Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fw: TheList 4594

The List 4594
To All
I hope that your short week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - November 21
§  1861—During the Civil War, the screw steamer New London, along with screw steamer R.R. Cuyler and crew members of the screw steamer Massachusetts, capture the Confederate schooner Olive with a cargo of lumber in Mississippi Sound.
§  1917  Battleship Division Nine left Hampton Roads 100 years ago for Scapa Flow and service with the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet.  Throughout 1918, the division participated in all major Grand Fleet exercises and deployments and conducted several convoy missions in the North Sea. 
§  1918—U.S. battleships witness the surrender of German High Seas fleet at Rosyth, Firth of Forth, Scotland to U.S. and British fleets.
§  1942—USS Cincinnati (CL 6) and USS Somers (DD 381) uncover the Norwegian ship SS Skjilbred as being the German blockade runner Anneliese Essberger after setting explosions and boarding the ship. Survivors are taken on board USS Milwaukee (CL 5).
§  1943—USS Nautilus (SS 168) lands U.S. Marine Corps Reconnaissance Company on Abemama, Gilberts while USS Trigger (SS 237) sinks Japanese freighter Eizan Maru in the Yellow Sea.
§  1944—USS Sealion (SS 315) sinks the Japanese battleship Kongo and destroyer Urakaze 60 miles north-northwest of Formosa. 
November 21
Leaders of the Mayflower expedition frame the "Mayflower Compact," designed to bolster unity among the settlers.
Jean de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes make the first free-flight ascent in a balloon to over 500 feet in Paris.
North Carolina ratifies the Constitution, becoming the 12th state to do it.
Franklin Colman, a pro-slavery Missourian, guns down Charles Dow, a Free Stater from Ohio, near Lawrence, Kansas.
From Georgia, Confederate General John B. Hood launches the Franklin-Nashville Campaign into Tennessee.
Motorized omnibuses replace horse-drawn cars in Paris.
In San Juan, President Theodore Roosevelt pledges citizenship for Puerto Rican people.
Cunard liner Mauritania sets a new speed record for steamship travel, 624 nautical miles in a one day run.
Suffragettes storm Parliament in London. All are arrested and all choose prison terms.
German ace Rudolf von Eschwege is killed over Macedonia when he attacks a booby-trapped observation balloon packed with explosives.
The last German troops leave Alsace-Lorraine, France.
Police turn machine guns on striking Colorado mine workers, killing five and wounding 20.
A New York court rules Gloria Vanderbilt unfit for custody of her daughter.
Cole Porter's musical Anything Goes premieres at New York's Alvin Theatre.
The United Nations grants Libya its independence by 1952.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the air quality act, allotting $428 million for the fight against pollution.
U.S. planes conduct widespread bombing raids in North Vietnam.
US Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard arrested for spying and passing classified information to Israel; he received a life sentence on Nov. 1, 1987.
The Justice Department begins an inquiry into the National Security Council into what will become known as the Iran-Contra scandal.
The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio; the agreement, formally ratified in Paris on Dec. 14, ends the three-and-a-half year war between Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel assassinated in Beirut.
Thanks to Bill
Argentina's missing submarine: What we know (Argentina)
By Euan McKirdy, CNN, 21 November
Efforts to locate an Argentine submarine that has been missing since last week have been ramped up dramatically by a multinational search team of boats and planes, the country's navy says.
"We have tripled the search effort, both on the surface and underwater, with 10 airplanes," said Gabriel Galeazzi, a spokesman with the Mar Del Plata Argentine naval base.
Ships and aircraft from at least seven countries are scouring the southern Atlantic for the submarine ARA San Juan, which was last seen Wednesday.
"We have 11 ships from the Argentine navy, from municipalities, and from countries that have collaborated with research ships such as Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, the United States, and (the UK).
"These ships are following the submarine's planned route, (and are) sweeping the whole area and we also have navy ships sweeping from north to south and from south to north."
