Friday, April 28, 2017

Fw: TheList 4440


The List 4440
To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day In Naval History - April 26
1860: The screw steamship Mohawk captures the slaver Wildfire with 530 slaves on board in the Bahama Channel, taking them to a camp in Key West guarded by Mohawks Marines until returned home.
1921 - U.S. Naval Detachment left Yugoslavia after administering area around Spalato for 2 years to guarantee transfer of area from Austria to new country
1944: USS Frost (DE 144), USS Huse (DE 145), USS Barber (DE 161) and USS Snowden (DE 246) sink the German submarine U 488 northwest of the Canary Islands.
1952 - USS Hobson sinks after colliding with USS Wasp; 176 lives lost
From the Flag at Derna to Dewey at Manila Bay
by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
Apr. 26, 1777:  Just after 9:00 p.m., 16-year-old Sybil (also Sibbell)
Ludington – "the female Paul Revere" – begins her 40-mile, all-night ride
(much of it in the rain) across an isolated circuit of New York–Connecticut
backcountry, warning villagers of a British attack on nearby Danbury,
The daughter of a militia colonel, Ludington will be recognized for her
bravery and patriotism by Gen. George Washington.
Apr. 26, 1865:  Just over two weeks after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee
surrenders his Army of Northern Virginia, Confederate Gen. Joseph E.
Johnston surrenders the once-vaunted Army of Tennessee to U.S. Army Gen.
William T. Sherman near Durham Station, N.C.
Apr. 27, 1805:  Following an extremely difficult march across a
500-to-700-mile stretch of North African desert; U.S. Army officer and
Naval agent to the Barbary regents William Eaton, U.S. Marine Lt. Presley
Neville O'Bannon and seven American leathernecks – leading an unlikely and
often near-mutinying Christian-Muslim army of Arabs, Western European
adventurers, and Greek mercenaries – attack and seize the fortress at Derna
commanded by the ruling pasha Yusuf Karamanli, on "the shores of Tripoli"
(Yes, that's where the line comes from in the Marine Corps Hymn.)
Supported by the offshore guns of USS Argus (the first of two so-named U.S.
Navy vessels), USS Hornet (the third of eight so-named U.S. Navy vessels),
and USS Nautilus (the first of six so-named U.S. Navy vessels), O'Bannon's
men storm the enemy's works in fierce hand-to-hand fighting, turn the
enemy's guns on the pasha's palace, and ultimately raise the stars and
stripes over the "Old World" for the first time.
So-impressed with O'Bannon's leadership and heroics, newly installed pasha
Hamet Karamanli (Yusuf's pro-American brother), will present O'Bannon with
a Mameluke sword. U.S. Marine officers today still carry the Mameluke
sword, whereas Marine NCOs carry the traditional Naval infantry saber.
24 Apr 1805: USS Congress captured Tripolitan gunboat
On 24 April 1805, during the First Barbary War, the frigate Congress,
commanded by John Rodgers, captured a Tripolitan gunboat together with 2
prizes taken earlier by pirate ships off Tripoli.
To read more about USS Congress, please click here:
Apr. 28, 1965:  Almost 160 years to the day after the storming of Derna,
U.S. Marines land in the Dominican Republic.
Apr. 30, 1798:  The U.S. Navy Department – parent company of the U.S. Navy
and Marine Corps – is established.
Apr. 30, 1945:  German leader Adolf Hitler and his new bride, Eva Braun,
commit suicide in Hitler's Berlin Bunker. German Army forces will surrender
to the Allies within days.
Apr. 30, 1970:  Pres. Richard M. Nixon announces, "In cooperation with the
armed forces of South Vietnam, attacks are being launched this week to
clean out major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border. … This
is not an invasion of Cambodia. The areas in which these attacks will be
launched are completely occupied and controlled by North Vietnamese forces.
Our purpose is not to occupy the areas. Once enemy forces are driven out of
these sanctuaries and once their military supplies are destroyed, we will
May. 1, 1898:  The Battle of Manila Bay opens when U.S. Navy Commodore
George Dewey utters his now-famous words, "You may fire when ready, Mr.
