Thursday, September 21, 2017

TheList 4550

he List 4549
To All
Happy Wednesday. A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day in Naval History September 20
1911 - Navigational instruments first requested for naval aircraft.
1943: USS S-28 (SS 133) sinks Japanese gunboat No. 2 Katsura Maru, 165 miles southwest of Paramushir, Kuril Islands.
1951 - In Operation Summit, the first combat helicopter landing in history, U.S. Marines were landed in Korea.
1981 - Philippine Navy frigate, Datu Kalantia, previously, USS Booth (DE 170), is forced aground by Typhoon Clara while at anchor near Clayan Island, 340 miles north of Manila. USS Mount Hood (AE 29), with a special medical team embarks and joins in on rescue operations on Sept. 21. Only 18 members of the crew survive.
On this day in history (September 20, 2006):
1921:  KDKA (1020 AM) in Pittsburgh, PA, started a daily radio newscast. It was one of the first in the U.S.
1995: The U.S. House of Representatives voted to drop the national speed limit. This allowed the states to decide their own speed limits.
And today is:
National Rum Punch Day
This Week in American Military History: From the Navy's first ace to a 'Barren Victory'
by W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Sept. 19, 1777:  Battle of Freeman's Farm — first engagement in the Battle of Saratoga (during the American Revolution) — opens between Continental forces under the command of Gen. Horatio Gates and British forces under Gen. John "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne. Brits carry the day, but suffer heavy losses. Continentals will ultimately win Saratoga.
Sept. 20, 1797: The Continental Navy frigate Constitution is launched in Boston harbor.
Today USS Constitution – known affectionately as "Old Ironsides" -- is the "oldest ship in the American Navy," and continues serving in the 21st century as a duly commissioned ship crewed by active-duty U.S. sailors and Naval officers in order to further public awareness of American Naval tradition.
Sept. 20, 1863: Confederate forces under the command of Gen. Braxton Bragg (yes, Fort Bragg, N.C. is named in his honor) prevail against Union forces under Maj. Gen. William, though Bragg's casualties are far higher than those of Rosecrans.
Confederate Gen. D. H. Hill will say: "It seems to me that the elan of the Southern soldier was never seen after Chickamauga; the brilliant dash which had distinguished him was gone forever. He fought stoutly to the last, but after Chickamauga, with the sullenness of despair, and without the enthusiasm of hope. That 'barren victory' sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy."
Sept. 23, 1779: The famous battle of the North Sea opens between Continental Navy frigate Bonhomme Richard under the command of Capt. John Paul Jones, and Royal Navy frigate HMS Serapis.
During the height of the fighting, Serapis' Captain Richard Pearson issues an appeal to Jones that the American ship surrender. Jones refuses.
According to the story, the British captain – aware that Bonhomme Richard is badly damaged and sinking – shouts across the water between the two dueling ships, inquiring as to whether or not Jones has lowered or struck his colors. Jones shouts back, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
It has since been widely reported that Jones reply was, "I may sink, but I'll be damned if I strike!"
In fact, Bonhomme Richard does sink: But not before Pearson himself surrenders (believed to be "the first time in naval history that colors are surrendered to a sinking ship"), and Jones transfers his flag to his newly captured prize, Serapis.
Bonhomme Richard (the first of five American warships named after Benjamin Franklin's pen name) is the former French frigate, Duc de Duras.
Jones is destined to become "the Father of the American Navy," though – in some circles – it is argued that title belongs to Commodore John Barry.
Sept. 24, 1918:  U.S. Navy Ensign (future rear admiral) David S. Ingalls – on loan to the Royal Air Force and flying an RAF Sopwith Camel – shoots down enemy aircraft number five, becoming the first ace in U.S. Naval Aviation history, and the Navy's only ace of World War I.
Sept. 24, 1960:  Forty-two years to the day after Ensign Ingalls scores his fifth kill, Naval Aviation history is again made with the launching of America's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (the eighth of eight so-named American Navy ships since 1775).
Sept. 25, 1957: U.S. Army paratroopers – members of the 101st Airborne Division – escort nine black students into Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas, ending segregation there.
