Monday, February 20, 2017

Fw: TheList 4391

The List 4391  (yesterday's 4399 should have been 4390—My mistake)
To All,
I hope you all had a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - February 20
1815 - USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart, captures HMS Cyane and sloop-of-war Levant
1962 - LCOL John Glenn, USMC becomes first American to orbit Earth. His flight in Friendship 7 (Mercury 6) consisted of 3 orbits of 88 minutes each at a velocity of 17,544 mph with the highest altitude of 162.2 statute miles. (thanks to Nice guy for clearing that up)
Recovery was by USS Noa (DD-841).
1962 - USS Dixie (AD-14) rescues lone crewman aboard a sailing yawl adrift for four days.
1974 - S-3A Viking ASW aircraft (carrier jet) introduced officially, given to VS-41.
February 20
Pope Julius II dies. He will lay in rest in a huge tomb sculptured by Michelangelo.
New Hampshire militiamen partake in the first recorded scalping of Indians by whites in North America.
The U.S. Postal Service is created.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the power of the federal government is greater than any individual state in the Union.
Polish revolutionaries defeat the Russians in the Battle of Grochow.
Confederate troops defeat a Union army sent to bring Florida into the union at the Battle of Olustee, Fla.
J.F. Pickering patents his airship.
Russian troops seize large portions of Mongolia.
President Woodrow Wilson opens the Panama-Pacific Expo in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.
The Soviet Red Army seizes Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.
Hitler demands self-determination for Germans in Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The United States sends war planes to the Pacific.
Lt. Edward O'Hare downs five out of nine Japanese bombers that are attacking the carrier Lexington.
German troops of the Afrika Korps break through the Kasserine Pass, defeating U.S. forces.
The Ford Foundation gives a $25 million grant to the Fund for Advancement of Education.
The FCC applies the equal time rule to TV newscasts of political candidates.
Mercury astronaut John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth.
Moscow offers to allow on-site inspection of nuclear testing.
Ranger 8 hits the moon and sends back 7,000 photos to the United States.
North Vietnamese army chief in Hue orders all looters to be shot on sight.
Young people protest having to cut their long hair in Athens, Greece.
Carnegie Hall in New York begins $20 million in renovations.
Monday Morning Humor thanks to Al
If you can name more than ten presidents—Happy Presidents' Day!!!
     When Will Rogers was being taken to the White House to meet President Calvin Coolidge, Vice President Dawes cautioned him not to try to be funny because the President had no sense of humor whatsoever.
     Undaunted, Rogers bet Dawes that he could have Coolidge laughing within 20 seconds.
     When the formal introduction was made, Dawes began by saying, 'Mr. President, may I introduce my friend, Mr. Will Rogers.'
     Rogers held out his hand with a questioning look and said, 'Pardon me, I didn't quite get the name.'
     Coolidge roared with laughter, and Rogers won the wager.
     "You should be ashamed," the father told his son, Andy, "When Abraham Lincoln was your age, he used to walk ten miles every day to get to school."
     "Really?" Andy responded. "Well, when he was your age, he was president."
     At Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One and the President strode to a warm but dignified handshake from the Queen. They rode in a silver Bentley to the edge of central London where they boarded an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white horses. As they rode toward Buckingham Palace, each looking to their side and waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well.
     This was indeed a glorious display of pageantry and dignity.
     Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering, eye-smarting blast of flatulence, and the coach immediately filled with noxious fumes.
     Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation.
     She turned to the President and explained, "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a Queen cannot control."
     The President, ever the gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."
Presidential Quotes…
     "You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"—Donald Trump
     ''If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome.''—Barack Obama
     ''The candidates are an interesting group, with diverse opinions—for tax cuts and against them, for NAFTA and against NAFTA, for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act, in favor of liberating Iraq and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts.''—George W. Bush
     "Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening." —Bill Clinton
     "I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree with them."—George H. W. Bush
     "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency -- even if I'm in a Cabinet meeting."—Ronald Reagan
     ''My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers." —Jimmy Carter
     "I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators"—Gerald Ford
     "Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist."—Richard Nixon
     ''Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.'' —Lyndon Johnson
     "I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy: Dear Jack, Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide." —John F. Kennedy
     "An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."—Dwight Eisenhower
     ''My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.''—Harry Truman
     "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive."—Franklin Roosevelt
     "Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt."—Herbert Hoover
     We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.—Calvin Coolidge
     "I am not fit for this office and should never have been here."—Warren Harding
     "Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is growing or swelling."—Woodrow Wilson
     "When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'not guilty.'" —Teddy Roosevelt
     "If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth."—Chester Arthur
     "Man cannot live by bread alone. He must have peanut butter."—James Garfield
     "Washington, D.C., is 12 square miles bordered by reality."—Andrew Johnson
     "If I were two faced, would I be wearing this one?" —Abraham Lincoln
     "I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it" ― Thomas Jefferson
     "No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it."—John Adams
     "99% of failures come from people who make excuses."—George Washington
How should you celebrate Presidents' Day…do it like many Americans and show your patriotism by shopping for discounted mattresses, furniture, and electronics.
Have a great week,
Thanks to Chuck
So much for safety.

