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The latest news from Robert Johnson on Business Insider
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    D Day Normandy June 6 1944 27Every war has events where the tide changes, turning points where the conflict's endgame comes into focus.

    That moment for the Second World War's European theater was June 6, 1944 — the day Allied forces crossed the English Channel and began to reclaim the European mainland.

    Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

    Here are images that bring to life one of the most consequential military operations in modern history.

     

    It was overcast and foggy on June 6, 1944, when 160,000 troops landed on this French coastline.



    Beaches along a 50-mile stretch of coastline in Normandy were given five names — Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. German troops heavily defended each of them.



    Cloud cover prevented Allied bombers from accurately targeting the German forces and softening up their defenses.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Atlantic City New Jersey Revel Casino Resort 1 27

    Really expensive and worryingly empty. That's what we thought about Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel when we visited in February 2014. It was not a good combination.

    Now, the megacasino has filed for bankruptcy, the second time it has done so in the past two years.

    Revel is reportedly telling employees it will shut down this summer if it doesn't find a buyer.

    The complex cost $2.6 billion to build and is New Jersey's second-tallest building. It opened in April 2012, but 11 months later was forced to file for bankruptcy.

    We photographed the beautiful interior of the casino while reflecting on how it and the rest of Atlantic City fell on hard times.

    Pulling into the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, there is a lot of free parking, even for a Saturday afternoon in February.



    The casino's troubles were obvious from early on, such as when Morgan Stanley wrote down a $932 million loss on the project in 2010, well before it opened in 2012.



    The Revel lost more than $70 million during its first two fiscal quarters of 2012 and filed for bankruptcy in February 2013. Now, just over a year later, it has filed for bankruptcy once again.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    iran military women

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has blitzed across Iraq over the past couple of weeks. The Sunni extremist group threatens the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite and close ally of Iran. 

    The Islamic Republic isn't taking its chances and has already sent two units of the Revolutionary Guards into Iraq. These soldiers come from one of the largest and most capable militaries in the region. 

    Iran's military has 545,000 active personnel and some of the most advanced technology of anyone in their neighborhood. The United States gave them a lot of it.

    Granted, it wasn't the Islamic Republic of Iran that we supplied with some of the hottest tech available at the time. Rather, it was a pre-revolutionary monarchy that was a key ally of the United States in the Middle East — and was overthrown in Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. 

    Since then, Iran has managed to develop its own military-industrial complex and upgrade its existing arsenal.

    And they've gotten pretty good at it.

    With Iran's military jumping into the unfurling chaos in Iraq, we looked at some of the military toys that the Iranians are playing with. 

     Walt Hickey contributed to this report.

    The AH-1J SeaCobra

    The United States sold 202 of these helicopters to Iran from 1975-1978. As of right now, only around 50 remain in service.

    Iran used the helicopters with disputed success in the Iran-Iraq War between 1980 and 1988. 

    The AH-1W, a similar aircraft, remains a cornerstone of the U.S. Marine Corps' attack helicopter fleet. 

    The attack helicopter carries a crew of two, reaches a maximum speed of 219 mph, and has a service ceiling of 10,500 feet. It's 53 feet long.

    Iran has also built an upgrade the Panha 2091, from AH-1J aircraft. Their efficacy is unknown. 

     



    The RIM-66 Surface to Air Missile

    The RIM-66 is a naval missile system designed by the United States and exported to multiple nations.

    They entered into service in 1967 and were made by Raytheon. This guided missile system can travel at 3.5 times the speed of sound and has an operational range of up to 90 nautical miles. 

    The Iran Navy has these installed on a number of missile boats and frigates.



    The S-300 missile system

    This one is unconfirmed, but Iran claims that they have them.

    And if they do have the S-300, that's a pretty big deal. Iran has also developed the Bavar 373 system, which it claims has the same capabilities as the S-300. 

    NATO called the S-300 the S-10 Gladiator. The Soviets developed in the 1970s, and it's been continually upgraded until production ceased in 2011.

    It's one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems in the field today.

    There are even variations that have been designed to intercept ballistic missiles. The radar system can track 100 targets at once, and can simultaneously engage 12 of them. 

    The 23-foot missiles weigh two tons and have a range of between 56 and 93 miles. They travel at six times the speed of sound. The missile system has never been used in combat as yet, but NATO has trained for that eventuality.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    F-35

    This was supposed to the be the F-35's big month.

    The troubled next-generation fighter jet was going to make its international debut at the Farnborough Air Show in England. The U.S. and its partners would have something to show for their years of delays, setbacks, and cost overruns.

    They would have nothing less than a functioning version of the most advanced warplane in history.

    This potential breakthrough has hit an all-too-typical stumbling block.

