Friday, September 1, 2017

TheList 4536


The List 4536


To All,
I hope your week has been going well. A lot to pick and choose from today.
Regards,
Skip
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This Day In Naval History - August 31
1842 - Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officer who oversaw naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands. One of the 1842 Bureau, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, continues to serve under its original name.
1862: The daily rum issued to US Navy sailors on board vessels is abolished. On July 14, by an Act of Congress, the spirit ration ceases Sept. 1. Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles issues a further order requiring captains of naval vessels to remove all distilled liquors from their ships except those that serve as medical stores. Ale, beer, wine, and other liquors not distilled are exempted from the provisions of the act of July 14.
1911 - USS Utah (BB 31) is commissioned. During World War I, she serves in the Atlantic protecting convoys. In 1931, she is converted to a radio-controlled target ship and is redesignated (AG 16). Utah spends the rest of her career in this role, with additional duties as an anti-aircraft gunnery training ship beginning in the mid-1930s. On Dec. 7, 1941, while moored at Pearl Harbor, Utah is hit by a Japanese aerial torpedo attack, rolls over and sinks. A few years later, her hull is partially righted and moved closer to Ford Island, where she remains today.
1943 - Commissioning of USS Harmon (DE-678), first Navy ship named for an African American Sailor.
1944 - Carrier task group begins 3-day attack on Iwo Jima and Bonin Islands
1962 - Last flight of Navy airship made at NAS Lakehurst, NJ
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Today in History
August 31
1303
The War of the Vespers in Sicily ends with an agreement between Charles of Valois, who invaded the country, and Frederick, the ruler of Sicily.
1756
The British at Fort William Henry, New York, surrender to Louis Montcalm of France.
1802
Captain Meriwether Lewis leaves Pittsburgh to meet up with Captain William Clark and begin their trek to the Pacific Ocean.
1864
At the Democratic convention in Chicago, General George B. McClellan is nominated for president.
1919
The Communist Labor Party is founded in Chicago, with the motto, "Workers of the world unite!"
1940
Joseph Avenol steps down as Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
1942
The British army under General Bernard Law Montgomery defeats Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam el Halfa in Egypt.
1944
The British Eighth Army penetrates the German Gothic Line in Italy.
1949
Six of the 16 surviving Union veterans of the Civil War attend the last-ever encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, held in Indianapolis, Indiana.
1951
The 1st Marine Division begins its attack on Bloody Ridge in Korea. The four-day battle results in 2,700 Marine casualties.
1961
A concrete wall replaces the barbed wire fence that separates East and West Germany. It will be called the Berlin Wall.
1965
The US Congress creates the Department of Housing & Urban Development.
1980
The Polish government is forced to sign the Gdansk Agreement allowing the creation of the trade union Solidarity.
1990
East and West Germany sign the Treaty of Unification (Einigungsvertrag) to join their legal and political systems.
1994
The last Russian troops leave Estonia and Latvia.
1994
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces a "complete cessation of military operations," opening the way to a political settlement in Ireland for the first time in a quarter of a century.
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Today on Fighter Sweep
NASA Says They are Going to Mars. Check Out the Space Suit You May Need to Wear!
NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send people to Mars by the 2030's. When people go to Mars they will need a high tech space suit much more advanced View More ›
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/FighterSweep?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
 
 
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Another WWI tidbit from Admiral Cox
H-004-1
S.J. Cox
4 Apr 17
SMS Cormoran II
The first shot.
  The first shot fired by the U.S. after entry into WWI was at Guam.  On 7 April 1917, the elderly steam schooner USS Supply (originally built in 1873, and the Station Ship at Guam since 1902) with a contingent of Marines embarked, approached the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cormoran II in Apra Harbor to prevent the ship from scuttling itself.  The Cormoran II had been interred at Guam since 14 Dec 1914, when low on coal, and pursued by Japanese warships (Japan was an ally of the British in WWI), the ship had taken refuge at Guam.  Because the U.S. was neutral in the first years of the war, and because of a shortage of coal on Guam, the Cormoran was required to stay in Guam, where the German crew was generally treated with hospitality.
    Upon the U.S. declaration of war, the commanding officer of the Cormoran II, Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt had to decide whether to attack his former U.S. hosts on Guam (which included 400 U.S. Marines) or to scuttle his ship to prevent it from falling into American hands.  Determining that an attack would result in needless and fruitless loss of life, he chose to scuttle the ship (although most or Cormoran II's guns had been removed under terms of internment, the Germans had surreptitiously retained some arms).  Although accounts vary, at some point in the process of ordering the Cormoran II to surrender, a Marine fired a rifle shot (apparently into the air, when another Marine on Supply grabbed the rifle and pushed it up.)  The Germans blew up their ship anyway with a demolition charge.  Seven (possibly nine) German crewmen were killed, presumably as a result of the explosion or drowning afterwards, although accounts of how they died are murky.  The remaining 350 or so German crewman were quickly rescued and the dead were buried with full military honors (and still remain) in a cemetery on Guam.  This incident resulted in the first shot, the first German deaths resulting from U.S. action, and the first German prisoners of war of the U.S. in WWI.  The wreck of the Cormoran II still remains in Apra Harbor in about 110 feet of water, right next to the wreck of the Japanese merchant ship Tokai Maru, sunk by the U.S. submarine USS Snapper (SS-185)  in WWII.