Sept. 26, 1918: Though technically launched at 11:30 p.m., Sept. 25, with an intense artillery barrage; the Meuse-Argonne Offensive – the six-week long "greatest battle of World War I in which the Americans participated" – officially begins just before dawn when whistles are blown along the American trench-lines, and with fixed-bayonets, American soldiers clamber over the top and begin their assault against the German lines.
The battle, which begins with approximately 600,000 American soldiers and Marines, will see U.S. ranks swell to more one million men. An estimated 26,000-plus Americans will be killed, another 96,000 wounded. But the campaign will end the war.
It will be during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that Private First Class (future Sgt.) Alvin C. York, a Tennessee backwoodsman and former conscientious objector, will find himself in the action for which he will receive Medal of Honor.
2016 Today in History September 20
480 BC
Themistocles and his Greek fleet win one of history's first decisive naval victories over Xerxes' Persian force off Salamis.
The election of Robert of Geneva as anti-pope by discontented cardinals creates a great schism in the Catholic church.
Ferdinand Magellan embarks from Spain on a voyage to circumnavigate the world.
Queen Elizabeth of England signs a treaty at Hampton Court with French Huguenot leader Louis de Bourbon, the Prince of Conde. The English will occupy Le Havre in return for aiding Bourbon against the Catholics of France.
Pedro Menendez of Spain wipes out the French at Fort Caroline, in Florida.
After a two-year siege, the Spanish retake Ostend, the Netherlands, from the Dutch.
Packet and Daily, the first daily publication in America, appears on the streets.
Explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark pass the French village of La Charette, the first white settlement they have seen in more than two years.
The National Negro Convention convenes in Philadelphia with the purpose of abolishing slavery.
The slave trade is abolished in the District of Columbia.
The Allies defeat the Russians at the Battle of Alma on the Crimean Peninsula.
Union troops under George Thomas prevent the Union defeat at Chickamauga from becoming a rout, earning him the nickname "the Rock of Chickamauga."
Bruno Hauptmann arrested for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.
Scientists confirm that DNA holds hereditary data.
Hurricane Irene becomes the first hurricane known to cross from the Atlantic to Pacific, where it is renamed Hurricane Olivia.
In a pro tennis bout dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes," Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs at the Houston Astrodome in Texas.
Socialist Republic of Vietnam admitted to the United Nations.
Suicide car bomber attacks US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 22.
Australia introduces a capital gains tax.
South Ossetia declares its independence from George in the former Soviet Union.
British MI6 Secret intelligence Service building in London attacked by unidentified group using RPG-22 anti-tank missile.
US Pres. George W. Bush, addressing a joint session of Congress, declares a "war on terror.".
A truck loaded with explosives detonates by Marriott hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing 45 and injuring 226.
US military ends its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allows gay men and women to serve openly.
Thanks to the Old Bandit…very old
The Warthog at work.
Speakers up.
"There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war." --George Washington (1793)
Thanks to Carl. After taking care of my parents and my elderly next door neighbors for the last 10 years I am amazed at the amount of meds that the various doctors prescribe. in a couple cases the meds combined to cause major problems to a couple of them.
Physicians Find Americans Taking Too Much Medication
September 20, 2017 
Story at-a-glance 
Most physicians in the U.S. believe overtreatment is harmful, wasteful and common, costing Americans both financially and very real physical health damage from unintended side effects
Improvements in imaging and testing have led to an increase in the number of people diagnosed with diseases, but not necessarily a reduction in the number who die from the condition
Seek out a physician who prescribes medications conservatively to reduce your risks while improving your nutritional, exercise and movement lifestyle choices
Thanks to Bill
Before You Spend $2 Billion on Your Own Submarine, Read This - Bloomberg
Thanks to Tom
Charlie Reese's Final Column...
A very interesting column. COMPLETELY NEUTRAL
Be sure to Read the Poem at the end.
Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel...
He has been a journalist for 49 years.
He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.
Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.
This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican nor democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day.
It's a relatively short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!
545 vs. 300,000,000 People- by Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.