Gridley [speaking to Capt. Charles Vernon Gridley, commanding Dewey's
flagship USS Olympia]."
Within a few hours, Dewey's Asiatic Squadron – several cruisers including
Olympia (the first of two so-named U.S. Navy vessels), gunboats, and
supporting vessels – will destroy the Spanish fleet in the Philippines.
May. 1, 1960:  Francis Gary Powers, a former U.S. Air Force officer now
flying high-altitude U-2 reconnaissance aircraft for the CIA, is shot down
over the Soviet Union and captured.
April 26
Stephen II ends his reign as Catholic Pope.
Pazzi conspirators attack Lorenzo and kill Giuliano de' Medici.
Copernicus makes his first observations of Saturn.
William Shakespeare is baptized.
The British establish a colony at Cape Henry, Virginia.
Second Lieutenant William Rhodes-Moorhouse becomes the first airman to win the Victoria Cross after conducting a successful bombing raid.
The first non-stop flight from England to India is completed.
New York Yankee Lou Gehrig hits a home run but is called out for passing a runner, the mistake ultimately costs him the home run record.
The ancient Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain is bombed by German planes.
The first organ is played at a baseball stadium in Chicago.
Students seize the administration building at Ohio State University.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks 1,200 for first time.
The world's worst nuclear disaster occurs at the Chernobyl power plant in the Soviet Union.
Nelson Mandela wins the presidency in South Africa's first multiracial elections.
Thanks to Mugs
If you are interested in aircraft, this is site to visit...
There are 118 air and space museums that you can pick from that are accessible through this link.  Obviously it would probably take months to review all of them.  Most of them are truly fascinating.   There are many more that are not accessible through this link.
Absolutely mind boggling brilliant photos of museum aircraft throughout the USA and elsewhere.
Just click on any museum of interest, and see what's inside that museum.
Thanks to Dr Rich
Thanks to John ….
I invite you to take the time to watch this authentic live footage (fairly long clip of this conventional air assault on the Japanese mainland, just before the A-bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima! Absolutely fantastic footage of some the members of what WE consider to be THE GREATEST GENERATION!!! Riveting, to say the least.
To think of 600 B-29s all taking off to bomb Japan at one time is beyond my imagination. We hear so much about the Atom Bomb raids on Japanese cities that we forget these raids took place before that...
This is video from the color film archives. 
This is spectacular live footage of the 3,000 round trip mile air assault upon the Japanese mainland, with 3 bomber wings and a host of P-51's. This is the real way to end a war. 
No matter what war footage you ever saw before, this is the real deal and will keep your undivided attention. The P-51 & B29 footage is remarkable. The strafing runs by the P-51 pilots were incredible .
There are several "breaks" as the film canisters are changed, just wait for the count down.
(View Full Screen/Sound On) B-29/P-51 Actual WWII Footage :  Click below
Thanks to Dick and John. If you Google OFA there are a lot of sites that talk about this organization and some that talk about links to Soros.
Author unknown, but worth passing on!
Subject: Please read ,this concerns every American
      I do not understand how living in a country with it's democracy established over 200 years ago, and for the first time in history , suddenly we have one
of our former presidents set up a group called "Organizing for Action", (OFA) 30,000 strong working to disrupt everything that our current president is
 trying to do. This goes against our Democracy , it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws , and the process established over 200 years ago. If this is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run. What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?
     If this does not scare you, then we are in worse trouble than you know. It is explained below. Do your part , read it and at least pass this on so others will know what we are up against. We are losing our country and we are so compliant. We are becoming a "PERFECT TARGET" for our enemy! Article from the New York Post....... If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America. The ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues, and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration's top dogs over to an organization called Organizing for Action (OFA). OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution. OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for "progressive" change. Issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform. OFA members were propped up by the ex-president's message from the shadows: "Organizing is the building block of everything great we've accomplished. Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities-and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines...Commit to this work in 2016 and beyond."