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Quote of the week  Thanks to  Dutch R.
I am reminded -
"There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."  Booker T. Washington 1911
"I am afraid that there is a certain class of race problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."  Booker T. Washington
 
Thanks to Marathon –
 
You may have already seen this, but just in case you haven't....
 
"Black people who were never slaves are fighting white people who were never Nazis over a confederate statue erected by Democrats, because Democrats can't stand their own history anymore and somehow, at the end, it's all Trump's fault.
 
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Considering all the important issues in our country, confederate statues is near the bottom of my list just above soggy cereal. Where does it fall on your list?
 
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Thanks to Dutch R.
NZEDGE Legends ― Nancy Wake, Resistance Fighter ― Warriors
Thanks to Tam -
 
August 30, 1912 On this date, a hero was born! 
Thanks to Hal for the previous email, I'm just including another article on the "White Mouse" legend ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™
Tam
Nancy Wake
The White Mouse
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
Story by Paul Stanley Ward
Nancy Wake was the Allies' most decorated servicewoman of WWII, and the Gestapo's most-wanted person. They code-named her 'The White Mouse' because of her ability to elude capture. When war broke out she was a young woman married to a wealthy Frenchman living a life of luxury in cosmopolitan Marseilles. She became a saboteur, organiser and Resistance fighter who led an army of 7,000 Maquis troops in guerrilla warfare to sabotage the Nazis. Her story is one of daring, courage and optimism in the face of impossible odds.
With a roar that makes both her name and nickname seem quaintly ironic this is Nancy at 89: "Somebody once asked me, 'Have you ever been afraid?' … Hah! I've never been afraid in my life." The Sunday Times (South Africa) describes her as a real-life Charlotte Gray "whose exploits with the French Resistance make Sebastian Faulks's fictional Charlotte Gray – read like an Enid Blyton girls' school frolic."
Nancy Wake, the White Mouse, 1943 Permission Nine Network, Australia.
Young Rebel
Nancy Wake was born on the gusty heights of Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand, on 30 August 1912 to Charles Augustus and Ella Rosieur Wake.  She was the youngest of six children. Her biography, Nancy Wake by Australian journalist and rugby personality Peter Fitzsimons, strongly records her edge lineage:
"Ella Rosieur Wake came from an interesting ethnic mix, her genetic pool bubbling with material from the Huguenots, the French Protestants who had famously fled France so they could pursue their religion freely, and Maori, as her English great-grandmother had been a Maori maiden by the name of Pourewa.  She had been the first of her race to marry a white man, in the person of Nancy's English great-grandfather Charles Cossell, and they were wed by the Reverend William Williams at Waimate Mission Station on 26 October, 1836.  Legend has it that the great Maori chieftain, Hone Heke, had loved Pourewa himself and had sworn death to them both, but had been killed in the Maori Wars before fulfilling his threat. In sum, Ella's people went a long, long way back in New Zealand, and physically she was like the land itself, rustically beautiful.
"Young Nancy's father, Charles, however, was of solid English stock…an extremely good-looking, tall man of easy, extroverted charisma and enormous warmth.  He was a journalist/editor by trade, then working on a Wellington newspaper.  He was a dapper dresser who never seemed to have a worry in the world."
When Nancy was 20-months-old, her parents moved to Sydney, where she grew up, chafing under the confines of genteel society. She was much younger than her brothers and sisters, and strongly independent. "I was a loner and I had a good imagination." She was a rebel, in particular shunning her mother's strict religious beliefs.
Wake was raised without affection by her embittered mother after her father had walked out on them. "I adored my father," Wake recently told the Sunday Times, sitting on her bar stool with a walking stick in one hand and a gin and tonic in the other. "He was very good-looking. But he was a bastard. He went to New Zealand to make a movie about the Maoris, and he never came back. He sold our house from under us and we were kicked out." Wake ran away from home at 16 and went to work as a nurse. Then an aunt in New Zealand sent her ?200 – a princely sum in those days. She left for the world. Wake used the money to travel to London and then to Europe where she worked as a journalist, swinging with a cosmopolitan set of independent and carefree young people. It was a glamorous life of parties and travel, and she lived it to the full. "I've always got on very well with the French, perhaps because I'm very natural."
In 1930s Europe she witnessed the rise of Hitler, Nazism and anti-Semitism. In Vienna she saw horrific Dantescan scenes: Jews chained to massive wheels, rolled around the streets, and whipped by Nazi stormtroopers in a city square. The sight fed an early determination to work against the Nazis and eventually led to her courageous role in the French resistance.