The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.
The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes.
Who is the speaker of the House now? He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ... If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses, provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...
What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'
Thanks to Carl
(Very educational article about hybrid and electric cars!  Surprising info about the Volt, but it is still made by "Government Motors"!)
The One Electric Car That Makes Some Sense . . .
It's interesting about the Chevy Volt.
Uniquely, it carries around its own recharger – so it's not tied to a corded umbilical like other electric cars. So it isn't gimped by a much-abbreviated radius of action, like all other electric cars – the best of which can travel maybe 150 or so miles before their batteries conk out and the car must hook up to an electric IV for an extended recharging session.
When the Volt's battery pack's charge runs down, fresh current is fed into it as you drive – without having to stop driving.
This is superficially similar to the way a hybrid works but also very different.
Unlike hybrids, the Volt is a true electric car. A motor and batteries provide the primary motive power – what makes it go – as opposed to back-uppower. There is a small (1.5 liter) gas engine, but it serves almost exclusively as a generator. It comes on as needed to make electricity for the batteries, not torque and horsepower to turn the wheels. In the Volt, electric motors do that.
All the time.
The Volt's electric motors always propel the car.
In a hybrid, the electric motor and batteries take over when the vehicle isn't moving – or moving at low speed. Most can only creep along for a couple of miles – and no faster than about 30 MPH – before the gas engine cuts in and takes over to propel the car, just like any other car.   
The main source of movement in a hybrid car is the gas engine.
A few (the plug-ins, which have more powerful battery packs) can travel for about 10-15 miles and at higher road speeds on battery power alone, but revert to internal combustion for propulsion when the charge depletes. Also, anything less than than eggshell-pressure on the throttle causes the hybrid car's gas engine to kick on – because the battery pack/motors are too weak to provide adequate acceleration by themselves.
Which makes it difficult to avoid regularly using the gas engine, in other words.
As a result, hybrids use a fair amount of gas. The best of them – the plug-in version of the current (2018) Toyota Prius average in the mid-50s. Most of the others are in the low 40s, high 30s. This is good but not nearly as good as the Volt – which uses so little fuel that owners have to worry about the gas in the tank going stale.
The Chevy can travel 50 miles on electricity only – and without driving it like there's a Faberge egg under the accelerator pedal. The motors/batteries are designed to be powerful enough to accelerate the car adequately without assistance. And if your trip is less than 50 miles, you can plug the thing in when you get there and burn no gas at all on the return trip.
Owners may go a month or more in between fill-ups. Some go months, plural.
No other hybrid can match this fuel sippyness.
And no electric car can match the Volt's practicality.
Because it doesn't have to be plugged in to keep on going. If you need to go farther than 50 miles, just keep on going. The onboard generator will generate electricity and keep the electric motors turning the wheels. With its nine gallon tank topped off, the Volt can travel more than 400 miles before it stops for a refill – and that takes less than 5 minutes – as opposed to a 30-45 minute recharge for the conventional electric car, which cannot recharge itself.
No performance anxiety. No range anxiety. The Volt is economical and practical. At least, vs. any electric car you can buy right now.
Which is probably why it isn't touted as The Future of Transportation while highly impractical, uneconomic electric cars like the Tesla are embarrassingly slobbered over by the largely mechanically and otherwise illiterate car press and force-fed onto the market via "sales" (really, give-them-away) quotas each manufacturer must genuflect before if they wish to sell any cars at all in states like California (a huge market).
It is very odd . . . if the reason for the electric car push is truly green rather than red.
The Volt's emissions of objectionable combustion byproducts – unburned hydrocarbons, stuff like that – are slim to nil because its combustion engine is both small and very clean-running but also because it doesn't run most of the time.
If objective threats to planetary or human health are really the criteria, then the Volt passes with the equivalent of a 1600 SAT score – or within the margin of error, at least.
Certainly, its total emissions are very close to the total emissions produced by any electric car, if one factors in the elsewhere emissions that are generated at the utility plants which produce the electricity for them on an industrial scale (as opposed to using a small-scale onboard generator as the Volt does, which is usually not even running – unlike an industrial-scale utility plant).
