If a mad scientist toiling away in a Colorado Springs lab grabbed a beaker to create the quintessential airman, I’m not sure his discovery would beat Merrill “Tony” McPeak.The 14th Chief of Staff of the Air Force, he also was the first one who was through-and-through an airman , having never served in the Army or attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.President George H.W. Bush gave him the gig, and President Bill Clinton briefly made him his Secretary of the Air Force, but I get the feeling that he’d just as soon have spent his adult life strapped inside a fighter, humming Mozart when he wasn’t blasting to dots the enemy.McPeak, 81, won’t tell you this, but he’s a hero of the Vietnam War. When he left the Air Force in 1994 his chest was spangled with the Silver Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster designating his 13th award (yes, 13).Notable for his gruff demeanor, he won’t mind … [Read more...] about Q & A with Merrill “Tony” McPeak
Shooting star drone squad
The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, so there is no embassy in Washington, but for years the two countries have relied on the “New York channel,” an office inside North Korea’s mission to the United Nations, to handle the unavoidable parts of our nonexistent relationship. The office has, among other things, negotiated the release of prisoners and held informal talks about nuclear tensions. In April, I contacted the New York channel and requested permission to visit Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The New York channel consists mostly of two genial middle-aged men: Pak Song Il, a husky diplomat with a gray brush cut; and his aide-de-camp, Kwon Jong Gun, who is younger and thinner. They go everywhere together. (The North Korean government has diplomats work in pairs, to prevent them from defecting, or being recruited as spies.) Under U.S. law, they can travel only twenty-five miles from Columbus … [Read more...] about The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea
Jeanie Buss clearly believes in Magic, but enough to hand him the keys to the Lakers’ kingdom? The team’s co-owner – and Phil Jackson’s ex – brought back L.A. legend Magic Johnson to the organization as an adviser last week, with his future role to be determined. The Hall of Famer made it perfectly clear on Thursday, however, what he hopes that role to be. “Working to call the shots, because it only works that way," Johnson told USA Today on Thursday at the UCLA-Oregon hoops game at Pauley Pavilion. “Right now I’m advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody’s got to say, ‘I’m making the final call,’ all right? And who’s that going to be? “So, we’ll see what happens." Johnson, who put up $50 million for a 2.5 percent ownership stake of the Dodgers with Guggenheim Partners in 2012, could take … [Read more...] about Can Magic Johnson do a better job turning around the Lakers than Phil Jackson has done with the Knicks?
To report corrections & clarifications, contact USA TODAY Network Standards Editor Brent Jones:Please indicate whether you're responding to content online or in the newspaper.The following corrections & clarifications have been published on stories produced by USA TODAY's newsroom: January 2018 Sport: A previous version of this story included an incorrect name for the president of Robert Morris University. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/01/17/college-football-playoff-names-six-new-selection-committee-members/1040668001/ News: Former CNN producer Teddy Davis has been removed from this list. He was accused of inappropriate behavior, according to CNN. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/22/weinstein-aftermath-all-men-accused-sexual-misconduct/884778001/ Money: An earlier version of this story was incorrect about RMDs as they relate to Roth … [Read more...] about Corrections & Clarifications