Here's what we know -- and don't know -- about the disappearance of the ARA San Juan:
In a "worst-case scenario," the missing sub could run out of oxygen in two days, Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said Monday.
Under normal circumstances, the vessel has sufficient fuel, water, oil and oxygen to operate for 90 days without external help, said Balbi, and the vessel could "snorkel" -- or raise a tube to the surface -- "to charge batteries and draw fresh air for the crew."
If the sub is bobbing adrift on the surface and the hatch is open, it will have an available air supply and enough food for about 30 days, he said.
But if it is submerged and cannot raise a snorkel, its oxygen may last only about seven days. When the sub last made contact on Wednesday, five days ago, it was submerged, Balbi said.
"This phase of search and rescue is critical," he said. "This is why we are deploying all resources with high-tech sensors. We welcome the help we have received to find them."
The submarine was heading from a base in southern Argentina's Tierra del Fuego archipelago to its home port in Mar del Plata, about 260 miles south of Buenos Aires. It was scheduled to arrive there Sunday.
The San Juan was last spotted Wednesday in the San Jorge Gulf, a few hundred kilometers off the coast of southern Argentina's Patagonia region and nearly midway between the bases. The submarine has a crew of 44.
On Friday, the navy said they were "conducting operations to resume communications with the ARA 'San Juan' submarine," according to a tweet.
On Saturday, seven communication attempts were recorded and were initially believed to originate from the ARA San Juan. But on Monday, officials said the radio calls did not come from the missing sub.
The frequency used for the calls was similar to that used by ARA San Juan's, said Balbi, the Navy spokesman, at a press conference in Buenos Aires.
"We do know they have an emergency satellite communication system," William Craig Reed, a former US Navy diver and submariner, told CNN.
"That is a buoy that will pop up to the top. They can send signals from this. They believe that might be the case. Although, unfortunately, it's not panned out. They have not been able to triangulate the signals. There's no way to confirm that they came from the submarine."
Argentina's navy on Monday picked up what were thought to be noises from the missing submarine.
The sonar systems of two ships detected noises sounding like tools being banged against the hull of a submarine, according to a senior US Navy official familiar with the Navy's assistance in the search for the vessel.
The official said that crews of submarines in distress often bang on the vessel's hull to alert passing ships to their location.
The Argentinian navy was able to ascertain the rough location of the sounds and is now concentrating its search in a 35-square-nautical-mile area approximately 330 miles off the coast of Argentina, the official said.
A US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft, also known as a submarine hunter, is now assisting in the search area. The official said that the waters of the Atlantic Ocean where the sounds originated are extremely deep and that search efforts thus far have yet to locate the submarine.
However, analysis of the file determined the noises were not from the missing vessel, Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said from Buenos Aires.
The noises were possibly from the ocean or marine life, Balbi said.
The vessel could have suffered some sort of "catastrophic failure," Reed said.
But, he added, it also "could be something minor that has caused them to either be hung up somewhere or they are on the bottom."
The country's naval spokesman, Galeazzi, said Monday the captain of the San Juan reported a "failure" in the vessel's battery system shortly before it disappeared.
After the captain reported the sub had experienced a "short circuit," he was told to "change course and return to Mar del Plata," said Galeazzi, speaking from the naval base in Mar de Plata. This type of damage is considered routine and the vessel's crew was reported safe, he added.
The navy had one more communication with the captain before the sub went missing, said Galeazzi, who did not mention the content of that final communication.
Because the San Juan is a diesel submarine, not a nuclear-powered one, "it has a limited life underwater," Reed said.
Time is ticking for the 44 submariners on board.
While submarines of this size and class can stay at sea for around a month, that doesn't mean they have 30 days underwater.
"It's dependent upon the last time they actually recharged their batteries, how long ago they refreshed the air, what's inside the submarine," Reed said. "We just don't know."
If it had sunk but is still intact, the crew will have about a week to 10 days of oxygen, said Peter Layton, a visiting fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, in Australia.
