Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fw: TheList 4412


The List 4412
To All,
I hope you all had a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - March 20
1833 - CDR Geisinger of Peacock negotiates first commercial treaty with King of Siam
1922 -USS Jupiter recommissioned as Langley, Navy's first aircraft carrier
1939 - Naval Research Lab recommends financing research program to obtain power from uranium.
1945: Planes from Task Force 58 attack airfields on southern Kyushu and shipping lanes, including a Japanese convoy escorted by Coast Defense Vessel No. 29 and submarine chaser Ch 58.
2003: Operation Iraqi Freedom begins after USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) is among the first to launch tomahawk missiles on Iraq, along with other Navy ships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
Henry IV of England is succeed by his son Henry V.
In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupies Delhi and takes possession of the Peacock throne.
The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approves the use of the guillotine.
Napoleon Bonaparte enters Paris and begins his 100-day rule.
Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue, considered the first detective story, is published.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.
Army officers in Russia mutiny at Sevastopol.
The French call off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.
The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union ask for American aid to rebuild their army.
President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.
The German dirigible, Graf Zepplin, makes the first flight to South America on regular schedule.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt names William O. Douglas to the Supreme Court.
The British Royal Air Force conducts an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.
The Allies attack Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.
President Lyndon B. Johnson orders 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.
Senator Edward Kennedy calls on the United States to close all bases in Taiwan.
Patty Hearst is convicted of armed robbery.
U.S. scientists return from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.
The United State approves AZT, a drug that is proven to slow the progress of AIDS.
Monday Morning Humor from Al
The NCAA Tournament is in full swing.  Even if it isn't your favorite sport, you have to admit the tourney is fun.  And at the end, there's an undisputed national champion. 
They call it The Big Dance.  They managed to name it something else that white guys struggle with.
In high school, I went to The Big Dance.  It wasn't that fun.  I was standing along the wall, too afraid to move.   I certainly didn't "make the Sweet 16".
The tournament was the brainchild of Kansas coach Phog Allen, who won three college national championships in 1922, 1923, and 1952.  How does somebody named "Fog" have a 29-year dry spell?
From 1939-50, only eight teams played.  What a short tournament.  It wasn't called March Madness.  It was called "March 12th".
The team with most championships is UCLA, with 11.  One more ring, and they'll tie Larry King.
No 16 seed has ever won a game in the tournament.  It's such a guaranteed loss that this year, all 16 seeds will wear shirts that say "Ride California's High Speed Rail".
We always hear about a Cinderella team.  What a dumb parallel.  She can't play basketball.  She only has one shoe.  And it's got a heel.
Snow White definitely never won; she's got seven dwarves on her team.
They should call the upstart the Jack and the Bean Stalk Team.  That team at least has giants.  And it all started with ONE SEED.
It's a ritual for the winning team to cut down the net at the end of the game.  As a dad, this whole tradition strikes me as a bad idea.  You're dizzy from winning.  Now you're on a ladder with scissors?  No, we need a safer tradition.  Let's a get a green jacket or drink some milk.  Something safe.
The teams that get in without winning their conference are known as at-large selections, which are also available at Lane Bryant.

Fill in your favorite NCAA team where appropriate…
What does the average Iowa player get on his SAT's?  Drool. 
What do you get when you put 32 Alabama cheerleaders in one room?  A full set of teeth. 
How do you get a GA Tech cheerleader into your dorm room?  Grease her hips and push hard. 
How do you get a Michigan State graduate off your porch?  Pay him for the pizza. 
Why do the Auburn cheerleaders wear bibs?  To keep the tobacco juice off their uniforms. 
Why do they no longer serve ice at Wisconsin basketball games?  The senior who knew the recipe graduated. 
Why is the Indiana basketball team like a possum?  Because they play dead at home, and get killed on the road. 
What are the longest three years of a Michigan basketball player's life?  His freshman year. 
How many Ohio State freshmen does it take to change a light bulb?  None...That's a sophomore course at OSU. 
Why did Tennessee choose orange as their team color?  You can wear it to the game on Saturday, hunting on Sunday, and picking up trash the rest of the week.
The odds of filling out a perfect NCAA bracket are one in 9 quintillion.  And even greater if you picked Illinois.

Q.  How many NCAA basketball players does it take to change a light bulb?
A.  Only one, but he gets money, a car, and three college credit hours for it!

     The psychology instructor had just finished a lecture on mental health and had proceeded to give an oral quiz to the freshman class.  Speaking specifically about manic depression, the instructor asked, "How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?"
     A young man in the rear of the room raised his hand and answered, "A basketball coach?"

