March 16, 2016

Odds and Ends: New White Sands mission, Richardson back

Center for American Progress

Bill Richardson Flickr cc

—White Sands Missile Range is getting a new active-duty mission.

Sen. Martin Heinrich announced the news on Wednesday afternoon that the Air Defense Artillery Test Detachment, with 143 soldiers, will be housed at the facility.

“At a time when Army installations across the country are facing reductions, adding a new mission to White Sands is a big deal,” Heinrich said. “I am pleased we secured this new mission and I will continue to advocate for a larger active duty presence at WSMR.”

—Bill Richardson is back on the North Korea beat.

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund cc

Center for American Progress

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund cc

This time, the former U.N. Ambassador and governor is trying to intervene on behalf of an American citizen sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

Richardson met with two North Korean diplomats, according to the New York Times.

“I urged the humanitarian release of Otto, and they agreed to convey our request,” Mr. Richardson said by telephone afterward. He also said the diplomats, Ambassador Jang Il-hun and a subordinate, confirmed that Mr. Warmbier had been seen in Pyongyang, the North’s capital, by a diplomat from Sweden, which represents the United States’s interests in North Korea.

Never out of the spotlight.

—Udall to Cuba.

While Richardson deals with North Korea, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall will be accompanying President Barack Obama and others to Cuba in the historic trip. Udall also traveled to Cuba last year.

“The president’s trip will signal a new relationship with Cuba,” Udall told reporters. “But Congress still must do a lot of work to modernize and normalize relations by repealing old laws that restrict business and tourism.”

—Our stories from Wednesday.

You may have missed these stories from today, including a couple of opinion pieces.

—Also, did you see our big news?

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See the link for all the details (and if you want to pitch in a few dollars to make sure we can keep going and have another 1,000,000 reads, you can do that as well).