The Volt does not require billions in new infrastructure "investment" to make it viable as a car for real people who really need to get places without having to stop every 150 miles or so for a 30-45 minute recharge.
It works, it makes sense.
Aye, but there's the rub.
The Volt has been shunted aside in favor of electric cars that don't work or make sense; often both things. There is no reason for this  . . . if the stated reasons are the real reasons.
But what if the real reason is simply to ban internal combustion, no matter how efficient, practical or clean? To use the pretext of "green" in order to erect a red regime? One in which personal cars are all-electric and very expensive and very impractical and so very few persons can actually afford to own one?
Then it all begins to make sense.
Just a different kind of sense.
Item Number:1 Date: 09/20/2017 CANADA - RCAF PILOTS BEGIN CONVERTING FROM SEA KING TO CYCLONE HELICOPTERS (SEP 20/RCAF)  ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE -- The Royal Canadian Air Force recently started its initial round of aircrew conversion training at 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, in preparation for operational deployment of the long-awaited CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, reports the service.   The round began on Sept. 11. Over the next 90 days, personnel on pilot conversion training courses 1 and 2, consisting primarily of those with experience on the CH-124 Sea King, will learn new aircraft systems and tactics.   The pilots will form the first operational Cyclone air detachments, which are expected to be ready to deploy aboard naval vessels starting in the summer of 2018, said an RCAF release on Monday.   The 406 Squadron is responsible for all Cyclone aircrew and technician conversion training programs
Item Number:2 Date: 09/20/2017 CYPRUS - NEW OFFSHORE PATROL VESSEL LAUNCHED FOR CYPRIOT NAVY IN ISRAEL (SEP 20/ISSHIP)  ISRAEL SHIPYARDS -- Israel Shipyards in Haifa has announced the launch of a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) for the Cypriot navy.   The vessel, based on the Israeli Saar 4 and Saar 4.5 designs, was put into the water in Haifa Bay last week, the yard said.   The unnamed ship was ordered in December 2015 and will be delivered in late 2017, according to a release on Monday. The project is said to be worth tens of millions of dollars.   The vessel will be used to protect the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.   The OPV displaces 430 tons, measures 203 feet (62 m) long and has a top speed of 32 knots. It carries up to 30 sailors plus a special operations unit.   The ship is equipped with two Rafael Typhoon weapon stations, advanced radar, electro-optical sensors, communication systems and command-and-control systems, said Israel Shipyards
Item Number:3 Date: 09/20/2017 CZECH REPUBLIC - MILITARY MODERNIZATION PROGRAM TAKES ANOTHER STEP (SEP 20/CTK)  CZECH NEWS AGENCY -- The Czech Cabinet has been discussing the military's US$5.4 billion modernization plan, which is estimated to run until 2025 or 2026, reports the Czech News Agency.   The document has already been approved by the National Security Council.   "I expect the Cabinet to approve it [on Monday]," Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said on Saturday. "This will probably be for the first time that a clear and complex system of military investments will be approved and based on a financial sum earmarked for it," he said.   The modernization plan is part of Prague's effort to reach the NATO guidelines of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense, said the defense minister.   Planned upgrades include replacing the army's Soviet-era BVP-2 infantry combat vehicles with at least 210 new vehicles in a program worth US$2.3 billion.   A final decision on the vehicle will have to wait until after elections in October, said Stropnicky
Item Number:4 Date: 09/20/2017 IRAQ - BATTLE BEGINS AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE STRONGHOLD IN WEST ANBAR PROVINCE (SEP 20/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- Iraqi military forces have begun an offensive against Islamic State strongholds in western Anbar province, reports the Washington Post.   The assault began Tuesday near the town of Ana, located on the Euphrates River about 60 miles of the Syrian border.   The effort includes army units, police and tribal fighters, backed by U.S. airstrikes and advisers, said the Iraqi military. Elite counterterrorism forces were expected to join the fight as it moved west.   Progress was initially slowed by dozens of booby traps, said a military source cited by the BBC.   The next target is Rawa, about 7.5 miles to the north, and then Al-Qaim, the last town before the border with Syria, said the source.   Up to 10,000 militants are in the area, moving between Anbar province and the neighboring Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, according to U.S. intelligence officials.   Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, is thought to be hiding in the region
