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DARPA demonstrates TALONS parasail mast system

DARPA demonstrates TALONS parasail mast system

Business
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has completed a test demonstration of its Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems, or TALONS, surveillance and communications parasail mast.The Cyclone-class coastal patrol vessel USS Zephyr tested the TALONS over three days off the coast of Naval Station Mayport, Fla. The tests found that the parasail mast deployed and recovered safely and increased the communications range of the Zephyr to its small rigid-hull boats."We're very pleased with the USS Zephyr testing, which showed that a future system based on TALONS could provide operational benefits for even small Navy vessels," DARPA program manager Scott Littlefield said.The TALONS is being developed to lift up to 150 lbs. of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and c...
Employment at record high – but wages still weak

Employment at record high – but wages still weak

Business
The UK's jobless rate hit its lowest level since 1975 - but average earnings continued to lag behind inflation in the three months to June, official figures show.Wages grew by 2.1% compared with the same period last year, the Office for National Statistics said.This is a slight increase on the previous March to May quarter when the ONS revised down its preliminary figure to 1.9%.However, once inflation is taken into account, total pay in real terms sank by 0.5% both including and excluding bonuses.It comes a day after official data showed inflation remained unchanged in July at 2.6%. Economists had expected it to climb to 2.7%.The figures are significant as they show a continuation in the squeeze on living costs, largely thanks to the collapse in the pound following the Brexit vote, which ...
IMF warns on China's credit boom

IMF warns on China's credit boom

Business
The International Monetary Fund has warned that China's credit growth is on a "dangerous trajectory".In a new report, the IMF says there is an increasing risk of a "disruptive adjustment" and/or a marked slowdown in economic growth".The agency calls for decisive action to deflate the credit boom smoothly.Without the boom, the report suggests, China's recent economic expansion would have been significantly slower. Since the global financial crisis, China's economic growth has slowed, from an average of 10% a year in the previous three decades to a rate of 6.7% last year.The Chinese government expected a slowdown, since the earlier double-digit rate was not sustainable over the long term.Credit boomChina has been trying to manage a transition to slower growth with a different pattern, one th...
U.S. gas prices holding steady as summer fades

U.S. gas prices holding steady as summer fades

Business
Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. retail gasoline prices are holding relatively stable, with analysts offering competing perspectives on the trend ahead as the demand-heavy summer wanes.Motor club AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $ 2.35, relatively unchanged from last week, but more than 9 cents higher than one month ago.By region, the West Coast remains the most expensive market in the country. California is still holding just below $ 3 per gallon, though it still has the highest state average for the Lower 48. AAA in its weekly retail market report said gasoline inventories remain low for the region and demand pressures are on pace to increase because the path of totality for Monday's eclipse runs through several West Coast states.That tourist draw on...
USS John C. Stennis departs for sea trials early after overhaul

USS John C. Stennis departs for sea trials early after overhaul

Business
Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier is underway for sea trials sooner than expected following a 6-month overhaul and upgrade at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.The ship has departed three days ahead of schedule despite the Stennis having a much larger overhaul then is normal for a carrier refit."Overall, the work package was 140 percent above the normal amount for a CVN-class carrier availability," Cmdr. Ken Holland, John C. Stennis' chief engineer and availability coordinator, said in a press release."But with shipyard and ship's force coming together, we were able to overcome obstacles as a team and work together every day to complete the task we needed to, becoming more efficient and ultimately resulting in us arriving at this point ahead of schedule....