The single most prominent characteristic of contemporary America is that common sense has been abandoned to political correctness and "feelings."

As President George W. Bush's top speechwriter, Marc Thiessen ( The Kelly File on FOX ) was provided unique access to the C I A program used in interrogating top Al Qaeda terrorists, including the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (K S M).

Now, his riveting new book, Courting Disaster:  How the C I A Kept America Safe (Regnery), has been published.  Here is an excerpt from Courting Disaster:

Just before dawn on March 1, 2003, two dozen heavily armed Pakistani tactical assault forces move in and surround a safe house in Rawalpindi.  A few hours earlier they had received a text message from an informant inside the house.  It read: "I am with KSM."

Bursting in, they find  the disheveled mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his bedroom.   He is taken into custody.  In the safe house, they find a treasure trove of computers, documents, cell phones and other valuable "pocket litter."

Once in custody, K S M is defiant.  He refuses to answer questions, informing his captors that he will tell them everything when he gets to America and sees his lawyer.  But K S M is not taken to America to see a lawyer.  Instead he is taken to a secret C I A "black site" in an undisclosed location.

Upon arrival, K S M finds himself in the complete control of Americans.  He does not know where he is, how long he will be there, or what his fate will be.  Despite his circumstances, K S M still refuses to talk.  He spews contempt at his interrogators, telling them Americans are weak, lack resilience and are unable to do what is necessary to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals.  He has trained to resist interrogation.  When he is asked for information about future attacks, he tells his questioners scornfully, "Soon, you will know."

It becomes clear he will not reveal the information using traditional interrogation techniques.  So he undergoes a series of "enhanced interrogation techniques" approved for use only on the most high-value detainees.  The techniques include waterboarding.  He begins telling his C I A de-briefers about active al Qaeda plots to launch attacks against the United States and other Western targets.  He holds classes for C I A officials, using a chalkboard to draw a  picture of al Qaeda's operating structure, financing, communications, and logistics.   He identifies al Qaeda travel routes and safe havens and helps intelligence officers make sense of documents and computer records seized in terrorist raids.  He identifies voices in intercepted telephone calls, and helps officials understand the meaning of coded terrorist communications.  He provides information that helps our intelligence community capture other high-ranking terrorists.

K S M's questioning, and that of other captured terrorists, produces more than 6,000 intelligence reports, which are shared across the intelligence community, as well as with our allies across the world.  In one of these reports, K S M describes in detail the revisions he made to his failed 1994-1995 plan known as the "Bojinka plot" to blow up a dozen airplanes carrying some 4,000 passengers over the Pacific Ocean.  Years later, an observant C I A officer notices the activities of a cell being followed by British authorities appear to match K S M's description of his plans for a Bojinka-style attack.  In an operation that involves unprecedented intelligence cooperation between our countries, British officials proceed to unravel the plot.