Item Number:5 Date: 09/20/2017 LIBYA - CRISIS TEAM SEEKING TO VERIFY FATE OF OIL WORKERS ABDUCTED IN 2015 (SEP 20/REU)  REUTERS -- The Austrian government says it has some indications that nine foreign oil workers who were kidnapped by Islamists in Libya in 2015 were killed that year, reports Reuters.   Four Filipinos, two Bangladeshis, one Austrian, one Czech and one Ghanaian were abducted by the terrorists at the al-Ghani oilfield in March 2015. They worked for equipment firm VAOS, which specializes in Libya and has offices in Austria and Malta.   At the time, militants from Libya's ISIS affiliate beheaded eight Libyan guards and abducted the nine foreigners, as was widely reported.   On Wednesday, an Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that a crisis team was trying to verify information from an Islamist website that suggested that all or some of the hostages were killed in 2015.   The Derna Mujahideen Shura Council, a group based in the eastern Libyan city of Derna, said earlier this week that it had recovered the bodies of five workers in May 2015 and handed them over to Libya's Red Crescent.   The group said it later found a laptop with a photo of the employees and a video showing the killing of the four Filipino workers. The bodies were buried in marked graves, said the council.   "Even if it turns out that the evidence is correct it will be extremely difficult to retrieve bodies from the area where fighting continues," said the spokesman
  Item Number:6 Date: 09/20/2017 MALI - AQIM IS NOT ONLY PROBLEM FACING U.S. SPECIAL OPERATORS IN MALI (SEP 20/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- A number of American special operations personnel find themselves in a complex environment in Mali, where violence has been increasing and weapons from Libya abound, reports the Military Times.   The Americans are operating at the request of the Malian government. They are dealing with extremist groups, terrorist organizations and sophisticated arms.   The special operators are coordinating and sharing information "with international counterparts as they continue to counter Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to bring stability to the region," said a spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command.   AQIM is believed to have at least 1,000 fighters and conducts nearly daily attacks, including ambushes, mortar, rocket and improvised explosive device attacks, say officials.   The group is also interlaced with other Al-Qaida and terrorist organizations.   U.S. efforts are focused on assisting international operations in Mali, particularly that of France. The object is degrading "the capabilities of violent extremist organizations in Mali to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle and defeat their networks," the spokeswoman said.   Mali also faces classical insurgent groups, some of which have been strengthened by weapons that were previously held by the Qaddafi regime in Libya.   This year is on track to be the most violent in Mali for more than a decade, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED). More than 750 have been killed in the conflict to date, compared to around 850 in all of 2016
Item Number:7 Date: 09/20/2017 NIGERIA - FIGHTER JETS ESCALATE OPERATION IN SOUTHEAST (SEP 20/PUNCH)  PUNCH -- The Nigerian air force says it has deployed warplanes to support the army against secessionists in the country's southeast, reports Punch (Nigeria).   The army began operating in the area formerly known as Biafra this month as part of an effort targeting crime, kidnapping and secessionist, reported Reuters.   On Tuesday, the air force announced it was joining Operation Python Dance. The deployment of air assets were requested by the army, said an air force spokesman.   "The essence of the deployment is to provide the necessary air cover for the ground troops to enhance overall operational cohesion and efficiency. The wide expanse of the exercise area and the request by the Nigerian army for close air support made the involvement of the [air force] inevitable," he said.   The operations have inflamed tensions with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) secessionist group. Last week, the army declared the IPOB a terrorist organization before backtracking under political pressure.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 09/20/2017 PAKISTAN - TTP FACTION CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTACK ON AFGHAN BORDER; CROSSING CLOSED (SEP 20/GEONEWS)  GEO NEWS -- At least one person has been killed and 22 injured in a suicide bombing near Pakistan's Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan, reports Geo News (Pakistan).   On Monday, the suicide bomber targeted a paramilitary Frontier Corps vehicle as it was traveling to the border crossing. A local official said the vehicle sped away.   Several security personnel were among the injured, noted the Voice of America News.   Shortly after the attack, the border was closed.   Chaman, in the northern Baluchistan province, is one of Pakistan's two main border crossings with Afghanistan.   The Jamaatul Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack
Item Number:9 Date: 09/20/2017 PHILIPPINES - $10 MILLION COVERS 6 SCANEAGLE UAV SYSTEMS (SEP 20/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded a contract to Insitu, Bingen, Wash., a Boeing subsidiary, for unmanned aircraft for the Philippines, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$10 million Foreign Military Sales deal covers six ScanEagle unmanned aircraft systems, support equipment and spare parts, training and support for the Philippine military, said the DoD release on Sept. 18.   Work will take place in Bingen (75 percent), Hood River, Ore., (10 percent) and Nueva Ecija, Philippines (15 percent), and is scheduled to be completed in September 2019.   Until earlier this summer, Manila was not known to be an operator of ScanEagles, noted IHS Jane's Defence Weekly in June
Item Number:10 Date: 09/20/2017 RUSSIA - MILITARY HELICOPTER FIRES ROCKETS AT PARKED VEHICLES, MISTAKE CAUGHT ON VIDEO DURING EXERCISE (SEP 20/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A Russian military helicopter accidentally fired rockets into a parking lot in western Russia, according to video footage posted online Tuesday cited by the New York Times.   The video was posted on the website showing a Ka-52 helicopter firing rockets, hitting a truck just a few yards from a bystander in a parking lot.   The incident took place next to a firing range near St. Petersburg. At least two people were injured, reported the website.   The Zapad 2017 exercise is taking place Sept. 14-20 in the area. said the incident happened on Sept. 18. It did not give the source of the video, noted Reuters.   Russia's Defense Ministry acknowledged the video, saying that "the targeting system on one helicopter mistakenly acquired a target" and damaged a truck.   The ministry did not say if anyone was wounded. The Kremlin denied it took place on Monday, when President Vladimir Putin was visiting the range
Item Number:11 Date: 09/20/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - CROWN PRINCE, BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY TIE UP MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT (SEP 20/AL ARABIYA)  AL ARABIYA -- Saudi Arabia and the U.K. have inked a defense cooperation agreement, reports Al Arabiya (Dubai).   The framework agreement was signed Tuesday by Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman and British Defense Minister Michael Fallon after a meeting in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, reported the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).   The two leaders discussed bilateral ties, regional developments and the fight against terrorism, said the statement.   No other details were given.   The signing came two days after the Gulf rival Qatar signed a deal to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets from the U.K.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 09/20/2017 SOUTH KOREA - INFIGHTING WITHIN GOVERNMENT DRAWS BLUE HOUSE WARNING TO DEFENSE MINISTER (SEP 20/JOON)  JOONGANG DAILY -- South Korea's executive office has censured the nation's defense minister for his critical comments made against a presidential adviser, reports the Korea JoongAng Daily.   Defense Minister Song Young Moo has been feuding with Moon Chung In, President Moon Jae In's special adviser on unification, foreign and security affairs, over their different approaches to North Korea.   On Monday, Song criticized Moon in front of the National Assembly's National Defense Committee, calling him "a really freewheeling person," among other comments.   "I concluded that I should not deal with him and told my aides to leave him alone," he said.   On Tuesday, the Blue House made a public warning to Song over his remarks. The warning was texted to journalists. Song issued an apology later that day.   Song has rejected Moon's proposal to downsize joint military drills with the U.S. in return for North Korea freezing its nuclear and missile tests