In 1939 Nancy married a handsome wealthy French industrialist, Henri Fiocca, in Marseilles (apparently seduced by his proficiency in tango). "He was the love of my life." Together they had a charmed and sophisticated life of travel, dinner parties, champagne and caviar, residing in a luxury apartment on a hill overlooking Marseilles and its harbour.
Joining the Resistance
Six months after they married, Germany invaded France. Slowly but surely Nancy drew herself into the fight. In 1940 she crossed the line between observation and action, and joined the embryonic Resistance movement as a courier, smuggling messages and food to underground groups in Southern France. She bought an ambulance and used it to help refugees fleeing the German advance. Being the beautiful wife of a wealthy businessman, she had an ability to travel that few others could contemplate. She obtained false papers that allowed her to stay and work in the Vichy zone in occupied France, and became deeply involved in helping to spirit a thousand or more escaped prisoners of war and downed Allied fliers out of France through to Spain.
Nancy's French Identity Card
Her missions with the Resistance meant her life was in constant danger. She became a suspect and was watched. The Gestapo tapped her phone and opened her mail. She took many identities and was so good at evading the Gestapo they nicknamed her the "White Mouse". By 1943, Wake was No.1 on the Gestapo's most wanted list and there was a five million-franc price on her head. It was too risky for Wake to stay in France and the Resistance decided she should go back to Britain.
"Henri said 'You have to leave', and I remember going out the door saying I'd do some shopping, that I'd be back soon. And I left and I never saw him again."
Escape was not easy. She made six attempts to get out of France by crossing the Pyrenees into Spain. On one of these attempts she was captured by the French Milice (Vichy militia) in Toulouse and interrogated for four days. She held out, refusing to give the Milice any information, and with the help of the legendary 'Scarlet Pimpernel of WWII', Patrick O'Leary, tricked her captors into releasing her.
Finally, Wake got across the Pyrenees and from there to Britain. She was on safer ground, but had no news of her husband, who worked separately.
Back to the Fighting
Nancy Wake, then 31, became one of 39 women and 430 men in the French Section of the British Special Operations Executive which worked with local resistance groups to sabotage the Germans in the occupied territories. She was trained at a British Ministry of Defense camp in Scotland in survival skills, silent killing, codes and radio operation, night parachuting, plastic explosives, Sten guns, rifles, pistols and grenades. She and the other women recruited by the SOE were officially assigned to the First Aid Nursing Yeomantry and the true nature of their work remained a closely guarded secret until after the war.
Poster for the war office by Abram Games, "Your Talk May Kill Your Comrades", 1942.
In late April 1944, Nancy Wake and another SOE operative, Major John Farmer, were parachuted into the Auvergne region in central France with orders to locate and organise the bands of Maquis, establish ammunition and arms caches from the nightly parachute drops, and arrange wireless communication with England. Their mission was to organise the Resistance in preparation for the D-Day invasion. The Resistance movement's principal objective was to weaken the German army for a major attack by allied troops. Their targets were German installations, convoys and troops. When dropped over Auvergne Nancy's parachute became stuck in a tree. Her agent said he hoped all trees could bear such beautiful fruit. Nancy told him not to give her 'that French shit'.
There were 22,000 German troops in the area and initially 3-4,000 Maquis. Gaspard's recruitment work, with the help of Wake, bolstered the numbers to 7,000. Nancy led these men in guerrilla warfare, inflicting severe damage on German troops and facilities. She collected and distributed weapons and ensured that her radio operatives maintained contact with the SOE in Britain. (See discussion point from a reader regarding the accuracy of these figures).
On one occasion Nancy cycled 500 km through several German checkpoints to replace codes her wireless operator had been forced to destroy in a German raid. Without these there would be no fresh orders or drops of weapons and supplies. Of all the amazing things she did during the war, Nancy believes this marathon ride was the most useful. She covered the distance in 71 hours, cycling through countryside and mountains almost non-stop. Her focus was rock steady to the end of her epic journey, when she wept in pain and relief.
"I got back and they said, "how are you?" I cried. I couldn't stand up, I couldn't sit down. I couldn't do anything. I just cried."
Pitched Battle
It was an extremely tough assignment: a near-sleepless life on the move, often hiding in the forests, travelling from group to group to train Maquis, motivate, plan and co-ordinate. She organised parachute drops that occurred four times a week to replenish arms and ammunition. There were numerous violent engagements with the Germans. The countryside was wracked with hostage taking, executions, burnings and reprisals.
No sector gave the Reich more cause for fury than Nancy's – the Auvergne, the Fortress of France. Methodically the SS laid its plans and prepared to obliterate the group, whose stronghold was the plateau above Chaudes-Aiguwes. Troops were massed in towns all around the plateau, with artillery, mortars, aircraft and mobile guns. In June 1944 22,000 SS troops made their move on the 7,000 Maquis. Through bitter battle and then escape, Nancy and her army had cause to be satisfied: 1,400 German troops lay dead on the plateau, 100 of their own men.
