Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fw: TheList 4386

The List 4386

To All,
I hope your week has started well. Happy Valentine's Day to all.
This Day In Naval History - February 14
1778: Continental ship, Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, receives the first official salute to a U.S. Stars and Stripes flag by a foreign government (the French fleet) at Quiberon, France.
1813 - Essex becomes first U.S. warship to round Cape Horn and enter the
Pacific Ocean
1814 - USS Constitution captures British Lovely Ann and Pictou
1840 - Officers from USS Vincennes make first landing in Antarctica on
floating ice
On this day in history (February 14,):
1876: Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately
for patents related to the telephone. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually
ruled Bell the rightful inventor.
1929: The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in Chicago. Seven
gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone were killed.
1946: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was unveiled.
The device, built at the University of Pennsylvania, was the world's first
general purpose electronic computer.
And today is:
National Cream Filled Chocolates Day
·         February 14
Happy Valentine's Day! Today is St. Valentine's Day, the feast day of two Christian martyrs named Valentine: one a priest and physician, the other the Bishop of Terni. Both are purported to have been beheaded on this day. The custom of sending handmade 'valentines' to one's beloved became popular during the 17th century and was first commercialized in the United States in the 1840s. 
2,000 Jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.
The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.
Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.
American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.
The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.
James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.
Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.
Esther Morris becomes the world's first female justice of the peace.
Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.
General Roberts invades South Africa's Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
The "Missouri Kid" is captured in Kansas.
Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.
Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.
Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.
The League of Women Voters is formed in Chicago in celebration of the imminent ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.
Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George "Bugs" Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
Germany launches the battleship Bismarck.
Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.
Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy's RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.
800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civilians.
The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.
The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.
A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.
The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.
Malcolm X's home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.
Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.
The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.
Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.
General Michael Flynn resigns as Nation Security advisor
Michael Flynn, the national security adviser to President Trump, resigned late Monday over revelations about his potentially illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his misleading statements about the matter to senior Trump administration officials.
Flynn stepped down amid mounting pressure on the Trump administration to account for its false statements about Flynn's conduct after The Washington Post reported Monday that the Justice Department had warned the White House last month that Flynn had so mischaracterized his communications with the Russian diplomat that he might be vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
A History of Valentine's Day  ( one of many)
     The lover's holiday has its beginnings in the 4th century B.C. in Rome. The Romans held an annual lottery wherein young men would draw a young woman's name from a box. The couple would be assigned to each other the entire year for entertainment and pleasure. (Now, I can see where this could be real dangerous!) This celebration, traditionally held on February 15, also included banquets, dancing and foot races run in the nude.
      Around A.D. 496, early church fathers sought an end to the pagan practice, but knew better than to upset the citizens by removing the lottery completely. Instead, they had teenagers pull the names of saints from the box. The teen was supposed to spend the year emulating that saint's life as much as possible, which was probably not as much fun as naked marathons. (Right! It's no wonder they fed Christians to the lions!) St. Valentine was chosen as the patron saint of the new event, and young Roman men resorted to courting females by sending handwritten notes delivered on February 14.
Valentine's Day Scorecard for Guys--How do you rate?    