Item Number:13 Date: 09/20/2017 SYRIA - AFTER WASHINGTON AGREES WITH MOSCOW, U.S.-BACKED REBELS RELOCATE FROM ZAKF BASE (SEP 20/REU)  REUTERS -- U.S. troops and allied Arab fighters have pulled out of a base in southern Syria, say rebel sources cited by Reuters.   They then relocated from the Zakf site near the Iraqi border to the larger Tanf base, about 40-50 miles away, said the sources on Tuesday.   The decision to move followed a deal between the U.S. and Russia to abandon the site, noted the New Arab.   "We have left the garrison after our allies reached an agreement with Russia to pull back to Tanf. We have moved all the equipment and destroyed some of the fortifications so they are no longer usable," said a member of Maghawir al-Thawra, a Pentagon-backed rebel group.   The Zakf base was set up in June to prevent Syrian forces and its allies from advancing from territory north of Tanf toward the Iraqi border.   "The base was a first line of defense and now the justification behind it is no longer present and the aim is to concentrate in Tanf," said a rebel commander.   A Pentagon spokesman said it has closed multiple temporary bases as warranted by the operation situation, without specifically referring to the Zakf site.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 09/20/2017 SYRIA - REBEL SDF ALLIANCE SAYS CAMPAIGN TO CAPTURE RAQQA IN 'FINAL STAGES' (SEP 20/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have now seized 90 percent of the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State, says a monitoring group cited by Agence France-Presse.   The SDF, an alliance of Kurdish fighters and Arab militias, has been attacking the terror group's de facto capital for three months.   Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition forced ISIS to withdraw from at least five key neighborhoods over the past 48 hours, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   "This allowed the Syrian Democratic Forces to control 90 percent of the city," said the monitoring group. ISIS was now confined to Raqqa's city center, said the monitor.   The SDF itself said on Wednesday it had liberated 80 percent of the city and opened a new front on the northern part of Raqqa -- calling this the "final stages of the Euphrates Wrath campaign," as quoted by Reuters
Item Number:15 Date: 09/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - AJAX VEHICLES HIT MILESTONE, SET FOR GOVERNMENT TESTING (SEP 20/GDUK)  GENERAL DYNAMICS UK -- General Dynamics UK says it has delivered the first two Ajax armored vehicles to the British government for testing.   The vehicles were handed over at the General Dynamics facility in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, following company-provided training for the British army testing team.   The government acceptance testing will evaluate both platforms before they are formally delivered, noted a General Dynamics release on Monday.   The Ajax variants will form the core of the army's planned Strike Brigades, which will conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and networked operations with a reduced logistics footprint, said the company.   On Sept. 15, General Dynamics announced that it had begun five months of manned live-fire testing with the 40-mm CT40 cannon that will be mounted on certain variants of the Ajax.   The testing at ranges in West Wales will evaluate the CT40 cannon, chain gun and smoke grenade launchers, said the company.   Over the previous 18 months, General Dynamics completed significant unmanned firing of the gun in preparation for manned testing
Item Number:16 Date: 09/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - ARRESTS CONTINUE IN INVESTIGATION OF ATTACK ON LONDON TUBE (SEP 20/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- British counterterror police have arrested two more people in connection to last week's subway attack in London, reports Deutsche Welle. This bring the total number of arrests to five.   A 35-year-old man was picked up in Newport on Tuesday.   According to London police, two further suspects, a 48-year-old man and a 30-year-old man, were detained Wednesday in the Welsh city of Newport. Neither was immediately charged.   Two people -- an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year-old from Syria -- were arrested Saturday in Sunbury-on-Thames, a suburb southwest of London. They are still in custody, said police.   An improvised explosive device was detonated on Sept. 15 at Parsons Green station in the capital's southwest, injuring more than 30
Item Number:17 Date: 09/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - DEFENSE MINISTRY SUSPENDS BURMESE TRAINING PROGRAM, CITING VIOLENCE IN RAKHINE (SEP 20/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The U.K. has suspended a training program with the Burmese military, says the Defense Ministry, as reported by the BBC.   Burmese forces have been conducting what they call a security crackdown in the restive Rakhine state, forcing more than 400,000 Ronhingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh.   Refugee camps have been overwhelmed by the crisis over the last three weeks, noted ITV (U.K.).   In response, the U.K. has "decided to suspend the educational courses provided to the Burmese military until there is an acceptable resolution to the current situation," said a MoD spokesman on Tuesday.   "We call on the Burmese armed forces to take immediate steps to stop the violence in Rakhine and ensure the protection of all civilians, to allow full access for humanitarian aid," the spokesman said.   The training program included about US$405,000 per year to fund educational courses for the country's military
