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Honolulu (AFP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to go commercial for the nine-hour flight between Hawaii and Washington after his Air Force jet suffered a malfunction.

Kerry, along with many staff members and reporters, including AFP, who had accompanied the top U.S. diplomat on his week-long world tour, on Thursday ended up boarding a United Airlines flight from Honolulu.

Kerry’s regular plane, a Boeing 757 that has carried him across more than 515,000 miles to 51 countries over the last year and a half, suffered an “electrical problem” on the ground at a U.S. air base near Honolulu.

“Finally, some frequent-flier miles,” Kerry joked as he awaited the new flight.

He was returning home from a global tour through Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar, and the Solomon Islands as part of the U.S. administration’s “rebalance” to Asia.

AFP Photo/Rob Griffith

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Former Navy Secretary Sean O'Keefe

Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Almost 500 national security experts — including 22 four-star military officers — slammed Donald Trump in a public letter released Thursday, calling him unfit for his role as commander in chief and endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The letter, simply addressed "To Our Fellow Citizens," is a bipartisan effort signed by prominent Republicans and Democrats alike who say they "fear" for their country under Trump. Signatories include former Navy Secretary and NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who served in both Bush administrations, and former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Ash Carter.

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