    The Air Force temporarily suspended all F-35 flights after one of the planes caught on fire before takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Even if the plane does debut later this month, it still has some serious issues, and a long way to go before it can be rolled out for combat missions. Already, the plane is expected to be delayed for over a year beyond its projected mid-2015 delivery date.

    Despite this, it's not likely that the F-35 will ever be scrapped. As we reported back in November of 2012, there are simply too many countries that have invested time and money into the program.

    It is, quite literally, an aircraft that is "too big to fail" despite facing lifetime operating costs for the U.S. Fleet of $1 trillion, and cost overruns of $167 billion before a single plane has flown a single mission.

    We've gone back and looked at the biggest problems with the F-35 program, according to an official Pentagon report.

    Developed by Lockheed, the fighter has three variants: the conventional F-35A for the Air Force; the F-35B for the Marine Corps, which can take off and land vertically; and the F-35C for the Navy, a carrier version.



    If all goes to plan, the Pentagon is on track to spend a huge figure of $396 billion on the jets, including R&D. It doesn't help that the cost to build each F-35 has risen to an average of $160 million from $69 million in 2001. The project is an astounding $167 billion over-budget.



    More amazing than the cost of fabricating the F-35s is the expense of operating and supporting them: $1 trillion over the planes' lifetime. Ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain, described that estimate as “jaw-dropping."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    During the 2012 escalation between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group fired nearly 180 rockets on Israeli targets every day from the Gaza Strip. Thanks to the Iron Dome system, few of them reached their destination. The missile interceptor destroyed a reported 84 percentof rockets it targeted, protecting Israeli civilians and staving off an even greater escalation between the two sides.

    With Hamas continuing to strike Israeli targets and the Israeli military responding with a limited operation against targets in the Gaza Strip, the Iron Dome is back in action. Hamas fired around 85 rockets on Monday, and set off air-raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Already, there are pictures on Twitter of the Iron Dome intercepting missiles over Israeli cities:

    There are a few folks behind the controls, and a few different pieces to the machine. In 2012, Business Insider had this simple explanation of how the Dome works:

     

    Produced by Robert Libetti

     

    SEE ALSO: Israel isn't eager for an escalation in Gaza, but might get one anyway

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    ADAPTIV

    U.S. policymakers are girding the American public for a long fight against ISIS, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying that the jihadists could take several years to defeat.

    ISIS has one of the most extensive arsenals of any non-state armed group in modern history. But even if not all of their weaponry is applicable to the fight against extremists in the Middle East, it's worth remembering that the U.S. and its partners still have the overwhelming advantage in hardware. 

    And it's not just an advantage over non-state groups like ISIS.

    The U.S. possesses a range of weapons that the rest of the world simply doesn't have.

    Weapons like the MQ9 Reaper Drone, the Laser Avenger, and the ADAPTIV cloaking give U.S. troops the a leg-up on any battlefield around the world — including in the ongoing battle against jihadist groups across the Middle East.

    MQ9 Reaper Drone

    Manufactured by: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI)

    Release date: 2001

    The Reaper has been around for over 10 years, but it was used largely for intelligence and reconnaissance until recently. 

    Today, squadrons of F-16's are being transitioned into fleets of drones.

    The Reaper is the largest of the UAVs in the U.S. arsenal with a wingspan of 84 feet, a takeoff weight of 7,000 pounds, a payload capacity of 3,000 pounds, and a maximum flight time of 36 hours.

    The drone can read a license plate from over two miles away while flying at an altitude of 52,000 feet. Capable of carrying 500-pound bombs, air-to-ground, and air-to-air missiles, the UAV fleet is poised to perform the lion's share of American air support in coming years.

    At the beginning of this decade, the U.S. already had more personnel training to operate its burgeoning drone fleet than for any other weapon system in its arsenal.



    AA12 Atchisson Assault Shotgun

    Manufactured by: Maxwell Atchisson

    Release date: 2005

    The AA12 can fire five 12-gauge shells per second. Because the recoil is engineered at just 10 percent of that of a normal shotgun, it can be fired from the hip with only one hand.

    The Atchisson also fires a high-explosive or fragmentation grenade called a FRAG-12 round up to a distance of 175 meters with equal efficiency.

    Tests have shown the AA12, designed for long-term combat use, can fire up to 9,000 rounds without jamming or having to be cleaned.

    All the user needs to do is hold the trigger down for four seconds to empty the 20-round drum at a target.



    ADAPTIV Tank Invisibility Cloak

    Manufactured by: BAE Systems

    Release date: 2013

    Developed and patented in Sweden, ADAPTIV functions over infrared and other electronic frequencies. It can blend the coated vehicle into the background, making it seem to be invisible — and it can also shape the returning signal to appear like something else entirely.