On the night of Aug. 9, 2006, they launch a series of raids in a northeast London suburb that lead to the arrest of two dozen al Qaeda terrorist suspects.   They find a U S B thumb-drive in the pocket of one of the men with security details for Heathrow airport, and information on seven Trans-Atlantic flights that were scheduled to take off within hours of each other:

*  United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco departing at 2:15 PM
*  Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto departing at 3:00 PM
*  Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal departing at 3:15 PM
*  United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago departing at 3:40 PM
*  United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington departing at 4:20 PM
*  American Airlines Flight 131 to New York departing at 4:35 PM
*  American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago departing at 4:50 PM

They seize bomb-making equipment and  hydrogen peroxide to make liquid explosives.  And they find the chilling martyrdom videos the suicide bombers had prepared.

Today, if you asked an average person on the street what they know about the 2006 airlines plot, most would not be able to tell you much.  Few Americans are aware of the fact al Qaeda had planned to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with an attack of similar scope and magnitude.   And still fewer realize the terrorists' true intentions in this plot were uncovered thanks to critical information obtained through the interrogation of the man who conceived it:  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

This is only one of the many attacks stopped with the help of the C I A interrogation program established by the Bush Administration in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

In addition to helping break up these specific terrorist cells and plots, C I A questioning provided our intelligence community with an unparalleled body of information about al Qaeda.

Until the program was temporarily suspended in 2006, intelligence officials say, well over half of the information our government had about al Qaeda-how it operates, how it moves money, how it communicates, how it recruits operatives, how it picks targets, how it plans and carries out attacks-came from the interrogation of terrorists in CIA custody.

Former C I A Director George Tenet has declared:  "I know this program has saved lives.  I know we've disrupted plots.  I know this program alone is worth more than what the F B I, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

Former C I A Director Mike Hayden has said:  "The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer.  It really did work."  Even Barack Hussein Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, has acknowledged:  "High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country."  Leon Panetta, Obama's C I A Director, has said: "Important information was gathered from these detainees.  It provided information that was acted upon."

John Brennan, Obama's Homeland Security Advisor, when asked in an interview if enhanced-interrogation techniques were necessary to keep America safe, replied:  "Would the U S be handicapped if the C I A was not, in fact, able to carry out these types of detention and debriefing activities, I would say yes."

On Jan. 22, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama issued Executive Order 13491, closing the C I A program and directing that, henceforth, all interrogations by U S personnel must follow the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual.

The morning of the announcement, Mike Hayden was still in his post as C I A Director.  He called White House Counsel Greg Craig and told him bluntly:  "You didn't ask, but this is the C I A officially non-concurring."  The president went ahead anyway, overruling the objections of the agency.

A few months later, on April 16, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama ordered the release of four Justice Department memos that described in detail the techniques used to interrogate K S M and other high-value terrorists.  This time, not just Hayden (who was now retired) but five C I A directors - including Obama's own director, Leon Panetta objected.  George Tenet called to urge against the memos' release.  So did Porter Goss.  So did John Deutch.  Hayden says:  "You had C I A directors in a continuous unbroken stream to 1995 calling saying, 'Don't do this.'"  In addition to objections from the men who led the agency for a collective 14 years, the President also heard objections from the agency's covert field operatives.  A few weeks earlier, Panetta had arranged for the eight top officials of the Clandestine Service to meet with the President.  It was highly unusual for these clandestine officers to visit the Oval Office, and they used the opportunity to warn the President that releasing the memos would put agency operatives at risk.  The President reportedly listened respectfully, and then ignored their advice.  With these actions, Barack Hussein Obama arguably did more damage to America 's national security in his first 100 days of office than any President in American history.

But how many people know this?  Only the few that read this email from beginning to end.
Thanks to Dutch
: The beautiful English language
Beautiful English 
I called an old school friend and asked what was he doing. He replied that he was working on "Aqua-thermal  treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel under a constrained environment".

I was impressed.