Nancy continued her war: she personally led a raid on Gestapo headquarters in Montucon, and killed a sentry with her bare hands to keep him from alerting the guard during a raid on a German gun factory. She had to shoot her way out roadblocks; and execute a German female spy.
Victory and Sadness
On June 6, 1944, D-Day, allied troops began to force the German army out of France. On 25 August 1944, Paris was liberated and Wake led her troops into Vichy to celebrate. However her joy at the liberation of Paris was mixed with a tragedy she had secretly anticipated: in Vichy she learned that her beloved husband Henri was dead. A year after Nancy had left France in 1943, the Germans had captured Henri, tortured and executed him, because he refused to give them any information about the whereabouts of his wife.
Within a year Germany was defeated. 375 of the 469 SOE operatives in the French Section survived the war. Twelve of the 39 women operatives were killed by the Germans and three who returned had survived imprisonment and torture at Ravensbruck concentration camp. In all 600,000 French people were killed during World War II, 240,000 of them in prisons and concentration camps.
Post War
Nancy Wake continued to work with the SOE after the war, working at the British Air Ministry in the Intelligence Department. In 1960 she married a former prisoner of war, Englishman John Forward, and returned to Australia to live.
After the war her achievements were heralded by medals and awards: the George Medal from Britain for her leadership and bravery under fire, the Resistance Medal, Officer of the Legion d'Honneur and Croix de Guerre with two bronze palms and a silver star from France, and the Medal of Freedom from America.
However, for many years she was never awarded a medal by the Australian government. When the Australian Returned Services League recommended that Wake be awarded a medal, they were turned down. The Sydney Morning Herald (April 28th, 2000) surmised that she was turned down for a medal because she was born in New Zealand and was considered a New Zealand citizen. In 1994 she refused to donate her medals to the Museum of Australia and proclaimed to the New Zealand Press Association in Sydney (Evening Post, April 30, 1994)  that she was still a New Zealander and reminded the press that she had kept her New Zealand passport, despite her 80 year absence from the country.
In 2004 Nancy Wake was, at long last, awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia. In 2006 Nancy received the NZ Returned Services Association's highest honour, the RSA Badge in Gold, as well as life membership for her work with the French resistance during the war.
Recognition
Wake's dramatic life story and her feisty, courageous personality made her the ideal subject for documentaries and dramatisations. She tells her own story with interviews, reconstructions, stills and film footage in the video Nancy Wake – Code Name: The White Mouse.
In 1987 a television mini-series was made about her life. However the subject was marred by historical liberties that were taken with her life story, such as showing her having an affair while working for the Resistance in Auvergne:
"What do you think my bosses in England would have thought, all those thousands of pounds to train me and for me to go and have an affair. Really!
"The mini-series was well-acted but in parts it was extremely stupid. At one stage they had me cooking eggs and bacon to feed the men. For goodness sake did the Allies parachute me into France to fry eggs and bacon for the men? There wasn't an egg to be had for love nor money, and even if there had been why would I be frying it when I had men to do that sort of thing?"
Nancy Wake's comrade Henri Tardivat perhaps best characterised the guerrilla chieftain:
"She is the most feminine woman I know, until the fighting starts. Then, she is like five men."
On 6 December 2001, Nancy left her home in Port Macquarie, Australia for good to spend her final years in her cherished Europe.
"The people of Port Macquarie have been wonderful to me, as have most individual Australians I've met, but I just feel I would be better off in the UK or France where I could go to special occasions as a member of a services club."
After making the final move back to England, Wake become a resident at the Stafford Hotel which had been a British and American forces club during the war. The hotel's owners welcomed her warmly, absorbing most of the costs of her stay – helped occasionally by anonymous donations. Despite enjoying her residence at the hotel, Nancy Wake moved to the Star and Garter forces retirement home in 2003.
Nancy Wake passed away on 7 August 2011 at the retirement home where she had lived at the past eight years. Right up to her death, she remained assertive about what would happen to her body:
"I want to be cremated, and I want my ashes to be scattered over the mountains where I fought with the resistance. That will be good enough for me".
Picture of Nancy from the Channel 4 TV documentary series Behind Enemy Lines – The Real Charlotte Grays
Further Reference:
For the authoritative biography of Nancy Wake:
See the excellent biography of the 'White Mouse' by Australian journalist Peter Fitzsimons, Nancy Wake: A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine, published by Harper Collins, 2001.
http://www.harpercollins.com.au/
For pictures of Fitzsimons and Wake at the book launch:
http://www.harpercollins.com.au/news/nancywake.cfm
See also:
Braddon, Russell (1956), Nancy Wake. Cassell, London.
Weitz, Margaret Collins (1995). Sisters in the Resistance: How Woman Fought to Free France 1940-45. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
For newspaper reports of the medals controversy:
Fitzsimons, Peter (2000), "Unsung hero wants to die abroad", The Sydney Mroning Herald, April 25, http://www.smh.com.au/news/0004/25/text/pageone02.html
Coughlan, Kate. (1994), "Official snub prompts roar from angry White Mouse", The Evening Post, April 30, p.16.