Item Number:18 Date: 09/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - RAF SET TO REOPEN RADAR BASE IN SHETLANDS; ISLAND IS THE MOST NORTHLY IN U.K. (SEP 20/SHETNEWS)  SHETLAND NEWS -- The British Royal Air Force is going to reopen a radar base in Unst in the Scottish Shetland Islands for the first time in a decade, reports the Shetland News (U.K.).   Unst is the northernmost of the inhabited British isles.   The work at Saxa Vord will begin in October, according to Harriett Baldwin, the undersecretary for defense procurement, said in a letter to lawmakers.   There are no "long-term plans to station any additional personnel" at the Saxa Vord site, but RAF crew and contractors will "need to attend the site periodically to ensure continued serviceability," she said.   A new radar system will be installed at the base. The facility was closed in 2006 when relations with Russia improved, noted the Yorkshire Post.   Perhaps 50 workers will be involved in installing the new system. Once operational, dozens of personnel may work at the base on a rotational basis.   The move is believed to be related to increased Russian military activity in the region.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 09/20/2017 USA - F-35 EJECTION SEATS STILL POSE 'SERIOUS' RISK TO PILOTS, SAYS INTERNAL USAF REPORT (SEP 20/ROLLCALL)  ROLL CALL -- An internal U.S. Air Force safety report says that the F-35 Lightning II's flawed ejection seats still pose a "serious" risk despite improvements intended to ameliorate the problem, reports the Roll Call (Washington, D.C.).   The F-35 Joint Program Office has opted not to conduct less than a year's worth of additional testing that would cost a few million dollars, says the report, which was obtained by the publication.   Testing in 2015 showed that some F-35 pilots were at risk of fatal neck injuries if they were forced to eject in the original seats under certain emergency conditions.   In May, the Air Force announced that upgrades to the seat, including a new head support, had resolved the problem.   Two weeks earlier, however, the internal service report from the Technical Airworthiness Authority estimated that 22 pilots would be killed or injured in the coming decades unless the upgraded ejection seats complete additional testing to demonstrate that they work in "off-nominal" cases, such as when the aircraft is out of control, not just in optimal flight conditions.   The Pentagon's operational testing office has expressed support for the technical authority's findings.   Another potential problem is the F-35's canopy, which is designed to lift and shatter before the ejection seat activates. There are concerns that fragments from the canopy could hit the pilot, especially if the aircraft is out of control, said a spokesman for the Pentagon office.   A spokesman for the Air Force downplayed the danger, saying the service "has accepted risk of similar magnitude in previous ejection seats
  Item Number:20 Date: 09/20/2017 USA - WHITE HOUSE LOOKING AT EXPANDING CIA AUTHORITY FOR DRONE STRIKES (SEP 20/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The Trump administration is considering policy changes that will allow the CIA to conduct more drone attacks, reports NBC News.   Shortly after coming into office, President Trump authorized a more aggressive posture for the CIA drone program. The agency soon began conducting attacks that might not have been approved under the Obama administration, according to officials.   The White House granted CIA officers more autonomy in deciding whether and when the U.S. should make attacks, including in Yemen, where the military conducts the majority of airstrikes, according to four U.S. officials briefed on CIA counterterrorism operations.   The change eliminates some of the micromanaging of targeting decisions by the White House, the officials said.   Last week, the New York Times noted that the CIA was pushing for expanded powers for covert strikes in Afghanistan -- where the Pentagon has had the lead role.   A new policy under consideration would expand the CIA's authority to launch drone attacks in a number of countries, both in and out of conflict zones.   President Obama wanted to reduce the CIA's role in targeted killings and shift that responsibility to the military. The Obama restraints also sought to cut civilian casualties.   Some former and current CIA officers argued that in the early days of the Obama administration too much focus on drone strikes was eroding the agency's traditional espionage mission against adversaries such as China and Russia.

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