Simple Duties
·         You go out to buy her flowers: +5
·         But return with beer: -5
·         You check out a suspicious noise at night: 0
·         You check out a suspicious noise and it's nothing: 0
·         You check out a suspicious noise and it's something: +5
·         You pummel it with a six iron: +10
·         It's her cat: -10
Social Engagements
·         You stay by her side the entire party: 0
·         You stay by her side for a while, then leave to chat with a drinking buddy: -2
·         Named Tiffany: -4
·         Tiffany is a dancer: -6
·         Tiffany has implants: -8
Saturday Afternoons
·         You visit her parents: +1
·         You visit her parents and actually make conversation: +3
·         You visit her parents and stare vacantly at the television: -3
·         And the television is off: -6
·         You spend the afternoon watching college football in your underwear: -6
·         And you didn't even go to college: -10
·         And it's not really your underwear: -15
Valentine's Day
·         You take her out to dinner: 0
·         You take her out to dinner and it's not a sports bar: +1
·         Okay, it is a sports bar: -2
·         And it's all-you-can-eat night: -3
·         It's a sports bar, it's all-you-can-eat night, and your face is painted the colors of your favorite team: -10    
·         You give her a gift: 0
·         You give her a gift, and it's a small appliance: -10
·         You give her a gift, and it's not a small appliance: +1
·         You give her a gift, and it isn't chocolate: +2
·         You give her a gift that you'll be paying off for months: +30
·         You wait until the last minute and buy her a gift that day: -10
·         With her credit card: -30
·         And whatever you bought is two sizes too big: -40
·         You forget to pick her up at the bus station: -25
·         Which is in Detroit: -35
·         And the pouring rain dissolves her leg cast: -50
A Night Out with Your Pals
·         You have a few beers: -9
·         For every beer after three, -2 again
·         And miss curfew by an hour: -12
·         You get home at 3 a.m.: -20
·         You get home at 3 a.m. smelling of booze and cheap cigars: -30
·         And not wearing any pants: -40
·         Is that a tattoo? -200
A Night Out, Just the Two of You
·         You go see a comic: +2
·         He's crude and sexist: -2
·         You laugh: -5
·         You laugh too much: -10
·         She's not laughing: -15
·         You laugh harder: -25
·         You lose the directions on a trip: -4
·         You lose the directions and end up getting lost: -10
·         You end up getting lost in a bad part of town: -15
·         You get lost in a bad part of town and meet the locals: -25
·         She finds out you lied about having a black belt: -60
·         When she wants to talk, you listen, displaying a concerned expression:+20    
·         When she wants to talk, you listen, for over 30 minutes: +5
·         You listen for more than 30 minutes, without looking at the television:+10
·         She realizes this is because you've fallen asleep: -10
If men ruled the world, Valentine's Day would be moved to February 29th so it would only occur once every four years.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…That's amore.
When an eel bites your hand and that's not what you planned…That's a moray.
When our habits are strange and our customs deranged…That's our mores.
When your horse munches straw and the bales total four…That's some more hay.
When Othello's poor wife, she gets stabbed with a knife…That's a Moor, eh?
When a Japanese knight used a sword in a fight…That's Sa...mur...ai.
I just love to do special things for my wife on Valentine's Day!  Here are a few of the simple things I did,  like:
Opened the door for her when she put all the laundry in the washing machine,
Plugged and unplugged the vacuum as she moved from room to room cleaning.
Guys, it's these little thoughtful things you can do to have a marriage such as mine!
Here's a list of the least appreciated Valentine's Day gifts:    
A box of chocolates, clumsily rearranged in an attempt to hide the fact you ate all the caramel ones.
Lingerie that you think will look almost as good on her as on the Victoria's Secret model.
Any clothing item with the words "push-up" or "slim-down" on the label.
Any food item with the words "diet", "light", or "high fiber" on the label.
Any video starring Sylvester Stallone, Jim Carrey, or Pamela Anderson.
Flowers from a hospital's gift shop--or worse, a mortuary's.
Poetry, no matter how heartfelt, that starts out "There was once a girl from..."
Anything you ever gave another woman, including your mother.
Any household appliance, power tool or other item from the harder side of Sears.
A gift certificate.
Anything you could have bought at the gas station mini-mart on the way over, even if you didn't.        
An apologetic look and the words "That was today?"
     He loved her very much. He wanted this Valentine's Day to be special, so he had ordered a bottle of her favorite liquor imported from France and it had arrived in time for the occasion. On his way home, he stopped at the local florist. He had planned to have a bouquet made with her favorite flower, white anemones. But to his dismay, he found that the florist had sold all her flowers and had only a few sterns of feathery ferns left for decoration.
     In a moment of inspiration, he had the answer. He asked the florist to make a bouquet using the flask of liquor instead of flowers and what she produced was magnificent well beyond his expectations. He added a card, and proceeded home. When he arrived, his wife was beautiful in her most elegant gown, and it was apparent that she had spent much of the day preparing a romantic candlelight dinner for the two of them. He presented her with his gift, and she opened the card to read, "Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder."