Ansley, Greg. (1994), "White Mouse puts her medals up for sale", New Zealand Herald, April 14, Section 1 p. 9.
(1994), "Resistance medals up for sale", The Dominion, April 14, p.11.
Web References:
Page on Wake from the site for the Channel 4 television documentary series, Behind Enemy Lines – The Real Charlotte Grays.
http://www.channel4.co.uk/history/microsites/C/
charlotte_gray/real_nancy.html
Women Warriors in the 20th Century
http://www.gendergap.com/military/Warriors-2.htm
Wake entry on UK educational website, Spartacus Educational
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEwake.htm
Video:
Distributor Discovery Video, PO Box 550 Malvern, Victoria 3144, Australia Tel 61-3-563 9344, Fax 61-3-563 9885. 58 min.
Director Neil Brown. Copyright White Mouse Productions 1987
Time Magazine article on Wake:
http://www.time.com/time/pacific/magazine/
20010625/pacific.html
"Wartime Heroes":
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/intl/article/
0,9171,1107991025-33742,00.html
Official site to the Warner Bros movie Charlotte Gray (directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Cate Blanchett), with a reference to Nancy and NZEDGE in a section entitled 'The Real Charlotte Grays':
http://charlottegraymovie.warnerbros.com/cmp/outside.html
Video:
WAKE – CODE NAME: THE WHITE MOUSE
Summary: At the age of 20, Nancy Wake left Australia to travel and settle in pre-World War II France as a journalist. Outraged at the occupying Germans' behaviour, she helped to defeat the aggressors by assisting Allied soldiers to escape. With stills and footage, septuagenarian Wake reconstructs her involvement with the French Resistance.


Sent from Tamara's iUniverse 
 
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 08/31/2017 ALGERIA - SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 2 POLICEMEN IN TIARET REGION (AUG 31/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A suicide bomber has killed two police officers in northern Algeria, reports Agence France-Presse, citing state media.   The attacker attempted to enter the police headquarters Thursday in the Tiaret region, about 220 miles southwest of Algiers, reported the official APS news agency.   One officer died after throwing himself on the assailant, who blew himself up, said officials. The other officer died of his wounds later, said the general directorate of national security.   This was the second attack this year targeting police in Algeria. One in February foiled by officers was claimed by the Islamic State.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/31/2017 CANADA - ISIS EXFILTRATION THROUGH JORDANIAN, LEBANESE BORDERS SEEN AS CONCERN; CANADIANS ASSIST FIGHT (AUG 31/CP)  CANADIAN PRESS -- An undisclosed number of Canadian soldiers are in Jordan and Lebanon to assist those countries to secure their borders, reports the Canadian Press.   The Canadians are not working on the borders, according to military officials, who declined to reveal the number of troops and where they are located.   Jordan's King Abdullah mentioned the effort Tuesday in Ottawa during a press conference.   Officials say the goal is to prevent Islamic State fighters from escaping from Iraq and Syria to conduct attacks in Europe and North America.   Assistance has reportedly included equipment for both militaries, such as trucks, cold-weather gear and barbed wire.   Canadians have also been training local forces in more advanced combat skills, such as calling in airstrikes, the officials said
Item Number:3 Date: 08/31/2017 CHINA - FOLLOWING BORDER STANDOFF WITH INDIA, DEFENSE MINISTRY VOWS MORE ROBUST PATROLS (AUG 31/REU)  REUTERS -- The Chinese Defense Ministry said on Thursday that it will strengthen patrols along a disputed border with India, reports Reuters. The ministry also said it would "adjust" the deployments.   Earlier this week, Indian and Chinese troops ended a two-month standoff at the Doklam plateau, an area near the borders of India, China and Bhutan.   "The Chinese military will continue to carry out its mission and responsibilities, strengthen its patrols and garrisons in the Donglang area and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security," said a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman on Thursday, using the Chinese name for the area.   Neither India nor China has revealed the specific terms of disengagement. Both claimed victory.  