On further inquiring I learned that he was washing dishes with hot water under his wife's supervision
Thanks to Doctor Rich
I think that if this goes viral it could have some impact … certainly newsworthy, but will MSM even mention it???
Certainly would show Hollywood that many Americans are watching, and listening, to their absurd opinions ….
Pass this along to your email list if you're in favor … and tune OUT on Feb. 26 ...
Boycott The Oscars - Well Said!
The 89th showing of the Academy Awards is coming up on February 26th. It is important that we, the deplorable, show the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Alec Baldwin, Cher, Ashley Judd, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, and the other arrogant hypocrites, that we, the backbone and decent people of America, are more united than the bitter, unhappy, angry, divisive people of the entertainment industry.
These arrogant, pompous, pampered soulless individuals declare that half of Americans are racist, sexist, and bigoted for voicing our political choice through Donald Trump. Yet there can be no doubt that the entertainment industry does more to exploit, degrade, minimize, and stereotype women than Donald Trump or any other industry ever has.
From Madonna and Miley Cyrus parading on stage with little to no clothing while grabbing their crotches and allowing fans to do the same, to movies that depict women as whores, sluts, and gold-diggers dependent on their bodies for survival, to the deplorable speeches of Madonna and Ashley Judd talking about their periods in a vile manner and talking about blowing up the White House, we must send these evil-hearted people a strong and distinct message that they do not speak for the women of this country and they are not the role models of our young daughters.
The wearing of pink does not negate the black hearts that these people have for our country and our Constitution. Nor does it negate the disdain and contempt they have for the American people and our political process.
In recent social media threads, the good people of this nation are calling for a full boycott of the entertainment industry for this unwarranted and outrageous display of petulant behavior. Some in the entertainment industry are mocking us saying, "Go ahead, we don't need you trailer trash racists."
That may be true, but these people do need our green dollars. It is important that we send a strong and powerful message to this group telling them to stick to their make believe jobs and to leave the politics of this country to the people, just as our wise and forward thinking forefathers designed.
The good people of this country are not asking you to give up movies. We are asking you to take two simple steps.
First, protest these groups by refusing to watch the Academy Awards on February 26. Simply change the channel or go for a walk with your family members and tell them how much you love them.
Second, forward this request to as many friends as possible and post it on social media to get the word out.
This will only be effective if we show the same unity we exhibited during the election. Yet how powerful will it be when the ratings for the Academy Awards fall in the toilet. It is only for a couple of hours and requires very little effort. When this happens, the arrogant entertainment industry will understand just how insignificant and powerless they are.
I am so proud of my fellow Americans who stood up and said, "Enough is Enough."  Michelle may have only been proud of this country once in her life, but we the patriots have never lost our love and pride in America. The left is now up to their old tricks trying to bully the rest of us into feeling guilty.
Let them know that their selfish, vulgar, and unpatriotic behavior over this past week will not be tolerated.
Let them know that we will not be silenced and that we are no longer going to be shamed for what we believe.
We must continue our fight.
We must shut them down now.
We must show them that America will be great again no matter how filthy and disgusting they become.
Boycott the Academy Awards on February 26, 2017.
Item Number:1 Date: 02/20/2017 AFGHANISTAN - DEATH OF KEY TERRORIST COMMANDER CONFIRMED (FEB 20/IANS)  INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE -- A key Taliban commander has been killed in a drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, reports the Indo-Asian News Service.   The strike hit a militant hideout in Nawa district in Ghazni province, said a defense official on Sunday, as cited by Xinhua.   The death of Qari Salim, also known as Sabawon, was confirmed, the official said.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 02/20/2017 CANADA - HEEDING WARNINGS BY CONTRACTORS, OTTAWA EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR WARSHIP BIDS (FEB 20/OC)  OTTAWA CITIZEN -- The Canadian government has pushed back the deadline for shipbuilders to deliver their bids for the navy's Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program, reports the Ottawa Citizen.   