     With a tear in her eye, she whispered to him lovingly, "Yes, and with fronds like these, who needs anemones."
     I remember one Valentine's Day I had to be away on a business trip. I wired flowers for my lovely wife, but she found the fuse.
     A guy walks into a post office one day to see a middle-aged, balding man standing at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them.  He then takes out a perfume bottle and starts spraying scent all over them.
     His curiosity getting the better of him, he goes up to the balding man and asks him what he is doing.
     The man says "I'm sending out 1,000 Valentine cards signed,... 'Guess who?!?!?'"
     "But why?" asks the man.
     "Just drumming up business." the man replies. "I'm a divorce lawyer!"
     A university student fell in love, and dropped out of school to marry her young love. She wrote her parents to say that she had put the heart before the course. 
     If love is blind and marriage is an institution, does that mean that marriage is an institution for the blind?
     Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Connors.  
     Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford -but you'll take him anyway.
     A young woman was taking an afternoon nap. After she woke up, she told her husband, "I just dreamt that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's Day.  What do you think it means?"
     "You shall know tonight", he said.
     That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it. She found a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams".
Submitted by Colleen Grosso:
These are entries to a competition asking for a two-line rhyme with the most romantic first line, but the least romantic second line:
My darling, my lover, my beautiful wife:
Marrying you screwed up my life.
I see your face when I am dreaming.
That's why I always wake up screaming.
Kind, intelligent, loving and hot;
This describes everything you are not.
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are you.
But the roses are wilting, the violets are dead, the sugar bowl's empty and so is your head.
I want to feel your sweet embrace;
But don't take that paper bag off your face.
I love your smile, your face, and your eyes ...
Darn, I'm good at telling lies!
My love, you take my breath away.
What have you stepped in to smell this way?
What inspired this amorous rhyme?
Two parts vodka, one part lime.
Have a great week,
Item Number:1 Date: 02/14/2017 AFGHANISTAN - SERIES OF OPERATIONS PUNISH ISIS FIGHTERS IN NANGARHAR PROVINCE (FEB 14/KP)  KHAAMA PRESS -- Nearly three dozen Islamic State militants have been killed in recent Afghan air and ground operations in Nangarhar province, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan).   During operations on Saturday in the Achin, Rodat and Kot districts of the eastern province of Nangarhar, at least 33 ISIS fighters were killed and 12 injured, according to local security officials.   Several ISIS hideouts were also destroyed. Afghan troops seized several weapons, ammunition, explosives and a number of improvised explosive devices, said the officials.   The U.S. provided air support for the missions, after security forces were ordered to clear the Kot and Haska districts of ISIS fighters, reported the Voice of America News
Item Number:2 Date: 02/14/2017 BANGLADESH - FUGITIVE DIES IN SHOOTOUT WITH POLICE; MILITANT'S BOSS BLAMED FOR DHAKA CAFE ATTACK (FEB 14/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Police in Bangladesh say they have killed a militant linked to last year's Dhaka cafe attack, reports Agence France-Presse.   Twenty-two hostages, mostly foreigners, were killed in that incident.   Abu Jar was killed in a gunfight early Tuesday during a police raid on a town outside the northern city of Bogra, said a local police chief.   Jar was the northwestern commander of the new Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) group. He was also a close associate with Jahangir Alam, one of the suspected masterminds of the July 2016 attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Bangladesh's capital, said the chief.   Jar was also wanted in the targeted killings of two people. The murders were claimed by the Islamic State. Some JMB members have been associated with ISIS
Item Number:3 Date: 02/14/2017 CANADA - NEW DEFENSE AWARD WILL MODERNIZE 141 ARMY LAVS (FEB 14/CDND)  CANADA DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE -- The Canadian government has awarded a contract to General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada to upgrade the army's light armored vehicles (LAVs), reports the Canadian Dept. of National Defense.   The Can$404 million (US$307 million) deal will bring 141 LAV IIIs to the new LAV 6.0 configuration, according to a General Dynamics release on Feb. 10.   The modernization will improve the mobility, protection, ergonomics and information management systems on the vehicles, said the company. The work includes adding a double-V hull, noted Shephard Media.   Canada has modernized 409 LAV IIIs since 2011. The latest upgrades will extend the life of the fleet to 2035, the Defense Dept. said.  