        OFA's website says it obtained its "digital" assets from the ex-president's re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short, it's the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the Constitutional Republic. AMERICA Paul Sperry, writing for the New York Post, says OFA will fight President Donald Trump at every turn of his presidency and the ex-president "will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House." Sperry writes that the ex-president is setting up a shadow government to sabotage the incoming administration through a network of non-profits led by OFA, which is growing its war chest (more than $40 million) and has some 250 offices nationwide. OFA IRS filings, according to Sperry, indicate OFA has 32,525 volunteers nationwide.
      The ex-president and his wife will oversee the operation from their home/ office near the White House. Think about how this works, for example: Trump issues an immigration executive order; OFA signals for protests and statements from pro-immigrant groups; ACLU lawyers file lawsuits in jurisdictions where activist judges obstruct the laws; volunteers are called to protest at airports and Congressional town hall meetings; the leftist media springs to action; the twitter sphere lights up with social media; violence follows- all emanating from the ex-president's signal that he is heartened by the protests.
        Recent funding records are not available, but in just its first two years, OFA took in over $40 million, according to IRS filings. Not surprisingly, OFA's major donors are also members of George Soros's Democracy Alliance, which is a donors' consortium of the left-wing super rich devoted to radical political change. Daniel Greenfield, the award-winning Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, believes "OFA will be far more dangerous in the wild than the Clinton Foundation ever was." Since OFA has all the contact information assets of Obama's predecessor 2008 and 2012 campaign organization, Organizing for America, which include 30 million email addresses, three million donors and two million active participants there should be no underestimating OFA's potential influence, especially with an uncritical media covering it up.
         If Barack Obama did not do enough to destroy this country in the 8 years he was in office, it appears his future plans are to destroy the foundation on which this country has operated on for the last 241 years. Organizing_for_Action  
Item Number:1 Date: 04/26/2017 BULGARIA - TALKS WITH SWEDEN IN THE OFFING AS SOFIA DECIDES TO GO WITH GRIPEN FIGHTERS (APR 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Bulgaria's Interim Prime Minister Stefan Yanev says talks are planned with Sweden for the purchase of eight new Gripen fighter jets, reports Reuters.   Yanev announced on Wednesday that Bulgaria had decided to go with the Saab Gripen over used U.S.-made F-16s from Portugal and secondhand Eurofighter Typhoons from Italy.   A special commission to negotiate the deal, worth perhaps US$838 million, is expected to be established within a week, said Yanev.   The discussions will be handled by Bulgaria's next government, which will take office next week, he said.   The Parliament approved a plan last year to acquire eight new or used fighter jets between 2018 and 2020 to replace its MiG-29s.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 04/26/2017 CANADA - ARMORED VEHICLE ROLLS OVER DURING TRAINING EXERCISE AT CFB PETAWAWA, KILLING 1 (APR 26/OC)  OTTAWA CITIZEN -- A Canadian soldier has been killed and three others injured in a training accident at an eastern Alberta base, reports the Ottawa Citizen.   The Canadian military said Sgt. Robert Dynerowicz was killed Tuesday in an accident involving a LAV III at CFB Petawawa. The light armored vehicle rolled over, reported CTV News.   Two of the injured were treated and released. One was still in the hospital, said a base spokesman Tuesday, as cited by CBC News.   The accident occurred during the April 15-27 Rugged Bear exercise. The live-fire drills involve 3,000 soldiers as part of the army's Road to High Readiness training program.   An investigation has been opened into the cause of the accident.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 04/26/2017 CHINA - INITIAL DOMESTICALLY BUILT CARRIER LAUNCHED IN DALIAN; SHIP TO BE OPERATIONAL BY 2020 (APR 26/CMO)  CHINA MILITARY ONLINE -- China has launched its second aircraft carrier, reports the official China Military Online.   The carrier is the nation's first built domestically.   The as-yet unnamed ship was launched Wednesday morning at the Dalian Shipyard of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.   The ceremony was attended by Gen. Fan Changlong, the vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission.   Construction began in 2013. The main hull and main system devices, such as the power supply, have been installed, according to state media.   The carrier will next debug its system devices, conduct mooring tests and be outfitted as planned. She is expected to enter service in 2020, reported the Guardian (U.K.).   China purchased its first carrier, now known as the Liaoning, from Ukraine. Both carriers are based on the Soviet-era Kuznetsov design.   The launch coincides with the 68th anniversary of the PLA Navy, noted the South China Morning Post