From a crew comfort point of view the sub would very likely travel submerged around 50 meters (165 feet) below the surface, Layton says, only coming near the surface to "snort" -- replenish its oxygen, recharge the batteries by using the diesel engines, and send radio signals -- around once every 24 hours. 
However, that could depend on whether it was a straightforward transit or if the sub was engaging in other operations en route, Euan Graham, director, international security, of the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney told CNN.
"Obviously the Falkland Islands are an intelligence target for Argentina," he said. "There is no reason to suggest that it was engaged in this but still a possibility. If so it would need to stay out of detection envelope."
Finding a vessel that is designed not to be found is more difficult "by an order of magnitude" than a surface vessel, Graham said.
"In general terms they're designed to be stealthy platforms," he said. "They are difficult to detect underwater... by an order of magnitude."
Finding large objects on the sea bed is problematic, Layton said.
They are usually found by listening passively to hear the engines, or by active sonar.
"If you're sitting at bottom of ocean, you're probably not making a lot of noise," Layton said. "You can't recharge oxygen, can't run too much equipment."
Sonar is only really effective when you're looking for a sub "between the sea floor and the surface," he added.
"What you need is something that maps the sea floor," similar to the devices used in the MH370 search, he said.
The San Juan is an old diesel submarine, built in Germany in the mid-1980s, but was refitted with new engines and batteries around five years ago, Graham said.
The hull dates back to 1985, but due to the recent refit "it shouldn't lose electric power catastrophically," he said.
"A total loss of power is highly unusual as redundancy is (factored in) to naval designs."
Because of the expansion and contraction of the hull as it ascends and descends deep below the ocean's surface, the sub is designed to have a shelf life of around 30 years. That shelf life has expired, Layton said.
Assuming the hull is still intact, it can withstand ocean depths up to around 500-600 meters -- German-made subs set the crush depth at double their test depth, which is set at 300 meters, Layton says.
If it's resting on Argentina's continental shelf, it is likely in waters shallower than this, but if it's further into the Atlantic Ocean it likely sank below its "crush depth" -- the depth at which the hull buckles under pressure.
Southern Argentina's Patagonia coast is notorious for strong storms.
"Currently a powerful low-pressure system is causing wind gusts in excess of 70 kph (around 45 mph) and churning up the South Atlantic Ocean with swells equivalent to a two-story building. This weather will hamper the search efforts for at least the next 48 hours," CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.
Given the submarines range, the search area could comprise "thousands of square kilometers," said Layton.
"If satellite signals are from sub this whittles things down, gives (search and rescue) a great chance."
"What is needed is what is in the area, above all, boats with multi-beam sonar, to be able to do the search properly," Argentine naval captain Hector Alonso said.
"Sending a submarine to the area to perform some type of search wouldn't add anything because they don't have the technology or the elements to be able to do an underwater search."
However, at least one specialist rescue sub will be required if the San Juan is found with the crew still alive. The US is sending a rescue submersible to the area to help if needed.
Even if the sub is located it could take several days to get a rescue vessel there, Graham said. This is problematic when oxygen supplies are diminishing, especially when surface conditions are so rough.
"It's difficult to operate in 8-meter (26 feet) waves," he said. Adding to the difficulties of a rescue, we currently "don't know what depth it is located, (and) how precarious the state of the hull could be."
The condition of the sub, assuming its resting on the continental shelf, is also of key concern.
"The sunk submarine needs to be sitting upright -- or nearly so -- on the sea floor so the rescue hatch(es) can be easily reached and docked with," Layton said. "The sea floor, though, is not flat. If the submarine is lying at an acute angle, docking could be hard."
Reed says that the US' Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) rescue sub "can dock with a (disabled submarine) up to a 45˚ angle."
Thanks to Carl

Fresh warnings over 'The Big One' as study finds seafloor sediments off the Pacific Northwest could unleash a megaquake AND a tsunami

 Thanks to Michael …and Dr. Rich.