Item Number:4 Date: 02/14/2017 CHINA - TYPE 002 AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO BE EQUIPPED WITH STEAM CATAPULTS, SAYS SOURCE (FEB 14/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China's second domestically built aircraft carrier will not employ advanced electromagnetic takeoff systems, say naval experts, as cited by the South China Morning Post.   The Type 002 will be China's third carrier overall. It will have at least three conventional steam catapults, said one source close to the navy.   The latest carrier will be the first to be equipped with catapults, since the existing Soviet-era Liaoning and Type 001A are fitted with ski-jump ramps to assist with take offs.   Construction of the Type 002 reportedly began at the Jiangna Changxingdao shipyard in Shanghai in March 2015.   The Chinese navy expects to build two Type 002 carriers. Ships of the class will displace about 85,000 metric tons, making them the largest carriers in Chinese service. (This compares to about 55,000 metric tons for the Liaoning and 70,000 metric tons for the Type 001A).   The first in the Type 002 class is scheduled for launch in 2021
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/14/2017 INDIA - SEPARATISTS, TROOPS INVOLVED IN DEADLY FIREFIGHT IN KASHMIR (FEB 14/IANS)  INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE -- At least eight people were killed after a security operation in Indian-administered Kashmir over the weekend, say officials as reported by the Indo-Asian News Service.   Two soldiers from the Rashtriya Rifles counterterrorism force, four suspected separatists and two civilians died in a gunfight in the Kulgam district, police said, as cited by AFP.   The security personnel surrounded the village of Frisal after receiving a tip that militants were hiding in a house, said the police.   "When the militants were challenged, they fired at the forces, triggering the gunfight," one officer said.   Three civilians and three soldiers were said to have been injured.   The civilian deaths triggered clashes between locals and the security forces, resulting in around two dozen injuries. One man died in the resultant clashes, reported the BBC
Item Number:6 Date: 02/14/2017 IRAQ - WARPLANES HIT ISIS COMMANDERS MEETING IN ANBAR PROVINCE (FEB 14/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- Iraq's air force says it has killed scores of Islamic State militants in a recent airstrike, reports Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan).   Saturday's strikes in Anbar province targeted a meeting with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. A convoy had been tracked there after traveling from Syria, said the Iraqi military on Monday.   The militants were believed to have met with their counterparts in Iraq to discuss strategic issues and select a successor to Baghdadi, reported UPI.   Iraqi F-16s hit at least four positions, killing 13 ISIS commanders and 64 fighters and suicide bombers, said the statement.   Baghdadi was not among those listed being hit, noted Reuters.  
 Item Number:7 Date: 02/14/2017 ISRAEL - HAMAS PUTS MILITARY WING LEADER ATOP OF ISLAMISTS IN GAZA (FEB 14/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Hamas has selected a hardliner member of its armed wing as its new leader in the Gaza Strip, reports Al Jazeera.   Yahya Sinwar, the head of Izzel-Dinal al-Qassam Brigades, will replace Ismail Haniyeh, said Hamas officials. Haniyeh will likely succeed exiled Khaled Mashaal as Politburo chairman, reported AFP.   Sinwar, 55, was arrested by Israel and given four life sentences in 1980 for his involvement in killing Palestinian collaborators. He was freed in 2011 as part of the prisoner swap for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, reported the Jerusalem Post.   Khalil al-Hayya, another Hamas Politburo member, was elected as deputy Gaza leader.   Sinwar's elevation may be an indication of the growing influence of Hamas' military wing at the expense of its political wing, said analysts cited by Haaretz (Israel
Item Number:8 Date: 02/14/2017 NORTH KOREA - DICTATOR'S HALF-BROTHER SAID TO BE ASSASSINATED AT AIRPORT IN MALAYSIA (FEB 14/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has been apparently assassinated in Malaysia, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The death has been widely reported, with one South Korean TV station saying he was attacked with poison needles.   Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of the North's former leader Kim Jong Il, was once considered a potential heir.   He fell out of favor after a 2001 botched visit to enter Japan and go to Disneyland, using a forged passport.   He had since lived in exile, mostly in Macau, and went into hiding in Malaysia. He was said to have been the target of past assassination attempts.   Police in Malaysia told Reuters on Tuesday that an unidentified North Korean man had died on Monday while headed to the hospital for Kuala Lumpur airport. The man's identity had not been verified, said police.   South Korean broadcaster TV Chousn reported that Kim was poisoned at the airport by two women believed to be North Korean operatives