The bids were originally due on April 27. However, several shipbuilders approved by the government to compete requested extensions.   With the extension, companies now have until June 22 to deliver their offers, according to a release from Public Services and Procurement Canada.   Four of the 12 companies involved in the project insisted that six months was not enough time to put together the required technical data and other information and make the necessary arrangements with Canadian firms to be part of the bids, said unnamed defense sources.   There have also been issues with the government and Irving Shipbuilding, the company that will ultimately build the warships. They have not been answering questions posed by the bidders, industry sources said.   Bidders have submitted 164 questions, but have only received 88 answers, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada.   The winner of the competition is expected to be announced this fall, with construction on the frigates to begin in the early 2020s.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 02/20/2017 CHINA - SECURITY FORCES TAKE TO THE STREETS OF URUMQI IN ANOTHER SHOW OF FORCE AGAINST TERRORISTS (FEB 20/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Security forces continue parading through cities in China's restive Xinjiang province in a show of force against terrorists, reports the Guardian (U.K.), citing local media reports.   Thousands of troops marched Saturday through the provincial capital of Urumqi.   Xinjiang deputy party secretary Zhu Hailun told local lawmakers that authorities are going to launch a campaign against Islamic terrorists and separatists. "With guns by our bodies, knives unsheathed, fists out and hands extended, we must use thunderous power to strike hard against terrorist activities," he said.   The event in Urumqi was the third in Xinjiang in a week, following others in the southern city of Hotan and another in Kashgar, close to the border with Kyrgyzstan.   The demonstrations followed a knife attack in Xinjiang's Pishan county that left eight people dead. The attackers were reportedly members of the Uighur minority, who are regularly blamed for such attacks.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 02/20/2017 COLOMBIA - 7,000 FARC FIGHTERS GATHER IN DEMOBILIZATION ZONES (FEB 20/TELESUR)  TELESUR -- The remaining members of Colombia's FARC guerrilla group have reached transition zones to lay down their weapons as part of peace deal with the government, reports Latin America's Telesur TV.   The Colombian government and the FARC signed a revised deal in November 2016 after the original one was rejected in a referendum.   Over a three-week period, almost 7,000 guerrillas have traveled to 26 U.N.-supervised safe zones. They are supposed to stay there until May 31, where they will be registered and reintegrated into civilian life.   The last 300 rebels arrived on Saturday at a transition zone in Caqueta province.   Many camps have not been completed and FARC fighters had to set up camps themselves, reported the BBC. The government has blamed the delays on a lack of road access and the terrain.   According to U.N. officials, right-wing paramilitaries have moved into former FARC territory in the north, displacing 96 families. They are reportedly attempting to take over mining and cocaine operations previously run by the FARC
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/20/2017 COLOMBIA - BLAST IN DOWNTOWN BOGOTA NEAR BULLRING HURTS MORE THAN 2 DOZEN (FEB 20/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- An explosion near a bullfighting ring in Bogota on Sunday injured more than 30 people, reports UPI, citing city officials and local media.   The blast occurred in the La Macarena neighborhood of the Colombian capital, down the street from the crowded Santamaria bullfighting ring.   Casualties have been reported variously. At least 31 people were injured, including 10 police officers, said Mayor Enrique Penalosa, who called it a "criminal terrorist attack," as quoted by NBC News.   At least 12 suspects were taken into custody, reported CNN.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   There have been ongoing, sometimes violent, protests in Bogota against bullfighting. It was outlawed in 2012.   The ban was lifted by a constitutional court that said it was part of the national heritage, reported Reuters. Bullfighting resumed in January.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 02/20/2017 FINLAND - POLICY DOCUMENT ANTICIPATES MORE DEFENSE SPENDING, BOOSTING WARTIME STRENGTH, ENHANCING TIES WITH NATO, SWEDEN (FEB 20/YLE)  YLE NEWS -- The Finnish government has made public the first official policy report focused solely on defense, reports YLE News, Finland's English-language news service.   The defense policy report, published on Feb. 16, calls for increasing Finland's wartime strength to 280,000 from 230,000.   Defeating any military threat will require well trained and equipped operational forces as well as lightly armed local troops, as Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto said in a press conference when the report was released.   