My parents told me I could name my new pet dog anything I
wanted and since I was a mischievous little boy, I decided to name
the dog Sex. It seemed funny at first until you understand all the
confusion that this caused me in my later life.
Like the day that I went to the town hall to get a dog license for Sex.
The clerk asked me what I wanted. I told him I wanted a license for Sex.
He said, "I'd like to have one, too."
Then, I said, "You don't understand. She's a dog."
He replied, "Look man, I don't care how she looks."
"No no, I 'have had Sex since I was 5!"
He replied, "You must have been an early bloomer."
When I decided to get married, I told the minister I wanted to have Sex at the wedding.
He told me I'd have to wait until after the wedding.
When I protested that Sex had played a big part in my life and that my whole
life revolved around Sex, he said he did not want to hear about my personal life.
After my wife and I got married, I took the dog with us on the honeymoon.
When I checked into the hotel, I told the clerk that I wanted a room
for my wife and wanted one for Sex.
She replied, "Sir, every room in the hotel can be used for sex."
I said, "You don't understand. Sex keeps me awake at night."
The clerk said, "Me too!"
When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog.
When I told the Judge I had Sex before I was married, he grinned and said, "Me too."
One day my dog Sex and I took a walk and he ran away from me.
I spent hours looking for that dog.
A policeman came by and asked what I was doing in this alley at midnight.
I told him, "I'm looking for Sex!"
My case comes up next Tuesday.
Now that I' have been thrown in jail, married, divorced and had
more trouble with that dog than I ever imagined, I'm in counseling.
My psychiatrist asked me what my problem was.
I said, "Sex has left my life. It's like losing a best friend and I'm so lonely."
He said, "Look, you and I both know that sex is not man's best friend.
Why don't you go get yourself a dog..."
Item Number:1 Date: 11/21/2017 AFGHANISTAN - COMMANDOS FREE TALIBAN CAPTIVES IN HELMAND (NOV 21/TN)  TOLONEWS -- Afghan commandos have freed a number of prisoners of the Taliban being held in southern Helmand province, report's Afghanistan's TOLO News.   The operation took place Sunday morning. Most of those held in the facility were accused of supporting the government in Kabul or being related to security forces, said local officials.   The number held was reported variously. TOLO put it at "more than 30." The Resolute Support coalition website said the special operators liberated "more than 15."   All were reportedly flown from Nawzad village, located in the district of the same name, to a secure location and screened before being released.   Several Taliban fighters were also detained in the operation and security officials recovered bomb-making materials, said Afghan officials
  Item Number:2 Date: 11/21/2017 AFGHANISTAN - U.S. F-22S, AFGHAN SUPER TUCANOS STRIKE TALIBAN (NOV 21/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- U.S. officials say American and Afghan warplanes have bombed 10 Taliban opium-processing facilities in Helmand province in the nation's south, part of a strategy to target the insurgents' revenue stream, reports Stars and Stripes.   The airstrikes, which began Monday, included the first use of F-22s in Afghanistan. The F-22, which critics say exceeds the requirements of a mission of this nature, was selected because of its ability to carry Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) and avoid collateral damage, reports Military Times.   The Afghan air force hit other facilities with A-29 Super Tucano aircraft provided by the U.S., noted Stars and Stripes.   Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies estimate that the Taliban earns about $200 million a year from opium production in Afghanistan. There are 400-500 opium production facilities in the country, said the general.   The new strategy was announced by President Trump in August. Since then, U.S. forces are authorized to engage militants under a broader variety of circumstances. Part of the strategy involves attacking the Taliban's finances, of which opium forms a crucial part
  Item Number:3 Date: 11/21/2017 CHINA - DONG FENG-41 ICBM MAY BE IN MILITARY SERVICE WITHIN MONTHS (NOV 21/GT)  GLOBAL TIMES -- Chinese officials say a next-generation ICBM could be soon operating with the Chinese military, reports Global Times (Beijing).   A senior adviser to China's Arms Control and Disarmament Association, Xu Guangyu, told China Central Television (CCTV) on Nov. 15 that the Dong Feng-41 might enter service in the first half of 2018. He said the missile had just completed its eighth test since 2012, and shows great progress.   The Dong Feng-41 is a three-stage solid-fuel missile with a range of at least 7,400 miles and the ability to carry up to 10 warheads, he told Global Times