Item Number:9 Date: 02/14/2017 PAKISTAN - BLAST NEAR LAHORE'S ASSEMBLY KILLS 13, INJURES SCORES (FEB 14/DAWN)  DAWN -- A suicide bombing near the Punjab provincial legislature in the Pakistani city of Lahore has killed at least 13 people and injured 85 others, reports Dawn (Pakistan), citing police officials.   Monday's blast rocked a protest by pharmaceutical manufacturers against changes to the law outside of the provincial assembly building, reported Al Jazeera.   Those killed included seven police officers, including two senior officers, and six civilians, said officials.   Some local accounts reported that the bomber targeted police officials who were negotiating with protesters.   A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was retaliation for Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions along the Afghan border.   Separately, on Monday night, a top Pakistani bomb squad officer and another policeman were killed while attempting to defuse a bomb in the southwestern city of Quetta, reported Reuters.   On Tuesday, Lashkar I Jhangvi's Al Alami faction claimed responsibility
Item Number:10 Date: 02/14/2017 SOMALIA - SOMALILAND LAWMAKERS OK EMIRATI MILITARY BASE IN BERBERA (FEB 14/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Lawmakers in Somalia's breakaway Somaliland region have approved an agreement allowing the United Arab Emirates to set up an air and naval base in the port town of Berbera, reports the Voice of America News.   On Sunday, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo presented the proposal to a joint session of both houses of Parliament. He said the Emirati bases would "attract investments, and it will not bring any harm to Somaliland or the region."   The motion passed with the support of 144 of 151 lawmakers. A number of those who were against the deal were vocal in opposition and hauled from the session. Some were reportedly beaten by soldiers, reported Cabays.com (Somalia).   The Emirates has already secured a military base in the Eritrean port of Assab.   The base in Somaliland is part of U.A.E. efforts to establish long-term facilities to monitor naval traffic in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea, according to analysts.   The deal with Somaliland runs for 25 years. Once it expires, the government will "own the military base and all the investments made by U.A.E.," said Aviation Minister Farhan Adan Haybe.   In return for the base, the U.A.E. has agreed to implement various development projects in Somaliland, including modernizing highways
Item Number:11 Date: 02/14/2017 SOUTH KOREA - SENDING MESSAGE TO THE NORTH, WASHINGTON TO SEND STRATEGIC ASSETS FOR EXERCISES WITH SOUTH (FEB 14/YON)  YONHAP -- The United States will deploy strategic assets for a joint military exercise next month in South Korea as part of its response to the North's recent ballistic missile test, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul), citing the Defense Ministry in Seoul.   U.S. Air Force F-22s and as well as a nuclear submarine will participate in the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises in March, said one official on Tuesday.   Pyongyang generally characterizes the exercises as preparing to wage war against the North.   The Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, B-1B and B-52 bombers will also join the annual drills.   "We are in talks with the U.S. to determine the size of U.S. strategic assets to be deployed and the range of their exposure to local media," said the South's Defense Ministry on Tuesday.   The deployments will be aimed at demonstrating full readiness and combat capabilities against the North's nuclear and missile threats, said the ministry.   The ministry also announced that it would acclerate a multi-layered missile defense system. The three-pillar system will include the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) plan to target North Korean leaders and infrastructure and the "kill chain" pre-emptive strike system and the Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system