I can understand why basketball shorts keep getting longer and longer. If I had knees like some of those guys I'd want to hide them too. It's obvious why the Aztecs weren't winning. Their shorts were too long and their shots were too wide. 
Basketball is America's favorite "running" sport. Number two is avoiding child support payments. 
College basketball exists out of necessity. If there was no basketball, it would be necessary for the players to attend class. 
I can remember the old days of basketball -- when they shot the ball up at the basket, not down into it. 
March Madness describes the mood of everyone who's already working on their income tax. 
The Final Four: sounds like the number of dollars left in my bank account. 
The first rule of watching basketball on TV: Watch only the last two minutes. Nothing much happens until then, and they only last a half hour. 
The most popular winter sports are ice skating, skiing, and jumping up and yelling, "That was a foul, Whistle-Breath!"

    There were three basketball players, one each from IU, Notre Dame, and USC, standing on a burning roof in Indianapolis. The fire department came with a blanket and yelled to the Notre Dame player to jump. He jumped and they moved it to the right. He hit the sidewalk with a splat.
      They then called to the IU player to jump. He said that he wouldn't jump. They said they liked IU better than Notre Dame. So he jumped and the fire department moved the blanket to the left.  The IU player hit with a splat on the sidewalk. Then they called to the USC player to jump. He said that he wouldn't jump.
     The fire department said they hated IU and Notre Dame.
     He yelled back and said, "Lay the blanket down, and then I'll jump!"

     St. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about basketball. Satan proposed a game to be played on neutral grounds between a select team from the heavenly host and his own hand-picked boys.
     "Very well," said the gatekeeper of Heaven. "But you realize, I hope, that we've got all the good players and the best coaches."
     "I know, and that's all right," Satan answered unperturbed. "We've got all the refs."

The coach says to the ref, "Is a penalty for thinking."
The ref says, "No."
The coach says, "Well, I think you're an idiot, then."

     One day in an elementary school in Albuquerque, a teacher asks her class if the New Mexico State Aggies are their favorite basketball team. The whole class says yes, except for little Jimmy.
     The teacher asks, "What's your favorite team Jimmy?"
     Little Jimmy says, "The San Diego State Aztecs."
     The teacher asks, "Well, why is that?"
     Little Jimmy says, "Well, my dad is an Aztec fan, my mom is an Aztec fan, I guess that makes me an Aztec fan."
     The teacher angered by his reply says, "If your dad was a moron and your mom was an idiot what would that make you?"
     Little Jimmy says, "Well, I guess that would make me a Aggie fan".

     If you are the betting type and your brackets are busted in the first round, don't worry…baseball season brings with a whole number of potential new bets.  For example, what day will the San Diego Padres be eliminated from playoff contention?

Here's hoping your bracket still has some possibility.  Have a great week,

Thanks to Dr. Rich
Thanks to Boysie ….
Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.  You think English is easy??  I think a retired English teacher was bored...THIS IS GREAT!       

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.     
4) We must polish the Polish furniture re..
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.    
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.    
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.      
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?       

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?
(Watch the videos!)
Chuck Berry, Rock & Roll Innovator, Dead at 90
"The beautiful thing about Chuck Berry's playing was it had such an effortless swing," Keith Richards wrote in his memoir, Life. "None of this sweating and grinding away or grimacing, just pure, effortless swing like a lion." During a 1956 concert, Berry was so self-conscious about only having brought one suit that he invented a new stage move "to hide the wrinkles," as he told RS in 1969. That move, the duck walk, also became part of the rock & roll lexicon.

"Chuck Berry was rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock & roll writer who ever lived," Bruce Springsteen wrote on Twitter, while Brian Wilson wrote, "I am so sad to hear about Chuck Berry passing - a big inspiration! He will be missed by everyone who loves Rock & Roll. Love & Mercy." Kiss' Paul Stanley called Berry " a cornerstone of all that is, was and will be Rock and Roll," with Lenny Kravitz noting that "none of us would have been here without you."

Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll: Chuck Berry Slays New York Crowd Dead
June 19, 2006

Don't go by me. Because by me, Chuck Berry is the alpha and omega of rock & roll. Rock's first great singer-songwriter, inspiration for the Beatles and the Stones — hell, taught Keith Richards every trick he knows that doesn't involve a needle and a spoon. Elvis — he's Prometheus: stole fire from the gods, was damned to eternal suffering. Little Richard — I dunno, Job? His riches taken for no reason except god wants to prove he's God. And Bo Diddley? Sisyphus! Rolls the rock up the hill all the time, never gets his due. But Chuck Berry — all that wrapped up in one guy with the biggest hands you've ever seen. Big as two houses. And you know what they say: Big hands . . . inventor of rock & roll!
Thanks to John
Looking for a good job in Florida !
Lemon Picker
Sally of Coral Springs, Florida decided to take one of the jobs that most Americans are not willing to do.

Sally applied for a job in a Florida lemon grove and seemed to be far too qualified for the job.  She had a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan and had worked as a social worker and a school teacher.
The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you, have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, I have," she said: "I've been divorced three times, owned two Chryslers, I voted twice for Obama, and once for Hillary."
She starts work in the morning.
Item Number:1 Date: 03/20/2017 AFGHANISTAN - LOCAL TROOP WOUNDS 3 AMERICANS, THEN IS KILLED (MAR 20/FN)  FOX NEWS -- Three American troops have been wounded by an Afghan soldier in Afghanistan's restive southern Helmand province, say officials, as reported by Fox News.   The attack took place Sunday at Camp Antonik in Washer district during a military exercise, reported UPI.   The Afghan was killed by coalition security forces, said a spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. "The U.S. soldiers are receiving medical treatment at this time and we will release more information when available," he said.   NATO described this as a "green-on-blue" incident, reported the Stars and Stripes, a reference to an attack by Afghans on coalition forces.   The Taliban referred to the shooter as an "Afghan patriot soldier," without claiming responsibility.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/20/2017 BANGLADESH - POLICE KILL MILITANT WITH BOMB AT CHECKPOINT IN DHAKA; ISIS CLAIMS ATTACK ON RAB BASE (MAR 20/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- Police in Bangladesh say they killed a suspected militant on Saturday who tried to cross a security checkpoint in Dhaka, reports the Press Trust of India.   A man riding a motorcycle attempted to cross a checkpoint in the capital's Kilagoan area and ignored orders to stop, said a officials with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).   Bomb-disposal experts found explosives attached to his body, said the official.   Separately, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Friday's attack on a RAB camp in Dhaka that wounded two officers.   The claim was made Saturday by the ISIS Amaq news agency, noted Bdnews23 (Bangladesh).   When asked about the claim, a RAB spokesman said that ISIS "has no presence in Bangladesh at all," reported AFP.   The government has blamed a homegrown faction of Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for several previous attacks
Item Number:3 Date: 03/20/2017 BELGIUM - NEW FIGHTER AIRCRAFT SOUGHT; LONG-TERM CONTRACT COULD BE WORTH US$16 BILLION (MAR 20/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- The Belgian Defense Ministry has issued a request for proposals to replace its aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets, reports   The current fleet of 54 F-16s will be replaced by 34 new aircraft, according to a release from the Defense Ministry.   The ministry argued that because of technical advances, fewer planes would be needed to meet the same mission. The contract is potentially worth 15 billion euros (about US$ 16.1 billion) over a 40-year lifespan, noted AFP, citing a ministry spokesman.   Having 34 aircraft will allow the air force to meet the government's level of ambition: six combat aircraft permanently available for operations and two more on local quick reaction alert duty, said the ministry.   The latest generation of aircraft can fly more than in the past and additional training may be conducted on simulators, said a statement release on Friday.   Belgium's F-16 fleet is expected to reach the end of its 8,000-flight-hour service life between 2023 and 2028.   The winning bidder will replace the F-16s and provide support for the new aircraft until the end of 2030, said the ministry.   Expected competitors are the French Dassault Rafale; Swedish Saab Gripen E; U.S. Lockheed Martin F-35A and Boeing F/A-18E/F; and British Eurofighter Typhoon.   Agence France-Presse reported that the likely favorite is the Lockheed F-35
  Item Number:4 Date: 03/20/2017 CANADA - OFFENSIVE CYBER CAPABILITIES TO BE STRENGTHENED, ACKNOWLEDGES DEFENSE DEPT. (MAR 20/TORSTAR)  TORONTO STAR -- The Canadian Dept. of National Defense now has plans to develop offensive cyber weapons as well as to strengthen its defensive capabilities, reports the Toronto Star.   This year, the department "will advance our research in the future of cyber warfare to improve and strengthen both our defensive and offensive capabilities," as noted on documents published on its website.   The notice appears to indicate that, despite a public focus on cyber defense, Ottawa recognizes the need for offensive cyber capabilities.   The military will establish a new specialty called "cyber operators" to bring in recruits with the needed skills, the documents say