  Item Number:4 Date: 11/21/2017 EGYPT - GAZA'S BORDER-CROSSING OPENS TEMPORARILY UNDER PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (NOV 21/HA)  HAARETZ -- Gaza's Rafah border-crossing with Egypt was temporarily opened under the auspices of Palestinian Authority for the first time since 2007, reports Haaretz (Israel).   The border was opened from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20. Travel was limited to those who needed foreign medical treatment, those in possession of foreign passports and students who travel for international study, noted Deutsche Welle.   Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for the first time since the signing of a power-sharing deal in Cairo last month between Palestinian political parties, noted Al Jazeera.   After Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, only Israeli and Egyptian authorities had the authority to open the land border, the sole crossing into Egypt.   The Islamist movement Hamas and Fatah, which has controlled the West Bank, reached a reconciliation earlier this year, with Hamas ceding control of the border checkpoints on Nov. 1.   Disagreements with Hamas over the Gaza Strip's security arrangements had thus far prevented the crossing's opening, noted Haaretz
  Item Number:5 Date: 11/21/2017 GERMANY - 500 POLICE RAID 8 APARTMENTS IN 4 CITIES, NAB 6 SYRIANS SUSPECTED OF TERROR PLOT (NOV 21/REU)  REUTERS -- German authorities have detained six Syrians suspected of planning an attack using weapons or explosives on behalf of the Islamic State, reports Reuters.   According to the prosecutor's office in Frankfurt, the suspects, ranging in age from 20 and to 28, were arrested Tuesday during raids in Kassel, Hanover, Essen and Leipzig.   About 500 officers were reportedly involved in raids of eight apartments.   The office said all six men arrived in Germany from Syria – four in December 2014 and two in 2015. All applied for asylum, though authorities did not comment on the status of those claims. Prosecutors said all six were suspected of being members of ISIS.   "The accused are also suspected of having planned an attack against a public target in Germany using either weapons or explosives," said prosecutors, without elaborating.  
 Item Number:6 Date: 11/21/2017 INDIA - DEFENSE MINISTRY SHOOTS FOR DOMESTIC ANTI-TANK GUIDED MISSILE, SCRAPS ISRAELI SPIKE CONTRACT (NOV 21/FIRSTPOST)  FIRSTPOST -- India's Defense Ministry has decided to cancel a contract worth a half-billion dollars for Israel's Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) in favor or developing such weapons domestically, reports Firstpost (India).   The change was made this week to protect the government's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is working on creating its own anti-tank guided missile, the Times of Israel reported Monday, citing the Indian Express.   Indian authorities said they were confident that domestic firms could produce arms on par with the Spike in three to four years.   Included in the deal were over 8,000 missiles and more than 300 launchers. The deal was cleared by Indian authorities in 2014 but negotiations stalled over cost and technology transfer agreements.   Though some aspects were still being negotiated, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had started preparations for delivery, opening a production facility in India in August with its local partner, the Indian industrial giant Kalyani Group, noted the Times of Israel.   Rafael told Israeli media that the firm would continue its efforts as normal until it leaved official instructions otherwise.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 11/21/2017 ISRAEL - COVERT CONTACTS WITH SAUDIS CENTER ON COMMON CONCERNS OVER IRAN; CABINET MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGES DEALINGS (NOV 21/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- An Israeli Cabinet minister has indicated that Israel has had covert communications with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, reports the Independent (U.K.).   Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz made the comments on Nov. 19 during an interview with Israel's Army Radio, though he did not specify the nature of contacts or give details when asked why Israel was "hiding its ties" with Saudi Arabia.   "We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually [we are] the party that is not ashamed," Steinitz said, as cited by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   The contacts have reportedly been focused on their common concerns over Iran.   On Nov. 16, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters that "we have always said that if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved on the basis of the Arab peace initiative that Israel would have enjoyed normal relations, economic, political, diplomatic relations with all of the Arab countries." And, he said, "until that happens, we don't have relations with Israel."   Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations
  Item Number:8 Date: 11/21/2017 JAPAN - TOKYO SCRAMBLES FIGHTERS WHEN CHINESE BOMBERS, INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING PLANES FLY NEAR OKINAWA (NOV 21/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- Japanese officials say China flown aircraft over the Miyako Strait this weekend in the East China Sea near the Japanese island of Okinawa, reports the Japan Times.   In response, Tokyo scrambled fighters. The Chinese aircraft were said to be four H-6 bombers and two unidentified intelligence-gathering aircraft.   No violations of national airspace were detected, according to the Japanese.   Last year, the Air Self-Defense Force reported scrambling its fighters 1,168 times, the most since records began being kept in 1958 – with many those being in response to Chinese aircraft, according to Japanese statistics.   The newspaper noted that Beijing has sent aircraft, including bombers and fighters, on long-range missions over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait as well as through the Tsushima Strait from the East China Sea into the Sea of Japan and back
Item Number:9 Date: 11/21/2017 LEBANON - SAYING 'MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,' HEZBOLLAH LEADER PREPARES TO PULL FORCES FROM IRAQ (NOV 21/SKY)  SKY NEWS -- Hezbollah is ready to withdraw its fighters from Iraq now that the Islamic State is on the brink of defeat, says Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, as reported by Sky News (U.K.).   In a televised speech Monday, Nasrallah said ISIS lost its last urban stronghold in Iraq when forces loyal to Baghdad retook the town of Rawa in Anbar province. "If there is no need for them in Iraq anymore, we will withdraw them and send them to areas where they are needed," he said.   "We consider that the mission has been accomplished, but we are waiting for the final Iraqi announcement of victory," he  said, as quoted by Reuters.   Hezbollah has fighters in Iraq and Syria assisting Baghdad and Damascus in their fights against terrorist and rebel groups, notes AFP.   In his speech, Nasrallah also pushed back against recent accusations from Saudi Arabia and criticized the Arab League for failing to address the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Nasrallah also denied charges that Hezbollah played any role in launching a missile intercepted over the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Nov. 4.   Regarding statements from an Arab League meeting that condemned Hezbollah as a terrorist group, Nasrallah said the move was "expected but unfortunate
Item Number:10 Date: 11/21/2017 LIBYA - AFRICAN COMMAND SEES NO EVIDENCE OF ISIS MASS MIGRATION FROM MIDDLE EAST TO LIBYA (NOV 21/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- American military official have noted no signs of movements of many Islamic State fighters to Libya, reports the Military Times.   However, said a spokesperson for U.S. Africa Command, such an exodus from the Middle East remains a possibility.   In a briefing in the Pentagon on Nov. 16, Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the director of the Joint Staff, told reporters: "I believe at one time, they thought they might have a lily pad in North Africa, particularly in Libya. That hasn't worked out real well for them."   The officials told the newspaper that the terrorist group does not have the equipment or manpower necessary to retake Sirte or other cities in Libya
Item Number:11 Date: 11/21/2017 NIGERIA - SUICIDE BOMBING AT MOSQUE CLAIMS DOZENS OF LIVES IN ADAMAW STATE (NOV 21/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- At least 50 people are dead after a suicide bombing at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria, reports the BBC.   A teenage attacker set off his explosives Tuesday as worshippers arrived for morning prayers at a mosque in Adamawa state, said local police.   An unspecified number of injured were taken to local hospitals, officials said.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Boko Haram is suspected; it has a history of activity in the area and in neighboring Borno state.   Boko Haram has increasingly been using teens and young women as bombers, noted the Press Association (U.K