  Item Number:4 Date: 04/26/2017 CHINA - XI CONSIDERING RENUMBERING ARMY'S HISTORY NUMBERS, SAY SOURCES (APR 26/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China's President Xi Jinping may change the unit numbers of the army corps of the People's Liberation Army, reports the South China Morning Post, citing military sources.   "Serial numbers for the 13 army corps are likely [to] restart from 71 and end at 83," an unnamed senior retired army official in Beijing told the newspaper.   The army had up to 70 corps, starting at one, when the Communist Party took power in 1949. There are now 13 following Xi's order earlier in the year to disband five of the units.   Units that may be renumbered include the 1st Army Corps. It was part of the 1st Field Army, the unit that Xi's father served as political commissar during the civil war.   The potential action is seen as a way to curb long-standing factionalism in the army, said analysts.   The 13 renamed corps are among the 84 newly restructured corps-level units announced by Xi last week. Other corps-level units include provincial military commands, military academies and universities under the Defense Ministry and the head offices of the army, navy, air force and rocket force
Item Number:5 Date: 04/26/2017 ESTONIA - WATER BORDER WITH RUSSIA IN LINE TO GET BUOY MARKERS (APR 26/EPR)  ESTONIAN PUBLIC RADIO -- The Estonian Police and Border Guard (PPA) and the nation's Maritime Administration will soon begin installing buoys setting out the border with Russia, reports Estonian Public Radio (ERR).   Starting in May, the buoys will be emplaced along 78 miles (126 km) of the mutual border on Lakes Peipus, Lammijarv and Pskov, PPA officials said. Buoys will also be placed along the border in the Narva Reservoir.   The object is to curtail illegal crossings or entering the zone that extends 660 feet (200 m) and 160 feet (50 m) from the border.   The buoys will be labeled with a sign reading "Stop! Estonian state border!" in Estonian, Russian and English.   The construction of the entire land and water border with Russia is expected to cost about 74 million euros (US$79 million).   Two years ago, Estonia erected more than 700 land border markers near the Pedetsi River in Voru, as ERR reported at the time
Item Number:6 Date: 04/26/2017 FRANCE - INITIAL SCORPION PROGRAM ORDER INCLUDES 319 GRIFFON, 20 JAGUAR VEHICLES (APR 26/NEXTER)  NEXTER -- The French defense procurement agency, DGA, has awarded the first production contracts for Griffon and Jaguar armored vehicles, reports Nexter Systems, which builds the vehicles as part of a consortium with Renault Trucks Defense and Thales.   The contracts cover 319 Griffon multi-role armored vehicles and 20 Jaguard armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles as part of the army's Scorpion modernization program, as well as logistics support and training.   The awards launch production of the vehicles after only 27 months of development, said a Nexter release on Monday.   The Griffon and Jaguar will replace aging VAB, AMX-10RC, Sagaie ERC and VAB HOT vehicles, the company said.   The Griffon is a 25-ton, 6 x 6 vehicle with a remotely operated weapon station and will be available in a number of variants, noted a DGA release.   The Jaguar also weighs 25 tons and is equipped with a remote control weapon station equipped with a 40-mm cased telescoped cannon and MMP medium-range missiles.   Deliveries of the Griffon will begin in 2018 and the Jaguar in 2020.   The Scorpion program anticipates the production of 1,668 Griffons and 248 Jaguars.   The value of the contracts was not made public
Item Number:7 Date: 04/26/2017 IRAN - REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS BOAT APPROACHES U.S. GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER IN PERSIAN GULF (APR 26/FN)  FOX NEWS -- U.S. Navy officials say a U.S. destroyer had a close encounter with an Iranian fast attack craft on Monday, reports Fox News.   The boat, from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), came within 1,000 yards of the Mahan guided-missile destroyer in the Persian Gulf, said the officials on Tuesday.   The Mahan changed course, sounded a danger signal, fired flares and manned her weapons, the officials said.   No warning shots were fired because the Iranian ship did not come within 1,000 yards, they said.   In January, the Mahan fired warning shots at an approaching Iranian ship near the Strait of Hormuz.   The U.S. says Iran harassed U.S. warships at least 36 times in 2016 in "unprofessional interactions