Local defense will be enhanced with more efficient use of volunteer resources, the minister said. In addition, rapid-reaction units with personnel from all services will focus on preventing a crisis from escalating into an attack on Finland.   The report estimates that Helsinki will need to spend an additional 55 million euros (US$58 million) annually from 2018 to enhance readiness and respond to the changing security environment.   Another 121 million euros (US$128 million) is needed annually from 2021, in addition to adjustments for inflation, to maintain planned materiel investments, says the study.   The document also calls for strengthening cooperation with NATO, including training, exercises and shared situational awareness. Ties with Sweden will also be deepened, said Niinisto, possibly including collective self-defense
Item Number:7 Date: 02/20/2017 IRAQ - TROOPS BATTLE FOR WESTERN MOSUL (FEB 20/F24)  FRANCE 24 -- Iraqi government forces are making headway in an attempt to push the Islamic State from the northern city of Mosul, reports France 24.   Security forces began their offensive in October 2016 to seize Mosul, which is bisected by the Tigris River. They took over the eastern half last month after heavy fighting.   On Sunday, the forces pushed against the western half of the city, said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.   The first goal is Mosul's international airport, south of the city. In the first day of the latest push, federal police said they killed 79 ISIS militants and seized 10 villages, reported CNN. Government forces reportedly advanced within six miles of the airfield, said officers.   Iraqi F-16s hit targets in the Wadi Akab industrial areas of western Mosul on Friday and Saturday, including booby-trap factories and weapons stockpiles, said the Iraqi Joint Operation Command.   U.N. officials estimate that there are still 650,000 civilians still trapped in Mosul's western half.   That area has older, narrower streets, making it difficult for Iraqi troops to use armored Humvees, noted the New York Times.  
 Item Number:8 Date: 02/20/2017 KAZAKHSTAN - AVALANCHE KILLS 7 SOLDIERS DURING TRAINING EXERCISE; RESCUERS SAVE 16 (FEB 20/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Seven Kazakh military personnel have been killed when hit by an avalanche during a training exercise in the Koksay Gorge in southern Kazakhstan, say military officials cited by Interfax-AVN (Russian).   A group of army soldiers was reportedly buried when the avalanche suddenly came down the gorge on Friday, said officials.   Sixteen were rescued in search-and-rescue operations, a spokesman for the emergency situations committee told AFP.   An investigation into the incident has been launched, the Defense Ministry said.  
 Item Number:9 Date: 02/20/2017 LIBYA - TRIPOLI GOVERNMENT SEEKS NATO ASSISTANCE TO REBUILD SECURITY INSTITUTIONS (FEB 20/LIBHER)  LIBYA HERALD -- The head of the presidency council in Libya, the executive body of the U.N.-backed government in that North African country, has sent NATO an official request to improve its security and defense capabilities, reports the Libya Herald.   Earlier in the month, the alliance offered to help Tripoli, but said it would only do so if it received a formal request.   On Thursday, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO had received a new and detailed request to train and develop the Libyan military, reported Reuters.   A request from Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj in May 2016 was seen as too broad.   The Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has been trying to develop a plan for unifying various security forces, but has made little progress in asserting authority over rival factions.   NATO will need time to determine specific steps in response to the request, said alliance officials. Such support could take place within or outside of Libya, according to Stoltenberg.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 02/20/2017 NATO - BELGIUM, GERMANY, NORWAY ENLIST IN INITIATIVE FOR EUROPEAN MULTINATIONAL TANKER FLEET (FEB 20/NATO)  NATO PRESS RELEASE -- Three NATO allies have decided to join a European multinational fleet of aerial refueling aircraft, reports NATO.   On Feb. 16, 2017, defense ministers from Belgium, Germany and Norway signed a declaration of intent to join the multinational fleet of A330 multi-role tanker transports.   The fleet was created by Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and launched in July 2016 with an order for two A330 tankers. Those aircraft are to be delivered in 2020.   With the additional participants, the fleet can grow to up to eight aircraft, said a NATO release