 Item Number:4 Date: 08/31/2017 FRANCE - BIG 4 CONTINENTAL LEADERS, ALONG WITH CHAD, NIGER, LIBYA, TACKLE MIGRANT CRISIS (AUG 31/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Several African and European leaders have been meeting in Paris to discuss ways to limit illegal migration into Europe from northern Africa, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The political leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed on Monday to help Chad and Niger with border control to reduce the stream of migrants through Libya and across the Mediterranean.   The European Union has struggled to develop a coherent solution for the migrants fleeing war, poverty and political strife in Africa and the Middle East.   Already this year, more than 2,400 migrants have died trying to cross the Med, reported the New York Times.   The leaders agreed to a "short-term plan of action" that would focus on human-traffickers, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who hosted the meeting.   The talks provided a chance for the European powers to coordinate their Libyan policy. France and Italy have begun separate initiatives promoting political unity in Libya.   During the mini-summit, Macron called on the E.U. to provide another 60 million euros (US$72 million) to help African countries deal with asylum-seekers who have returned from Europe and to prevent further migration.   Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of Libya's U.N.-backed government, asked for more help to combat trafficking and monitor his country's southern border
Item Number:5 Date: 08/31/2017 GERMANY - BRITISH BOMB FROM WWII FOUND; 70,000 TO BE EVACUATED IN FRANKFURT FOR DISPOSAL (AUG 31/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- Around 70,000 Germans are expected to be evacuated this weekend from Frankfurt so authorities can defuse a World War II-era bomb found at a construction site, reports the Local (Germany).   The unexploded British "blockbuster" was found Tuesday in the Westend district. The bomb weighs 1.98 tons and is around six feet in length, noted AFP.   The bomb is a HC 4000, a high-capacity bomb used by the British in air raids, said police on Wednesday.   Because of the bomb's size, around 10 percent of the city's 717,000 population will be evacuated, police said.   The disposal will be the largest of its kind in Germany. The largest previously was last year, when 54,000 people were evacuated from the southern city of Augsburg
  Item Number:6 Date: 08/31/2017 IRAQ - PESHMERGA FIGHTERS COMPLAIN OF NEGLIGENCE (AUG 31/AL-MON)  AL-MONITOR -- Kurdish peshmerga fighters around Kirkuk in northern Iraq say political rivalries between their commanders in the Peshmerga Ministry and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have stranded them in the fight against the Islamic State, reports Al-Monitor, a Washington, D.C.-based web publication.   "Peshmerga officials have abandoned us to our own fate. We are dying needlessly," said one fighter, identified only as Capt. Ahmad. The captain said he has been a member of the peshmerga for more than two decades.   One intelligence officer says he has been warning his superiors of Kurdish vulnerabilities in the region. He has sought infrared cameras to help monitor ISIS militants south of Kirkuk. Such cameras have been provided to Shi'ite militias.   Unmanned aircraft are also needed to monitor the hilly terrain, he said.   The peshmerga have been a key part of the international coalition fighting ISIS. More than 1,700 have been killed and more than 10,000 injured over the last three years, say officials.   Several officers said that had the Peshmerga Ministry paid heed to their warnings, at least 20 of their fighters would still be alive.   Germany, the U.K. and U.S. have been working to revamp the ministry and reduce the corruption that has hindered its operations, reported Rudaw (Kurdistan
  Item Number:7 Date: 08/31/2017 IRAQ - PRIME MINISTER DECLARES VICTORY IN TAL AFAR (AUG 31/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared victory over the Islamic State in the strategic city of Tal Afar, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Iraqi government forces began an operation on Aug. 20 to take back Tal Afar, which is located about 43 miles west of Mosul.   ISIS captured the northwestern city on June 16, 2014, noted CNN.   Abadi announced on Thursday that the city and all of Nineveh province had been "liberated" from the terrorist group.   "We say to the Islamic State fighters: wherever you are, we are coming for you and you have no choice but to surrender or die," he said.   On Wednesday, government forces encountered heavy resistance at Al Ayadiya, northwest of Tal Afar, where ISIS fighters had fled. Pro-government Shi'ite militias announced that night that the village had been liberated
Item Number:8 Date: 08/31/2017 ISRAEL - LIVE DEMO OF KAMIKAZE UAV, ALLEGEDLY AGAINST ARMENIANS, LEADS TO HALT IN EXPORT LICENSE TO AZERIS (AUG 31/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli Defense Ministry has suspended the export license authorizing domestic firm Aeronautics Defense Systems to sell unmanned aircraft to Azerbaijan, reports the Times of Israel.   A recent published report alleged that the company attempted to attack the Armenian military on the behalf of Azerbaijan during a demonstration last month.   "The Defense Ministry's Defense Export Controls Agency informed the company that it was suspending the marketing and export permit for the company's Orbiter 1K model UAV to a significant customer," Aeronautics said in its report to the Israeli stock exchange, which is required by law.   The company said it was set to finalize a US$20 million deal over the next two days with the "significant customer." While not named, it was clear by context that Azerbaijan was the customer.   Earlier this month, a complaint was filed against Aeronautics with the Defense Export Controls Agency that accused the company of conducting a live-fire test of its Orbiter 1K air vehicle against Armenian forces at the behest of the Azerbaijani military.   Armenian army officials said two soldiers were injured in the attack on July 7.   A report leaked to the Maariv newspaper indicated that an Aeronautics team was sent to Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, to show off the Orbiter 1K, which can be armed with a small warhead for "suicide" missions against enemy targets.   During the course of the demonstration, the team was asked to conduct a live-fire test against an Armenian position, according to the complaint.   The two Israelis operating the Orbiter system refused. Two higher-ranking members then attempted to conduct the demonstration, but missed the targets, the newspaper said