Item Number:8 Date: 04/26/2017 IRAQ - WILD PIGS OVERRUN HIDING JIHADISTS, KILLING 3 (APR 26/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Local Iraqis say stampeding wild boars killed three Islamic State fighters who were setting up an ambush of tribesmen in northern Iraq, reports Newsweek.   On Sunday, at least eight ISIS terrorists were hiding in the al-Rashad region, about 55 miles northwest of Kirkuk, when they were overrun by a herd of wild boars, said the chief of a local tribe opposed to ISIS, as first reported by the Times of London.   The jihadists likely disturbed the animals, said the chief. ISIS fighters executed at least 25 civilians attempting to escape the area several days before, he said.   Local Kurdish fighters confirmed the story on Tuesday. Refugees reportedly stumbled upon the bodies.   ISIS fighters then went on a killing spree against the boars, said a Kurdish intelligence official, as reported by UPI.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 04/26/2017 KENYA - DOMESTIC MILITARY SPENDING TOPS REGION, RANKS 8TH IN AFRICA (APR 26/BUSDAY)  BUSINESS DAILY -- Kenyan defense spending reached a new high last year, totaling more than its neighbors Ethiopia and Uganda combined, according to a new international study cited by the Business Daily (Nairobi).   The Kenyan defense budget was US$933 million in 2016, a 10.5 percent increase from the US$844 million budget the year before, says a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.   This makes Kenya the eighth largest spender on defense in Africa. Kenya also outpaces its East African peers in budget size and annual spending growth, says SIPRI.   "Kenya's expenditure increase can be related to the country improving its capabilities against terrorists," said Nan Tian, a SIPRI researcher. "There is also the issue of regional security in the context of neighboring countries, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan."   Nairobi says it needs to improve security to bolster economic growth and employment, the researcher said.   Tanzania is the next largest defense spender in East Africa, with a budget of US$544 million, followed by Ethiopia and Uganda.   Kenyan defense spending totals 1.4 percent of gross domestic product and about 5 percent of the government budget, according to SIPRI. Defense spending has nearly doubled over the last decade, says SIPRI.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 04/26/2017 LIBYA - ROME PRAISES MEETING BETWEEN LIBYA LEADERS; HOUSE LEADER PLAYS IT DOWN (APR 26/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The Italian government has overseen an agreement that has the possibility of resolving differences between the two main combatants in Libya, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Rome has hailed what it saw as a compromise between Ageela Saleh, the president of the house of representatives, and Abdulrahman Sewehli, the president of the state council.   The accord was reached in Rome during April 22 meetings overseen by Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and the Italian ambassador to Libya.   The House of Representatives had refused to approve a Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli for more than a year, demanding changes to the Libyan Political Agreement. Such changes can only be made by a joint team from the House and the State Council.   The council said in a release that it had been agreed "to reach peaceful and fair solutions to outstanding issues." This refers to a major issue: the military and political role in any unit government of the military commander of the forces in the east, Khalifa Haftar.   On Monday, Saleh downplayed the significant of his meeting in Rome, saying the two leaders were acting personally, not officially, as reported by the Libya Herald.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 04/26/2017 RUSSIA - AL-QAIDA-LINKED GROUP CLAIMS SUBWAY BOMBING IN ST. PETERSBURG (APR 26/REU)  REUTERS -- A little-known Al-Qaida-linked group has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the St. Petersburg subway on April 3, reports Reuters, citing a monitoring site.   The Imam Shamil Battalion claimed in a statement on Tuesday that it was responsible for the blast, which killed 16 people, according to the U.S.-based SITE monitoring group.   The bomber, Akbarzhon Jalilov, acted on orders from Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, said the statement.   The bombing was retaliation for Russian violence against Muslims, including in Syria, Libya and Chechnya, the statement said.   Russian authorities have not commented on the development, noted Arutz Sheva (Israel
Item Number:12 Date: 04/26/2017 RUSSIA - MIG-31 CRASHES IN SIBERIA; PILOTS 'RECOVERED QUICKLY' (APR 26/RT)  RUSSIA TODAY -- The Kremlin says the two pilots of a Russian air force fighter jet ejected safely before their aircraft went down Wednesday in eastern Siberia, reports Russia's RT news channel.   The MiG-31 interceptor crashed during a training flight in the republic of Buryatia, near the Telemba proving ground, said the Defense Ministry.   A helicopter was deployed as part of the search-and-rescue operation.   Both ejected and were "recovered quickly," said the ministry. "Their lives are not in danger."  