Item Number:11 Date: 02/20/2017 PAKISTAN - 5TH JF-17 SQUADRON READY FOR DUTY (FEB 20/PAKNAT)  NATION (PAKISTAN) -- The Pakistani air force now has another squadron that flies the JF-17 Thunder fighter jointly developed with China, reports the Nation (Pakistan).   No. 14 Air Superiority Squadron, fully equipped with 16 JF-17s, was inaugurated during a ceremony at PAF Base Minhas on Feb. 16. The squadron is nicknamed the "Tail Choppers," noted   Last week's ceremony marked the transition of the unit from the F-7P fighter to the JF-17, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   No. 14 Squadron is the fifth JF-17 squadron.   The Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) in Kamra last year produced 16 JF-17 Block II fighters for the second consecutive year, officials said.   The air force has more than 70 JF-17s in service, noted the Pakistan Observer.   Pakistan has ordered 100 JF-17s so far, in two blocks of 50 jets. An order for the JF-17 Block III, to bring the fleet to 150 aircraft is anticipated in the first half of 2017, said Air Marshal Arshad Malik the chairman of the PAC
Item Number:12 Date: 02/20/2017 PHILIPPINES - 1 CREWMAN KILLED, 7 KIDNAPPED BY SUSPECTED ABU SAYYAF MILITANTS (FEB 20/REU)  REUTERS -- The Philippine coast guard has reported that gunmen killed one crewmember and abducted seven others from a Vietnamese vessel in the southern Philippines, reports Reuters.   The apparent pirate attack was made Sunday evening on the MV Giang Hai near Baguan Island in Tawi-Tawi, close to the stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf militant group, said a spokesman for the coast guard.   Coast guard and marine soldiers rescued 17 Vietnamese nationals from the 25-man crew, the spokesman said.   The coast guard, in coordination with the military and police, has launched a pursuit operation, he said.   The Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf is involved in piracy and hostage-taking for ransom. It was believed to be holding 27 hostages before the latest attack
  Item Number:13 Date: 02/20/2017 PHILIPPINES - DUTERTE'S PIVOT TO RUSSIA WILL INCLUDE NEW DEAL; AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED IN MAY (FEB 20/SUNSTAR)  SUN-STAR -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to sign a defense memorandum of understanding with Russia during a scheduled visit to Moscow in May, says a presidential spokesman cited by the Sun Star (Zamboanga, Philippines).   "The president's decision to pivot with Russia forms part of his independent foreign policy. We seek new or enhanced partnerships based on equality," the spokesman said on Friday.   The "independent" foreign policy appears to denote a policy shift away from the United States that is closer to Russia, China and regional neighbors, noted the Philippine Star.   The spokesman did say the "new alliance will not exclude other relationships. The United States will remain an ally."   Duterte met with a Russian delegation led by Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev in Davao City on Thursday.   Those talks covered cooperation in security and intelligence; law enforcement; terrorism and transnational crime; counter-drugs; and maritime law enforcement.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 02/20/2017 PHILIPPINES - MILITARY TASK FORCE, WITH UP TO 5,000 TROOPS, TO SUPPORT WAR ON DRUGS (FEB 20/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- The Philippine military says it is going to create a "battalion-sized" task force to support the government's war on drugs, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   President Rodrigo Duterte recently suspended the national police from the anti-drug campaign after allegations of corruption and extra-judicial violence. He ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take charge and directed that the military support the agency, noted Reuters.   On Saturday, Gen. Eduardo Ano, the head of the military, told reporters in Baguio City that between 500 to 5,000 troops could be mobilized, depending on the threat.   The task force will help the PDEA pursue high-level drug syndicates and will not be involved on the streets, he said
Item Number:15 Date: 02/20/2017 RUSSIA - DEFENSE COOPERATION ACCORD SIGNED DURING VISIT OF URUGUAY'S PRESIDENT (FEB 20/TASS)  TASS -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez, have finalized a defense cooperation agreement, reports the Tass news agency (Russia).   The agreement was inked during wide-ranging cooperation talks last week in Moscow.   The Russian Defense Ministry wants to bolster cooperation with Uruguay in the naval and aviation fields, noted Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The accord covers bilateral efforts in the areas of information, military specialist training and sharing experiences in military medicine, cartography and topography.   The two sides may also work together in potential joint peacekeeping, counter-piracy or anti-terrorism missions, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.   Putin also proposed that Uruguay buy Sukhoi Superjet 100 and MC-21 passenger aircraft, according to Tass.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 02/20/2017 SOMALIA - SUICIDE BLAST IN MOGADISHU MARKET KILLS DOZENS (FEB 20/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A suicide car bombing in Mogadishu on Sunday killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 50 others, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar), citing local officials.   The blast took place at a busy market the capital's Madina neighborhood, reported AFP.   The attack is the first since this month's election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmajo.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The Al-Shabaab militant group, which has carried out similar attacks, threatened on the same day to wage "vicious war" against the new government.   The president offered a US$100,000 reward for information on those responsible