Item Number:12 Date: 02/14/2017 SRI LANKA - 1,300 DESERTERS ARRESTED THIS YEAR; ABOUT 42,000 STILL AWOL (FEB 14/DAILYMI)  DAILY MIRROR -- Sri Lanka's military says it has arrested at least 1,300 deserters since the beginning of the year, reports Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror Newspaper.   The Defense Ministry declared two general amnesty periods last year, allowing deserters to obtain a legal discharge. The latest amnesty ended on Dec. 31, noted China's Xinhua news agency.   Since then, 984 army, 236 navy and 14 air force personnel have been arrested for going absent without official leave (AWOL), said the Defense Ministry on Tuesday. The arrests were made by civilian and military police, said a spokesman.   There are still around 42,800 deserters from all services who have not reported for duty, said a military spokesman.   On Monday, a military official told AFP that 546 deserters were arrested on Feb. 9, the "largest ever" mass apprehension in a single day
Item Number:13 Date: 02/14/2017 SYRIA - FIGHT FOR AL-BAB CONTINUES; TURKEY'S PRIME MINISTER SAYS REBELS HAVE UPPER HAND (FEB 14/MIDEEYE)  MIDDLE EAST EYE -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that rebels backed by Ankara have gained control of most of the northern Syrian city of al-Bab from the Islamic State, reports the Middle East Eye.   "Al-Bab has been largely taken under control. Our aim is to prevent the opening of corridors from territories controlled by terrorist organizations to Turkey," Yildirim told members of the ruling Justice and Development Party on Tuesday.   On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the city would be captured soon. ISIS forces "have begun leaving al-Bab completely," he said.   The Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels backed by Turkey have been advancing on al-Bab for weeks. Syrian government forces have also recently been closing in from the south, noted Reuters.   A security corridor has been created to avoid clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels, reported Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News. The line has been set up in the south of al-Bab and varies in width from 500 meters (1,640 feet) to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), reported AFP
  Item Number:14 Date: 02/14/2017 SYRIA - TROOPS TAKE BACK HAYAN GAS FIELD FROM ISLAMIC STATE (FEB 14/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Syrian army has recaptured a key gas field in the central province of Homs that had been held by the Islamic State, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency, citing pro-government media.   Government forces captured the Hayan gas field after they seized the al-Muher area in the eastern part of Homs, reported the Arabic al-Watan newspaper (Damascus) on Tuesday.   ISIS previously gained control of the area when they seized the ancient city of Palmyra in December 2016.   The terrorist group announced in January that it had destroyed the pipelines of the Hayan oil field, which includes the largest facility providing power to central and southern Syria
Item Number:15 Date: 02/14/2017 TURKEY - IN LATEST CRACKDOWN, POLICE PICK UP MORE THAN 600 SAID TO BE LINKED TO KURDISH MILITANTS (FEB 14/REU)  REUTERS -- Police in Turkey have arrested more than 600 people for their alleged links to Kurdish militants, reports Reuters.   On Monday, 544 people were detained in raids across Turkey, reported the state-run Anadolu Agency.   On Tuesday, another 86 were picked up for suspected of ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).   Before Tuesday's arrests, the pro-Kurdish HDP party said that more than 300 of its members and officials were detained on Monday, bringing the total being held this year to about 1,200.   The crackdown is aimed at sidelining the HDP ahead of an April referendum on replacing the parliamentary system with a stronger presidency, said the party.   Ankara considers the HDP a political extension of the PKK
Item Number:16 Date: 02/14/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - NAVY FINDS CRITICAL FAULT IN SUB'S NUCLEAR REACTOR; DISCOVERY COULD KEEP ENTIRE CLASS IN PORT (FEB 14/DAILYEXPRE)  DAILY EXPRESS -- One of the Royal Navy's nuclear-powered attack submarines is in port after a serious crack was found in its nuclear reactor complex while the boat was at sea, reports the Daily Express (U.K.).   The Sun (U.K.) reported last week that all of the Royal Navy's attack submarines were ashore for refits or maintenance after breaking down.   HMS Trenchant, a Trafalgar-class boat, was docked after a fracture was discovered on a metal weld connecting a coolant pipe to the reactor pressure vessel, said sources.   The crack currently is less than 4 inches (100 mm) long, and considered a critical fault. Should it expand, it could be classified as "catastrophic."   The problem is reportedly located within a water tank that shields radiation, making it extremely difficult to access.   The Defense Safety Nuclear Regulator will decide whether it can be repaired. Nuclear engineers warned that the crack was likely to be "terminal" and could affect the three other subs in the Trafalgar class because of their age