Item Number:13 Date: 04/26/2017 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH'S MISSILE THREAT PROMPTS PURCHASE OF 2 MORE EARLY WARNING RADARS (APR 26/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean government has decided to buy two advanced early warning radars to detect ballistic missiles in response to growing threats from North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul), citing procurement officials.   Defense Minister Han Min Koo approved the procurement during a regular meeting on weapons projects, said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) on Tuesday.   The radars are expected to be purchased this year.   South Korea currently operates two Israeli-built Green Pine radars. Seoul is seeking to buy radars with a maximum range of more than 500 miles (800 km) to improve the detection of any missiles fired by North Korea
Item Number:14 Date: 04/26/2017 SOUTH KOREA - U.S. MILITARY MOVES THAAD COMPONENTS TO PLANNED DEPLOYMENT AREA (APR 26/YON)  YONHAP -- The U.S. military has started to move parts of an advanced missile defense system to a deployment site in South Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The U.S. and South Korea agreed last year to deploy the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) at a site in Seongju in North Gyeongsang province. The system is aimed at countering North Korean nuclear and missile threats.   Trailers carrying the X-band radar, mobile launchers and other components for the system were seen arriving starting overnight and into the morning in an unannounced operation, the news agency said on Wednesday.   The Defense Ministry said the move was "meant to secure early operational capability by positioning some available parts first at the site."   The Pentagon and South Korea's Defense Ministry confirmed that full-scale deployment was underway and said that a test was expected to begin early next month.   About 8,000 police were deployed near Seongju for the delivery after protesters gathered nearby. Locals have been divided over the move, with opponents citing health and environmental concerns, reported the Korea JoongAng Daily.   A THAAD battery typically includes six truck-mounted launchers, 48 interceptors (eight per launcher), a fire-control-and-communications unit and an AN/TPY-2 radar
Item Number:15 Date: 04/26/2017 SYRIA - FRENCH INTEL FINDS PROOF ASSAD FORCES MADE SARIN ATTACK (APR 26/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to the Syrian government made a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4.   A declassified intelligence report holds that the Assad regime responsible for the deadly chemical attack in northern Syria, reports Agence France-Presse.   The attack in Khan Skeikhun killed at least 87 people. Damascus denied responsibility, saying an airstrike hit a chemical weapons store used by rebels.   There is no doubt that sarin nerve gas was used in the attack, said Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault on Wednesday.   "There is also no doubt about the responsibility of the Syrian regime given the way that the sarin used was produced," he said.   The creations method is "the signature of the regime and it is what enables us to establish the responsibility of the attack," said the minister.   Hexamine, a hallmark of sarin produced by the Syrian government, was found in samples taken from the attack site, according to the report. The samples reportedly samples obtained from an attack in Saraqib in April 2013 also believed to be the work of the government.   Assad has twice this month told media interviewers that evidence about the gas attack was false, and denied that his government ever used chemical weapons, noted Reuters
  Item Number:16 Date: 04/26/2017 TAJIKISTAN - PRESIDENT HOSTS CENTCOM CHIEF; AGENDA INCLUDES 'MILITARY-TECHNICAL' COOPERATION (APR 26/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon has been meeting with visiting Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of the U.S. Central Command, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The talks on Tuesday in Dushanbe covered regional security and areas of potential cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States, according to a release from the Tajik president's office.   The sides also reportedly discussed how to improve the capabilities of Tajikistan's border guard on the frontier with Afghanistan.   There is a growing threat of international terrorism, extremism and organized criminal groups, the president's office said.   The agenda also included "military and military-technical" cooperation, said the statement. The Voice of America News noted that "military-technical" usually means weapons sales and servicing.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 04/26/2017 TURKEY - AUTHORITIES ARREST 1,000 'SECRET IMAMS' WITHIN POLICE (APR 26/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish police have arrested more than 1,000 people within the police suspected of supporting a U.S.-based cleric blamed by the government for an attempted coup last year, reports the state-run Anadolu Agency.   A total of 1,009 suspects were picked up Wednesday in dawn raids across 72 provinces, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.   Around 8,500 police have taken part in the operations. Raids were continuing and the numbers of those arrested are expected to rise, he said.   Soylu said that crackdown targeted a Gulen network that had "infiltrated our police force, called 'secret imams,'" as quoted by Reuters.   Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen is in exile in the U.S. Ankara holds him responsible for the failed military coup in July 2016.  