    A tank, for example, can be made to look like a car. These pictures show both the combat vehicle disappearing and reshaping itself into the outline of an automobile.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Secret Service

    They haven't exactly covered themselves in glory lately, but the guys in suits surrounding the President of the United States are still ready to take a bullet to protect the leader of the free world.

    See the Secret Service >

    The Secret Service wasn't always intended to be the president's last, best line of defense. Abraham Lincoln created the United States Secret Service (USSS) to deal with the influx of counterfeit money after the Civil War — a move ironically made just hours before he was assassinated on April 14,1865. Four months later the Service was fully operational.

    In the run-up to the 2004 presidential election George W. Bush spoke at Louisiana State University (LSU), where National Geographic took a closer look at the Secret Service for a documentary called "Inside the US Secret Service." The film follows the president's advance team as it worked with local law enforcement to make sure every conceivable threat to the president addressed before he arrived. 

    National Geographic doesn't spill all the secrets, but what they let us in on is still pretty cool.

    Much of the country's top intelligence work takes place in this unmarked Washington, D.C. building.



    The United States Secret Service can't afford to underestimate the enemy in their mandate to protect the man, protect the symbol and protect the office of the President of the United States.



    Within the Washington HQ is the National Threat Assessment Team, Intelligence Division, Counterfeit Research Unit, Electronic Crime Branch, and Tracking Center.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jiaozhou bay bridge

    A huge change is underway in China.

    Over the next 10 years, the country plans to move 250 million people— the equivalent of Indonesia's entire population — into the country's rapidly-growing megacities.

    To accommodate that enormous migration, the country has invested billions of dollars in massive infrastructure projects. Some are already complete, while others are still in the works.

    From highways that span the continent, to the largest wind power base in the world, to enormously popular airports, to new cities in the desert, China is showing what it really means to do big things.

    SEE ALSO: Orlando missed out on billions of dollars of anti-terror funds sent to other cities

    $110 MILLION: Scheduled for completion in September 2016, the Pingtang telescope will be the world's second-largest radio telescope. Its dish measures 1,640 feet across.



    $176 MILLION: Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory conducts China's major scientific projects. It's the country's most expensive research facility.



    $200 MILLION: The Guangzhou Opera House is one of the three biggest theaters in China, designed by architect Zaha Hadid.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    prince harryThe INSIDER Summary

    • Prince Harry broke the Ramadan fast with a Muslim community in Singapore.
    • Hours beforehand, the London attacks took place.
    • Leaders of the community addressed the atrocities and Prince Harry bowed his head down the whole time.
    • The young royal was visiting Singapore to raise awareness for his charity work with HIV/AIDS. 

    Prince Harry was today photographed head bowed during the Muslim call to prayer breaking the Ramadan fast with youngsters in Singapore.

    The prince ate porridge - bubur - and dates to mark the end of the month long period of fasting and reflection at 7:11 pm at sunset locally.

    Before the symbolic moment at the Jamiyah Singapore centre - coming just hours after the London terror attacks - one of the teachers spoke on stage of the atrocity.

    Muhammad Rafiuddin Ismail Secretary General, "Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims of the London terror attack last night. Let peace and harmony prevail in communities all over the world."

    Harry kept his head bowed throughout the comment.

    prince harry breaks ramadan fast
    The idea for Harry taking part in the iftar was agreed mutually well ahead of his whistle-stop trip to Singapore and Australia.

    "We asked the question and they were delighted that he would take part," said Scott Wightman, British High Commissioner to Singapore said.

    When Harry - who flew in yesterday by commercial flight - arrived at the British High Commission earlier today for an AIDS charity reception the Union Flag was flying at half mast in recognition of the terror atrocity in London.

    He watched volunteer Azib Mohdar being tested for HIV/AIDS as part of the Action for AIDS event.

    Later Harry received a traditional welcome at Jamiyah Singapore - a Muslim community social services charity - of flower petals and ten hand drummers, a customary way to mark celebrations.

    Once the sun started setting, Harry joined eighty young people for a traditional iftar. 

    After the fast was broken Harry sat at a number of tables and chatted to guests about the celebration.

    Dr. Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar, President of Jamiyah Singapore said, "Ramadan is a time of reflection, for spending time with family and friends while giving support to those who are less fortunate.

    "We are honoured that Prince Harry was able to join us for this iftar and to meet with the young people that are part of the Jamiyah Singapore community," he added.

    British High Commissioner Scott Wightman said, "Prince Harry being here raises awareness for the work that is being done with HIV/AIDS and help de-stigmatise the issue."

    Mr. Wightman added, "We are delighted the prince could stop in Singapore on route to Australia and spend time and support some of the global themes he is engaged."

    Join the conversation about this story »

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