TIME Barack Obama

Obama: ‘We Don’t Need a War’ With Russia

President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

President Obama downplayed the chance of a military conflict with Russia over the escalating tension in eastern Ukraine, in an interview that aired Thursday, saying it's not up to either country to decide what kind of relationships Ukraine has with its neighbors

President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired Thursday that “we don’t need a war” with Russia, downplaying the chance of military conflict between the U.S. and Russia over tensions in Ukraine.

“What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors, and it is not up to anybody, whether it’s Russia or the United States or anybody else, to make decisions for them,” Obama said in an interview with CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett on Thursday’s broadcast of CBS This Morning.

Obama’s comments came days after a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea. When asked if the aircraft “buzz” represented Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to send a signal to Washington, Obama said Russia is “not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.”

“As commander-in-chief, I don’t make decisions based on perceived signals. We make decision very deliberately, based on what’s required for our security and for the security of our allies,” Obama added. “And the Russians understand that.”

Putin has amassed Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and threatened to invade amid tensions between the pro-Western government and a large ethnic Russian minority in the region, despite the threat of increased economic sanctions from the U.S. and Western European powers.

Zeke Miller contributed reporting.

TIME

U.S. Navy Rescues Sick Baby From Sailboat in Pacific

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3.
Undated photo of Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Courtesy Sariah English —AP

A U.S. Navy frigate reached an ill child in a sailboat far off the Mexican coast Sunday whose parents had sought to circumnavigate the globe

A U.S. Navy warship arrived Sunday at a sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico in order to rescue a sick 1-year-old girl whose parents were attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

On Sunday the frigate USS Vandegrift reached the 36-foot Rebel Heart, where Charlotte and Eric Kaufman had issued a distress call three days before when they found their young daughter sick with a fever and a rash, reports USA Today. A crew from the California Air National Guard parachuted into the water Thursday and stabilized the girl until the Vandegrift arrived.

The 1-year-old girl was taken aboard the Vandegrift along with her parents and 3-year-old sister for medical treatment in San Diego, the Associated Press reports.

The couple and their children were almost 1,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas after setting out from San Diego to circle the globe, and did not have steering or communication abilities. In a post on the couple’s blog eight days after setting out, they called the trip “the stupidest thing we have ever done.”

[USA Today]

 

TIME Crime

2 Dead in Virginia Navy Base Shooting

Security officers killed a male civilian suspect after a shooting Monday night aboard the guided-missile destroyer U.S.S. Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest navy base. Officials say the suspect was allowed on the base but aren't sure he was cleared for the ship

The world’s largest navy base was briefly on lockdown Monday night after a sailor was fatally shot and security forces killed a male civilian suspect on board a guided-missile destroyer at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

According to a base spokeswoman speaking to the AP, the shooting occurred around 11:20 pm on Monday night on board the U.S.S. Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer that had returned to Norfolk in September after an eight-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, where it had been positioned for a potential strike against Syria.

Navy officials offered few details about the shooting other than that both the sailor killed and the civilian suspect were men. Officials said the suspect was authorized access to the base; however, the spokeswoman said she could not say whether the suspect had permission to be aboard the ship.

The shooting briefly caused a lockdown on the base, which is home to more than 46,000 military members, 21,000 civilians and contractors, and is the home port for 64 ships. By Tuesday morning, operations on the base had returned to normal, and an investigation into the shooting was ongoing.

[AP]

TIME U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy to Zap Enemies With Futuristic Laser

Device launched this year will target aerial drones and swarming speedboats in Persian Gulf

+ READ ARTICLE

The future has arrived at the U.S. Navy, which will begin deploying lasers this year and an electromagnetic rail gun within two years.

The laser will be set up on the transport dock USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. One single sailor can operate the device, which can burn through targets and fry electronics with beams that are invisible to the human eye. The laser is designed to shoot down aerial drones and disable swarming speedboats.

Besides its ability to be fired continuously, the biggest advantage of the laser is that it’s cheaper to use than missiles and smart bombs. The downside is that the laser is a lot less efficient if there’s rain, dust or turbulence in the atmosphere.

The Navy is also working on getting electromagnetic rail guns ready for deployment. The rail guns, which fires projectiles at six or seven times the speed of sound, are meant to replace or supplement traditional firearms.

[AP]

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