Item Number:9 Date: 08/31/2017 LEBANON - U.N. RENEWS UNIFIL PEACEKEEPING MISSION WITH COMPROMISE LANGUAGE (AUG 31/F24)  FRANCE 24 -- The United Nations Security Council has renewed its peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for another year – though without the change pushed by the United States and Israel, reports France24.   The vote on Wednesday took place a day before the mission's mandate was set to expire.   Both Israel and the U.S. pressed for improvements to control the spread of illegal arms in the area, which is dominated by Hezbollah.   France and other Security Council members objected to changes in the mandate, saying that would infringe on Lebanon's sovereignty. Lebanon sought no changes.   Under compromise language in the reauthorization, UNIFIL peacekeepers will play a greater role in helping Lebanon's military secure the border area, reported the New York Times. .   UNIFIL was first launched in 1978. It was expanded after 2006 to allow peacekeepers to deploy along the border to make sure the region is "free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons" other than those belonging to the Lebanese government.   The U.S., during debate, said the UNIFIL commander had been "blind" to the flow of weapons to Iran-backed Hezbollah
Item Number:10 Date: 08/31/2017 NIGERIA - MILITARY TAKES OUT 5 BOKO HARAM COMMANDERS IN BORNO STATE (AUG 31/NAIJ)  NAIJ -- The Nigerian military says it has killed five top Boko Haram commanders in the country's northeast, reports Naij (Nigeria).   The army and air force conducted a joint operation on Wednesday in Borno state, said a military spokesman cited by the Anadolu Agency.   Nigeria's Naij news website reported that both artillery and airstrikes on registered targets killed five commanders identified as Abu Dujana, Man Tahiru, Man Chari, Malam Abdullahi Abu Sa'ad and Goni Bamanga.   Other Boko Haram fighters were also killed. More details were expected to be released later, a military spokesman said
Item Number:11 Date: 08/31/2017 PAKISTAN - RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS DELIVERS 4 MI-35M ATTACK HELICOPTERS TO ARMY (AUG 31/DPAK)  DAILY PAKISTAN -- The Pakistani army has taken delivery of four Russian-made Mi-35M attack helicopters, reports the Daily Pakistan.   Officials from Pakistan's Defense Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) confirmed the delivery during last week's Army 2017 exhibition near Moscow.   Islamabad finalized a US$153 million deal with Russian Helicopters in June 2016 for the four Mi-35Ms, training, spare parts and ground support equipment, noted the Quwa defense news and analysis group.   The helicopters are needed to improve the army's close-air support capabilities for counterinsurgency and anti-tank missions, said officials
  Item Number:12 Date: 08/31/2017 SOUTH KOREA - U.S. JETS, STRATEGIC BOMBERS, ALONG WITH S. KOREAN F-15S, CONDUCT BOMBING DRILLS; SHOW OF FORCE AIMED AT N. KOREA (AUG 31/YON)  YONHAP -- The U.S. has flown stealth fighters and strategic bombers over the Korean Peninsula, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Four F-35B stealth jets from Iwakuni U.S. Marine Corp Air Station in Japan and two B-1B bombers from Guam flew toward the peninsula for drills with Japan and South Korea.   The U.S. aircraft conducted an air exercise with two Japanese F-15 fighter jets over the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, reported Reuters.   They proceeded over the Korean peninsula and conducted air-to-ground precision-strike drills with South Korean F-15Ks in the eastern mountainous province of Gangwon, said South Korea's air force. CNN called it a mock bombing drill.   A KC-135 Stratotanker was used to refuel the aircraft, said a defense source.   The mission was a direct response to North Korea's latest missile launch on Tuesday, said U.S. defense officials. Pyongyang hates such displays close to its territory
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/31/2017 SYRIA - ISIS FIGHTERS BEING EVACUATED FROM LEBANON BORDER BLOCKED BY U.S. AIRSTRIKES ON ROAD (AUG 31/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- The U.S.-led coalition has blocked a convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families who were evacuating from the border with Lebanon as part of a deal with the Syrian government, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar), citing coalition officials.   The New York Times noted that the American airstrikes on Wednesday left the ISIS convoy stranded.   The Syrian army and Hezbollah launched an offensive earlier this month to oust ISIS from their enclave in the Qalamoun region. Lebanese forces conducted a separate operation on the other side.   The terrorists agreed over the weekend to evacuate their territory and travel to ISIS-controlled areas along the eastern border with Iraq. About 600 fighters and presumed family members began evacuating on buses on Monday. The agreement also called for the bodies of eight Lebanese soldiers to be returned.   Hezbollah leader Nasrallah said Monday that the evacuees included 26 wounded fighters, 308 armed fighters and 331 civilians (assumed to be relatives of the militants).   On Wednesday, the U.S.-led coalition cratered a road and destroyed a small bridge east of Humeima in southeastern Syria, said a coalition spokesman. The jets also bombed ISIS vehicles heading to meet the convoy from the Syrian town of Albukamal.   "Relocating terrorists from one place to another for someone else to deal with is not a lasting solution," the spokesman said. The convoy itself was not struck to avoid harming civilians, he said.   This left the convoy in government-controlled territory.   On Thursday, a pro-government commander said that the buses would travel north to government-held Sukhna before crossing toward Deir Ezzor province, reported Reuters
