia (AP) — Three Australian planes took off at dawn Saturday for a third day of scouring the desolate southern Indian Ocean for possible parts of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, now lost for two full weeks.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators said Friday that they have asked a judge to withdraw a proposed settlement that would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50 billion company clean up its pollution.
By Mark Hosenball and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the CIA on Friday promised a quick review of whether a Senate report on the agency's use of "enhanced interrogation" methods on foreign terrorism suspects can be released on an unclassified basis, apparently moving to reduce tensions with the CIA's congressional overseers. CIA Director John Brennan's statement, contained in a message distributed to CIA employees, comes amid a fierce dispute over whether members of the spy agency secretly monitored a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of the detention and interrogation policies used under former Republican President George W. Bush. In the message, Brennan praised committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, who on March 11 accused the CIA of spying on Congress and possibly breaking the law. Feinstein, a Democrat, said the CIA had searched computers used by committee staffers examining CIA documents when researching the agency's counterterrorism operations and its use of interrogation methods such as simulated drowning, or "waterboarding." Brennan, in a message made available to Reuters by a U.S. official, said that Feinstein and the other leaders of the two congressional intelligence panels "carry out their oversight responsibilities with great dedication and patriotism." He added that "the CIA has benefited over the years from their leadership as well as their strong support for CIA programs and employees." "I expect the Committee will submit at least some portion of the report to the CIA for classification review, and, if that happens, CIA will carry out the review expeditiously.