Item Number:12 Date: 11/21/2017 NORTH KOREA - TRUMP AGAIN BRANDS PYONGYANG STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM (NOV 21/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- U.S. President Donald Trump has again designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorist, reports NBC News.   Trump announced the decision Monday, saying that additional Treasury Dept. sanctions on Pyongyang would follow, noted CNN.   Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pointed out that Pyongyang has provided support for terrorism on multiple occasions, including recent assassinations on foreign soil.   Regional allies, including Australia and Japan, welcomed the move. China, Pyongyang's only ally, called the situation on the Korean peninsula "sensitive" and urged talks, reported AFP.   North Korea was first put on the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list after the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air flight that killed all 115 passengers. North Korea was removed from the list in 2008 by President George W. Bush
  Item Number:13 Date: 11/21/2017 POLAND - DEAL WORTH $10.5 BILLION FOR 208 PAC-3S GETS NOD FROM U.S. STATE DEPT. (NOV 21/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved the possible sale of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) to Poland, reports the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   Poland requested the first phase one of a two-phase program for the IBCS-enabled Patriot Configuration-3+ with Modernized Sensors and Components, noted the DSCA release on Nov. 17.   The proposed sale includes 208 Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement missiles, 16 M903 launching stations, four AN/MPQ-65 radars, four control stations, spares, software and associated equipment, noted Reuters.   The potential deal, worth up to US$10.5 billion, covers training, equipment and test programs.   The agency, in its notification to Congress, said the sale would support the security of the NATO ally, which has been "an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe."   If the contract were finalized, prime contractors would be Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman.   In March, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Poland expected to sign a deal to buy the Patriot missile defense system by the end of the year
Item Number:14 Date: 11/21/2017 RUSSIA - PUTIN, ASSAD MEET IN SOCHI; MOSCOW TO COORDINATE EFFORTS WITH IRAN, TURKEY (NOV 21/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has again called for a political solution to the civil war in Syria, reports the BBC.   Putin made his comments Monday night after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Russian city of Sochi.  Putin reportedly told Assad that military operations were "wrapping up" but that the process was not yet finished.   The Assad meeting preceded ahead of talks scheduled for Wednesday among Russia, Iran and Turkey. The discussions are expected to focus on expanding de-escalation zones in Syria.   Separate negotiations with rebel groups are scheduled to begin in Geneva on Nov. 28
Item Number:15 Date: 11/21/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - AT SUMMIT REQUESTED BY SAUDIS, ARAB LEAGUE STATES CONDEMN IRANIAN ALLY HEZBOLLAH AS 'TERRORIST ORGANIZATION' (NOV 21/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- At an emergency weekend meeting of the Arab League, almost all the member states condemned Lebanon's Hezbollah, an Iran ally, as a terrorist group, reports CNN.   The summit on Sunday, held at the Arab League Cairo headquarters, was requested by Saudi Arabia to discuss Iran's growing role in the region, reports Al Jazeera.   Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa maintained that Lebanon "is subject to full control by this terrorist group."   Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir cited a number of Iranian violations in the region, including a missile intercepted in early November over the Saudi capital, said by U.S. and Saudi officials to be of Iranian origin.   Lebanon's foreign minister did not attend, and the Lebanese representative at the meeting expressed reservations over the final communique, noted CNN. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari did not attend either