Item Number:14 Date: 08/31/2017 TURKEY - ROADSIDE BOMB ATTACK IN IZMIR PROVINCE INJURES 8 (AUG 31/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- A bomb attack in western Izmir province has wounded eight people, reports the Daily Sabah (Turkey), citing local officials.   A bomb placed inside a garbage contained exploded early Thursday in Buca district while a shuttle bus carrying prison guards passed, said the district mayor.   Police are investigating the blast as a possible terrorist attack, the mayor said.   There was no immediate claims of responsibility.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 08/31/2017 UNITED NATIONS - SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS N. KOREA'S MISSILE LAUNCH 'OUTRAGEOUS' (AUG 31/NAR)  NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW -- Reports earlier this week suggested that the U.S. and Japan were going to call for an international embargo on oil exports to North Korea in response to North Korea's ballistic missile launch on Tuesday, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.   The paper said they would propose the move Tuesday at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The meeting was requested by Japan, South Korea and the U.S.   The North Korean test involved a missile being launched over northern Japan.   Imposing an oil embargo would need support from permanent Security Council members China and Russia, a difficult task.   Later on Tuesday, it was reported that the U.S. had no plans to call for an oil embargo, said an unnamed U.S. official cited by Reuters.   The Council then condemned Pyongyang's actions, calling it "outrageous," as noted by CBS News.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/31/2017 USA - 600 AMERICAN SOLDIERS JOINT BALTIC TROOPS FOR BAYONET SHIELD EXERCISE (AUG 31/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- Hundreds of American troops, along with air and ground forces from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are about to launch a regional force posturing deployment exercise, reports the Army News Service.   About 600 soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, will take part in Bayonet Shield, which begins Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 7 at multiple locations in the Baltic region.   The exercise consists of a series of troop-level live-fire training events and exercises with allied forces to improve unit proficiency and preparedness, said an Army release on Wednesday.   Bayonet Shield will be led by the mission command element for Operation Atlantic Resolve, the division-level tactical headquarters for the U.S. effort to reassure allies in Europe.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 08/31/2017 USA - ARMY ORDERS MORE THAN 11,000 HUMVEES; DEAL WORTH $2.2 BILLION (AUG 31/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army has awarded AM General, South Bend, Ind., a contract for the production of thousands of high-mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs), reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $2.2 billion deal covers up to 11,560 HMMWV expanded capacity vehicles, associated optical equipment and spare parts for Foreign Military Sales customers around the world.   The first order under the contract is for Afghanistan, said a Pentagon release on Tuesday.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by Feb. 28, 2023
Item Number:18 Date: 08/31/2017 USA - AUTONOMOUS COMBAT VEHICLES STRUT THEIR STUFF AT FORT BENNING (AUG 31/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army recently displayed several autonomous military vehicles the service has developed at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., reports the Army Times.   The demonstration on Aug. 22 included an autonomous Polaris MRZR military all-terrain vehicle with a tethered drone; an automated M113 armored personnel carrier; and a self-driving Humvee with an automated machine gun.   "Using vehicles in this way increases options for commanders and enhances soldier and unit effectiveness during high-risk operations such as breaching, obscuration, sustainment and reconnaissance and security against an evolving enemy in complex environments," said an Army release earlier this week.   The event followed three years of development by the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center; Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Office of Naval Research.   The objective was to show how repurposed military vehicles could be used for new roles, said program officials.   Used properly, such autonomous vehicles could help reduce the burden on deployed troops and reduce battlefield risks
    Item Number:20 Date: 08/31/2017 USA - IN REVERSAL FROM OBAMA POLICY, DOD DISCLOSES TRUE NUMBERS OF TROOPS (AUG 31/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The Pentagon has disclosed that there are more U.S. troops in Afghanistan than previously reported, reports the New York Times.   The U.S. has about 11,000 troops in Afghanistan, the DoD said on Wednesday. That total includes regular forces as well as temporary and covert units.   Under the Obama administration, the Pentagon would only acknowledge about 8,400 troops taking part in NATO's Resolute Support mission. About 2,000 help local forces conduct counterterrorism missions were unacknowledged.   The previous administration's policy also forced commanders to deploy incomplete units to remain under the force management level cap, noted the Daily Caller.   This week's announcement was aimed at clarifying "a very confusing set of reporting rules that has the unintended consequence of forcing commanders to make readiness trade-offs," said Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the director of the staff of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.   "We owe the American people as much transparency as possible while still protecting sensitive information," said a Pentagon spokesman.   The Pentagon has been considering sending up to 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan to help the fight against the Taliban. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has indicated that he needs to know the actual numbers there before that decision.
 
 

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