Item Number:5 Date: 03/20/2017 CANADA - RESERVISTS, RANGERS CONDUCTING SECURITY TRAINING IN ARCTIC (MAR 20/CDND)  CANADA DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE -- A contingent of Canadian soldiers is in Nunavut -- the northernmost territory of the nation -- for 10 days of Arctic training, reports the Canadian Dept. of National Defense.   About 180 army personnel, mostly from the reserve 31 Canadian Brigade Group in Ontario, are taking part in Northern Exercise 2017 in and around Resolute Bay, Nunavut. The training began on March 17 and runs though to March 28.   The drills are designed to test the mobility, sustainability and survivability of troops assigned to the 4th Canadian Division, and maintaining the capabilities of the division's Arctic Response Company Group, according to the departmental release on March 16.   The reserve Canadian Rangers are also joining the drills. The Rangers conduct patrols for national security and public safety missions in the sparsely populated Arctic region, the department noted.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/20/2017 FINLAND - AGREEMENTS TO BE FORMALIZED FOR 3 PROJECTS WITH EUROPEAN DEFENSE AGENCY (MAR 20/FINMOD)  FINNISH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Finnish Ministry of Defense has announced its plans to participate in three new projects managed by the European Defense Agency.   The programs are expected to generate savings and develop expertise for Finnish personnel, the ministry said in a release on March 16.   Finland will join 14 other EDA member states to develop medical capabilities needed at the national level and in crisis management operations. Helsinki will also support the establishment of a multinational medical unit, the ministry said.   A second project focuses on the skills needed to clear and neutralize improvised explosive devices.   Finally, Finland will work to harmonize and simplify regulations and practices on military personnel and materiel in an effort to make it easier to deploy troops and equipment for exercises or crisis management operations, said the ministry.   The agreements for the various projects will be signed at a meeting of the EDA's capability directors on March 23, noted the release
Item Number:7 Date: 03/20/2017 FRANCE - ORLY AIRPORT ATTACKER WAS KNOWN TO INTELLIGENCE AS RADICALIZED ISLAMIST (MAR 20/FN)  FOX NEWS -- Prosecutors say the attacker killed in a Paris airport on Saturday had been monitored for suspected Islamic extremism, reports Fox News.   The suspected attacker was shot and killed after he tried to take a weapon from a soldier at the Orly airport in Paris, reports Agence France-Presse.   Prosecutors said 39-year-old Ziyed Ben Belgacem, grabbed a soldier on patrol on Saturday morning and seized her rifle. He reportedly said he wanted to "die for Allah."   He was killed by two other soldiers at the airport, according to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.   Belgacem also fired at police in Garges-les-Gonesse, a northern Paris suburb where he lived, earlier that morning. One officer was slightly injured in that incident, said the prosecutor's office.   An autopsy indicated that Belgacem had been under the influence of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine at the time of the shooting, said judicial sources cited by Deutsche Welle on Sunday night.   The suspect had a known police record for theft and drug-trafficking. His house was among others searched after an ISIS-led attack in November 2015 that killed 130 in Paris, noted prosecutors. He was a radicalized Muslim known to intelligence services, said a police source cited by the Independent (U.K.).  
  Item Number:8 Date: 03/20/2017 FRANCE - THREAT TEMPORARILY SHUTS FINANCIAL PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE; NO EXPLOSIVES FOUND (MAR 20/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Employees are now being allowed to return to a government office in Paris after a bomb threat on Monday.   The offices of France's financial prosecutor in central Paris were briefly evacuated after a bomb alert, reports Agence France-Presse.   The alert came after an anonymous telephone call, said a police source, cited by Reuters.   Bomb-disposal experts were sent to the site, which was cordoned off. An all-clear was given after "the usual checks," said the source.   That office has been investigating several high-profile cases
Item Number:9 Date: 03/20/2017 GAMBIA - ANOTHER 1,000 SENEGALESE NEEDED FOR SECURITY, SAYS BARROW (MAR 20/RFI)  RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE -- The Gambian government has asked Senegal to deploy another 1,000 soldiers to the regional military force in the country, Gambian President Adama Barrow told Radio France Internationale in an interview last week.   Barrow was in Paris for a two-day visit focused on obtaining financial support for his country.   Senegalese military units entered Gambia just a day after former President Yahya Jammeh went into exile. This followed several months of Jemmeh's contesting of the results of the election, which was won by Barrow.   The foreign troops were deployed under the mandate of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to forestall more destabilization by Jammeh's supporters.   Jammeh ruled Gambia for 22 years. As Barrow noted: Jemmeh "still has influence, he has his friends in Gambia. We need the Senegalese to stabilize that security situation so that we can reform, train our military." This is very important, said the new president, "because we cannot do this if the government doesn't have enough security."   During Barrow's visit to Paris, French President Francois Hollande also agreed to develop security cooperation with Gambia, including providing training for the African nation's security forces, noted the Point (Banjul
