Updated Dec 10, 2019

Pentagon to review international student vetting in wake of Pensacola attack

Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Pentagon is ordering a review of vetting for international students who participate in U.S. military training programs in the wake of an attack by a Saudi Air Force lieutenant that left three dead at Naval Air Station Pensacola last week, the AP reports.

The big picture: Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist signed a memo halting all flight and operation training for Saudi Arabian military students in the U.S, per the AP. Approximately 300 Saudi military aviation students at three U.S. bases were indefinitely barred from flying on Tuesday as part of a "safety stand-down," according to a Navy spokesperson.

  • The FBI says investigators are certain the shooter was the lone gunman and are working under the "presumption" that the shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station was an "act of terrorism."
  • The grounding is affecting the Pensacola base as well as Naval Air Station Whiting Field and Naval Station Mayport, which are also in Florida.
  • It is unclear when Saudi students will be authorized to fly again, but classroom training is expected to resume shortly. Training for students from other countries has already resumed.

Go deeper ... Pensacola Naval Air Station shooting: What we know so far

Go deeper

Gov. DeSantis decries "loophole" allowing Pensacola shooter to buy gun

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the press following the shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Base, Dec. 6. Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

The Jacksonville FBI office confirmed on Tuesday that the Pensacola shooter, a Saudi Arabian citizen, legally obtained a handgun in the U.S. by having a valid Florida hunting license.

Driving the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) denounced the federal exemption that allowed the shooter to legally purchase a gun and said that the regulation should be reexamined, calling it a "loophole."

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019

Washington Post responds to Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi death sentences

Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP via Getty Images

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan responded Monday to a Saudi Arabian court's decision to sentence five people to death for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying those at the top of the Saudi government "continue to escape responsibility" for the murder.

Why it matters: The Saudi government continues to deny that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had any involvement in the assassination, despite the CIA concluding with "high confidence" last year that he ordered the assassination.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019

Boeing's Starliner won't reach space station after malfunction

Starliner takes flight. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Boeing's uncrewed CST-100 Starliner will not make it to the International Space Station after a serious, post-launch malfunction on Friday.

Why it matters: Boeing was initially expected to launch its first crewed mission to the station in early 2020, but Friday's technical issues may call that already nebulous timeline into question.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 20, 2019