Item Number:18 Date: 04/26/2017 UGANDA - DEFENSE MINISTRY OUTLINES SPENDING FOR 2017-2018, WITH MAJOR EXPENDITURES ON TROOPS (APR 26/OBSERVER)  OBSERVER -- The Ugandan Defense Ministry has itemized some of its planned spending in the US$382 million defense budget for 2017-2018, reports the Observer (Kampala).   More than half of the budget will be spent on the welfare of military personnel, according to the Ministry of Defense.   Two army units will receive about US$207 million, according to ministry estimates made public this week.   Wages and salaries will drop slightly from US$176 million in 2016-2017 to US$175 million. Another US$124 million will cover welfare, including pensions, food, allowances, medical care and other services, said the ministry.   US$61 million is being allocated to the classified account, which is used to bolster capabilities and improve intelligence-gathering. About half of the funds will be used to buy classified equipment, said defense officials.   Around US$2 million will be spent on local and international training. The air force will receive US$327,000 for training, said the ministry.   The air force will also spend about US$4.1 million for refurbishing and maintaining aircraft.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 04/26/2017 USA - F-35 TESTING DELAYS MAY PUSH COST UP $1 BILLION, SAYS GAO (APR 26/HILL)  THE HILL -- The Government Accountability Office says the cost of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter program could rise another $1 billion because of testing delays, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   The report, published on Monday, recommends completing developmental testing before making "significant new investments" in the program.   "Cascading F-35 testing delays could cost the Dept. of Defense over a billion dollars more than currently budgeted to complete development of the F-35 baseline program," says the GAO.   The Pentagon's estimated developmental testing schedule was too optimistic and not based on historical data, says the watchdog agency.   The Pentagon estimates that the testing will be completed by February 2018 at the cost of an extra $532 million. Based on historical flight test data, the trials are likely to be completed in May 2018, according to the GAO.   This projected longer delay would "contribute to an increase of more than $1.7 billion, approximately $1.3 billion of which will be needed in fiscal year 2018," the report says
Item Number:20 Date: 04/26/2017 USA - NAVY PROPOSES ADDITIONAL SEAL TRAINING IN WASHINGTON STATE (APR 26/KITSAP)  KITSAP SUN -- The U.S. Navy wants to conduct more training with special operators in Washington state, reports the Kitsap Sun (Wash.).   In 2014, the service received permission for small SEAL teams to hold water-based training out of five state parks: Illahee in Bremerton; Scenic Beach in Seabeck; Blake Island in South Kitsap; and Fort Flagler and Mystery Bay on Marrowstone Island.   The Navy is now proposing to expand training and add new sites, which requires an environmental assessment.   The expanded training would take place on private, public, state or Dept. of Defense lands along stretches of Puget Sound and the southwestern Washington coast, with permission from property owners or managers, according to the service.   The training would cover diving and swimming; inserting and extracting trainees and equipment using small watercraft; launching and recovering small watercraft; using unmanned underwater vehicles; moving on foot over the beach; hiking to an observation point; clearing areas and structures; using paint pellets as simulated munitions; conducting high-angle climbing; and using small unmanned aerial vehicles, according to the Navy.

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