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/20/2017 IRAQ - TROOPS ADVANCE ON SYMBOLIC MOSQUE IN MOSUL'S OLD CITY (MAR 20/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Iraqi troops were closing in on a key mosque in western Mosul's Old City over the weekend, reports the Voice of America News, citing government sources.   Federal police, backed by helicopter gunships, got beyond a train station close to the al-Nuri mosque, said a spokesman on Sunday.   The offensive resumed after operations had been halted due to bad weather.   The targeted mosque has been seen as the unofficial administrative headquarters of ISIS. Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi used it in July 2014 to declare the Islamic State's caliphate.   Separately, a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on Sunday destroyed an ISIS command center in western Mosul, killing six foreign militant commanders, including a senior Russian ISIS leader, according to Iraq's Defense Ministry
Item Number:11 Date: 03/20/2017 NIGERIA - SUICIDE BOMBER KILL 4 NEAR MAIDUGURI (MAR 20/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Police say suicide bombers have struck a village in northeastern Nigeria over the weekend, killing four people and wounding eight, reports the Voice of America News.   One man and two women blew themselves up Saturday night in the village of Umariri, near the city of Maiduguri. They "detonated the IEDs [improvised explosive devices] strapped to their bodies while running to different directions," said a police spokesman on Sunday.   A government-approved militia member and a woman with her two children were reportedly killed in the blasts.   The attack bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, noted Reuters
Item Number:12 Date: 03/20/2017 NORTH KOREA - TEST OF NEW ROCKET ENGINE SAID TO SHOW 'MEANINGFUL PROGRESS' IN DEVELOPMENT (MAR 20/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The latest test of a North Korean rocket engine has demonstrated that the communist nation is making "meaningful progress," officials in the South said on Monday, as reported by the New York Times.   The North made a ground test Saturday of a new high-thrust rocket engine, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul), citing state-run media in the North.   North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the test at the northwest Sohae Satellite Launching Ground, according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).   Kim personally checked the technical specifications of the engine and preparations for the test, said the state agency on Sunday.   The test measured the thrust power in the combustion chamber, the structural safety and reliability of the engine and the movement of the turbine pipe, said the agency.   The new design included a cluster of a main engine and four vernier thrusters, said the Defense Ministry in Seoul
  Item Number:13 Date: 03/20/2017 PAKISTAN - WITH TENSIONS RISING, PRIME MINSTER REOPENS BORDER WITH AFGHANISTAN (MAR 20/DAWN)  DAWN -- The Pakistani government has decided to reopen border crossings with Afghanistan, reports Dawn (Pakistan).   The Torkham and Chaman border crossings were closed on Feb. 16 after a series of terrorist attacks in Pakistan killed more than 120 people. Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of harboring militants, including the Pakistani Taliban, noted Al Jazeera.   On Monday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the border to be reopened, saying the decision was made "on humanitarian grounds," according to a statement.   "We hope that the Afghan government will take all necessary steps to prevent the reasons why we undertook these steps [of closing the border] from recurring," said the statement.   The crossings were temporarily opened for two days in early March after hundreds of thousands of people were stranded.   The crossing cost businesses on both sides millions of dollars and deepened tensions between the neighbors, noted the Los Angeles Times
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/20/2017 POLAND - U.S., POLISH TANKERS TRAIN TOGETHER AT KARLIKI RANGE (MAR 20/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- Tank units from the U.S. and Poland have been training at a range in Karliki, Poland, reports the Army News Service.   Two Polish platoons from the 1st Tank Battalion, 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade, integrated a U.S. platoon from Dakota Company, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team during a day of training on March 15.   The bilateral exercise focused on maneuver formations and developing combined tactical techniques in preparation for an upcoming NATO drill, officials said, according to a service release on Friday.   The 3rd ABCT is in Europe for a nine-month deployment as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a mission aimed to show Moscow that Washington is committed to protecting its allies in Eastern Europe