Item Number:17 Date: 02/20/2017 UKRAINE - OSCE MONITOR CALLS NEW TRUCE BEGINNINGS 'PROMISING' (FEB 20/BL)  BLOOMBERG -- A new cease-fire has officially taken effect in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed fighters and the Ukrainian army, reports Bloomberg.   The two sides have been clashing almost daily for the last 30 months, reported the BBC. The latest cease-fire was announced Saturday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after talks with his Ukrainian, German and French counterparts in Minsk, Belarus.   The truce began midnight on Sunday in the Donbass region. It was reportedly holding "in general" by Monday morning, said the Ukrainian military.   Both sides are supposed to begin withdrawing heavy weapons if the cease-fire lasts 24 hours under the terms of the latest deal.   During the initial hours of the new truce, there were fewer violations, but heavy weapons remain on both sides and units from both sides are still closely positioned, the chief monitor of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) told CNN on Monday. He called it "promising
Item Number:18 Date: 02/20/2017 USA - 1ST OF 6 SECURITY FORCE BRIGADES TO STAND UP SOON AT FORT BENNING, GA. (FEB 20/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army has announced that within months it will stand up its first of six planned security force brigades at Fort Benning, Ga., reports the Army Times.   The Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) will be new permanent units and designed for security cooperation activities and to rapidly respond to combatant command requirements, said an Army spokesman on Feb. 16.   The brigades are expected to improve readiness by reducing demand for existing brigade combat teams (BCTs), thus permitting BCTs to focus on full-spectrum operations.   The creation of these advise-and-assist brigades is a way to regenerate the Army as its end-strength declines but its missions remain, Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, told Defense News last month.   The SFABs are based on the infantry and armored BCT model, with about 500 senior officers and non-commissioned officers. The units are also command-centric and feature a built-in command structure, the Army spokesman said.   On Oct. 1, the Army will open the Military Advisor Training Academy at Fort Benning to support the SFABs.   The academy, part of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, will train soldiers assigned to these specialized units
  Item Number:19 Date: 02/20/2017 USA - IRKING BEIJING, U.S. CARRIER GROUP BEGINS PATROLLING IN S. CHINA SEA (FEB 20/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- An American carrier group has begun "routine" patrols in the South China Sea, says the U.S. Navy, as reported by NBC News.   The Carl Vinson carrier, aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 2 and the Wayne E. Meyer guided-missile destroyer began "routine operations" in the area on Saturday, said a U.S. Navy statement.   The carrier group was training off Hawaii and Guam before the deployment, said the statement.   China, Taiwan, the Philippine, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have overlapping territorial claims in the region.   The "freedom of navigation operations" are aimed at showing military force and ensuring free movement of shipping in international waters, according to the U.S. Beijing generally calls the patrols illegal and provocative, reported the Voice of America News.   The Foreign Ministry last week warned the U.S. against challenging Chinese sovereignty, reported CNN.  
 Item Number:20 Date: 02/20/2017 USA - OHIO-CLASS SUB FLIGHT-TESTS SERIES OF TRIDENT II D5 BALLISTIC MISSILES (FEB 20/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- A U.S. Navy ballistic-missile submarine has recently test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles, reports the Navy NewsStand.   The boat, assigned to Submarine Group 9, launched four Trident II D5 missiles over a three-day period this month during a follow-on commander's evaluation test (FCET).   The testing was completed on Feb. 16.   The main goal of the exercise was to obtain valid reliability, accuracy and performance data on the missile system under operationally representative conditions.   The missile can carry a thermonuclear warhead and is part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent triad, noted UPI.   All of the missiles in the tests were unarmed and remained over the sea at all times, the Navy said.


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