  Item Number:16 Date: 11/21/2017 SYRIA - BUKAMAL, LAST ISIS STRONGHOLD, AGAIN HELD BY DAMASCUS, ALLIES; SCORES OF MILITANTS FLED TOWN (NOV 21/ALM)  AL-MANAR -- Syrian and allied forces along with Hezbollah say they have again taken the Islamic State's final stronghold in Syria, reports Al Manar, a Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah.   During the action on Sunday, 50 militants were reportedly killed when they retook all of the border town of Bukamal.   About 150 other ISIS fighters, including the commanders "Abu Hasan Al-Iraqi" and Saddam al-Jamal, reportedly escaped through tunnels; some reportedly them turned themselves into U.S.-backed SDF troops.   The Syrian government and its allies previously gained control of the city on Nov. 8. However, ISIS fought back and took back much of the town a day later
Item Number:17 Date: 11/21/2017 SYRIA - SHELLING OF TURKISH OUTPOST IN IDLIB BLAMED ON SYRIAN KURDS (NOV 21/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Syrian Kurdish fighters have attacked a Turkish observation post in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency, citing a Turkish security official.   Monday's attack reportedly occurred near the Daret Azzeh region in Idlib, where Turkey is implementing a "de-escalation zone" as part of an agreement reached with Russia and Iran. Turkish forces began establishing observation posts in Idlib on Oct. 12.   The attack was variously attributed to mortar and howitzer fire. No casualties were reported. Turkish forces reportedly responded immediately to the five rounds.   The state-run news agency said the fire came from the "PKK/PYD terror group." The PYD and its military YPG wing are described as Syrian branches of the PKK, which Ankara has outlawed as a terrorist organization
  Item Number:18 Date: 11/21/2017 USA - AMERICAN DESTROYER BACK IN YOKOSUKA; BENSON SLIGHTLY DAMAGED IN COLLISION WITH JAPANESE TUG (NOV 21/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- A U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that collided with a tugboat late last week off the coast of Japan has returned to its Japanese homeport, reports USNI News, citing a 7th Fleet spokesperson.   The Benfold returned to Yokosuka on Monday. The incident occurred during towing exercises in the Sagami Bay on Nov. 18 when a loose line wrapped around the propeller of the Japanese tug. The Japanese vessel reportedly lost propulsion and drifted into the Benfold.   "No one was injured on either vessel and Benfold sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, pending a full damage assessment," a statement from the U.S. Seventh Fleet said at the time.   An evaluation found only slight scrapes and a slight dent in the starboard aft, said the fleet.   The incident is under investigation
Item Number:19 Date: 11/21/2017 USA - ICC PROSECUTOR WANTS POWER TO PROBE U.S. MILITARY, CIA FOR ALLEGED WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN (NOV 21/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has formally sought authorization to investigate the U.S. military and CIA as part of an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, reports the Washington Post.   Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian who has served as the ICC's chief prosecutor since 2012, made the request Monday. She also sought the authority to investigate the Taliban, the Haqqani Network and the Afghan National Security Forces.   In a statement, the ICC prosecutor said she would investigate "war crimes by members of" the U.S. armed forces and "secret detention facilities in Afghanistan" used by the CIA.   The timeframe investigated would include events after May 1, 2003, within Afghanistan and after July 1, 2002 for events outside of but connected to Afghanistan. For American subjects, the investigation would focus primarily on 2003 through 2004, the prosecutor said.   The U.S. is not a member of the ICC, though U.S. citizens can be charged for crimes they allegedly commit in member states
  Item Number:20 Date: 11/21/2017 USA - TREASURY HITS INDIVIDUALS, BUSINESSES IN COUNTERFEITING YEMENI NOTES TO AID IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS (NOV 21/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Iranian individuals and companies accused of counterfeiting Yemeni currency in support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGG), reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   On Monday, the U.S. Treasury announced that Reza Heidari and Mahmoud Seif used ForEnt Technik and Printing Trading Center in Frankfurt, and Rayan Printing and Tejarat Almas Mobin Holding in Tehran to avoid European export restrictions. They then obtained the equipment to print the money for the Quds Force, the IRGC's foreign arm.   The money generated directly funded the IRGC, said Treasury.   The Trump administration put the IRGC on the U.S. counterterrorism sanctions list in October.

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