Item Number:15 Date: 03/20/2017 RUSSIA - MILITARY COOPERATION ON AGENDA WITH VISITING AFGHAN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER (MAR 20/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar has just been in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Atmar met on Friday with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.   Discussions with Patrushev focused on military and military-technical cooperation, regional security, the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group and combating illegal drugs, according to the Russian Security Council.   In a separate meeting, Lavrov emphasized that Moscow is prepared to fully cooperate with Afghanistan in a number of areas, including assisting with the development of Afghan security forces and the army's combat capabilities.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/20/2017 SYRIA - REBELS MAKE SURPRISE ATTACK IN EASTERN DAMASCUS BEFORE BEING PUSHED BACK (MAR 20/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Syrian rebel groups and pro-government forces have been fighting on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, says a monitoring group cited by CNN.   Rebel launched a surprise attack on Sunday from the Jobar district in northeastern Damascus, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   State media said the assault was led by Islamist groups including Ahrar al-Sham and Tahrir al-Sham, which includes former Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front (now known has Jabhat Fatah al-Sham). Free Syrian Army rebels also took part, reported Reuters.   Government forces counterattacked on Monday, regaining control of positions lost the day before. The rebels used secret tunnels for their attack, according to state television.   The rebels have lost control of areas to the south and west of Damascus over the past year, but hold some areas to the east of the city, noted the Voice of America News
Item Number:17 Date: 03/20/2017 THAILAND - ARMS CACHE FOUND LINKED TO RED-SHIRT MOVEMENT; POLICE ALLEGE PLOT TO KILL PRIME MINISTER (MAR 20/IBT)  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- Thai police say they have uncovered a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, reports the International Business Times.   Dozens of rifles, grenades and thousands of rounds of ammunition were found in a raid on Saturday on a house in Pathum Thani belonging to Wuthipong Kochathamakun, said police on Sunday, as cited by Asian Correspondent.   He is a leader of the "red-shirt" movement, a political group loyal to exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The man has been on the run since a coup in 2014.   Police said they also arrested nine people in connection to the weapons seizure.   "We found a rifle with a scope. We guarantee that this is not to shoot at birds, but was going to be used to assassinate [Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha]," said national police chief Jakthip Chaijinda on Sunday.   The chief did not specify evidence of an assassination plot, saying that Wuthipong and his movement had always opposed the junta.   The group was planning an ambush if government officials continued operations against a nearby Buddhist temple with ties to Thaksin, said police
  Item Number:18 Date: 03/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - BRITS IN MARKET FOR 1,000 HELLFIRE MISSILES (MAR 20/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale of anti-tank missiles to the U.K., according to a release from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The possible US$150 million deal covers 1,000 AGM-114-R1/R2 Hellfire II semi-active laser-guided missiles, including logistics and other program support.   The sale would enhance the close air support capability of the U.K. for NATO and other coalition operations, including in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, said the agency on March 16.   If the deal is completed, the missiles would be provided from U.S. stocks, noted the DSCA
  Item Number:19 Date: 03/20/2017 USA - CRUISER VICKSBURG IN LINE FOR MODERNIZATION (MAR 20/BAE)  BAE SYSTEMS -- The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a contract to modernize one of its Ticonderoga-class cruisers.   The $42.9 million deal covers upgrades and repairs to USS Vicksburg (CG-69), including the replacement of critical aluminum structures, said a BAE release on March 16.   Potential options that could increase the contract value to $45.9 million.   Work is scheduled to begin in April at the BAE shipyard in Norfolk, Va., and expected conclude by September.   The Vicksburg will be the second East Coast-based cruiser to undergo extensive repair and modernization as part of the Navy's long-term upgrade project for the class.   USS Gettysburg recently completed her modernization at the BAE yard in Norfolk, the company noted
Item Number:20 Date: 03/20/2017 USA - FEMALE MARINE ABOUT TO COMPLETE MORTAR TRAINING (MAR 20/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The first female Marine to serve in the infantry via the traditional entry-level training program is expected to graduate this week, officials has told the Voice of America News.   That combat position was previously open just to males. The unnamed female Marine is completing training for the mortarman position, and about to graduate from the Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, N.C., said a spokesman for the Marine Corps Training and Education Command.   Officials said she will be assigned to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Camp Pendleton, Calif.   The Marine Corps now has four women in the infantry branch. Three joined 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in January after requesting a transfer to the infantry.   Women have been eligible to join the infantry since then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ordered that all combat positions be opened to females starting in 2016.

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