Item Number:17 Date: 02/14/2017 USA - ARMY HANDS OUT $3 BILLION AWARD FOR 8 CONTRACTORS TO DEVELOP NEW MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM (FEB 14/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command has awarded a $3 billion order-dependent contract to eight firms for the development of a new missile defense system, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The contract involves BAE Systems Technology Solutions and Services, Rockville, Md.; Dynetics, Huntsville, Ala.; Kbrwyle Technology Solutions, Columbia, Md.; Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Herndon, Va.; QWK Integrated Solutions, Huntsville; Raytheon, Tewksbury, Mass.; Science Applications International, McLean, Va.; and Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville.   The companies will share in the contracts for research and development for the design, development, demonstration and integration of space/high-altitude and missile defense hardware and software systems, said the DoD release on Feb. 9.   The deal is a multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, the Pentagon said.   Work is scheduled to be completed by Feb. 8, 2026
  Item Number:18 Date: 02/14/2017 USA - FLYNN RESIGNS AS TRUMP'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER; KELLOGG BECOMES ACTING ADVISER (FEB 14/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned after reports that he misled senior Trump administration officials about his contacts with Russia, reports the New York Times.   Flynn said in his resignation letter Monday night that he had given "incomplete information" about his calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. to Vice President Mike Pence and other U.S. officials.   President Trump named retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as acting national security adviser. He served as Flynn's chief of staff on the National Security Council.   The Washington Post, citing unnamed Justice Dept. officials, reported last week the Flynn had talked to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions against Russia the same day they were imposed by the Obama administration for alleged election-related hacking.   The Post also reported that, in late January, the Justice Dept. had warned the White House that Flynn had not been forthright about his conversations, potentially making him vulnerable to blackmail. That was based on routine recordings of conversations of foreign officials' communications in the U.S.   Flynn previously denied having substantial conversations with Kislyak
Item Number:19 Date: 02/14/2017 USA - MASTER DIVERS HONE SKILLS IN DEEP BLUE EXERCISE IN PACIFIC (FEB 14/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- U.S. Army divers in the Pacific have just completed their annual Deep Blue exercise reports the Army News Service.   The exercise was held aboard the Lt. Gen. William B. Bunker, a logistics support vessel.   Personnel from the 7th Engineer Dive Detachment, 84th Engineer Battalion, took part in the training, which was designed to strengthen the leadership skills and diving knowledge of dive supervisors, said the service release on Feb. 10.   Participants trained on recompression chamber operations; surface-supplied deep-water dives; and scuba scenarios at depths of more than 120 feet (37 m), said the Army.   The increased risk of deep-water diving missions requires divers to have a complete understanding of their equipment, conduct rigorous inspections and understand the operation, officials said.   Training scenarios included responding to unconscious divers, underwater injuries and decompression sickness, said the release
Item Number:20 Date: 02/14/2017 USA - SPILLOVER FROM YEMENI CONFLICT LEADS TO LARGER U.S. NAVY PRESENCE IN RED SEA (FEB 14/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has been building up its strength in the Red Sea after a number of dangerous incidents in the waters off Yemen, say Pentagon sources, as reported by Defense News.   On Feb. 3, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Cole was ordered to patrol the region, days after a suicide boat manned by Houthi rebels attacked the Saudi frigate Al Madinah off the port city of Al Hudaydah. Two sailors were killed in that incident.   Two more destroyers are likely to be assigned to the Red Sea, each patrolling different ends of it, according to the DoD sources last week. An amphibious assault ship will reportedly remain in the region, carrying attack aircraft and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.   The Pentagon has not officially confirmed the movements.


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