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Monday, December 4, 2017

Fw: TheList 4603



The List 4603
To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History – December 4
Dec. 4
1918—President Woodrow Wilson sails aboard the transport George Washington for the Paris Peace Conference.
1943—TBF aircraft from USS Lexington (CV 16), USS Independence (CVL 22), and USS Yorktown (CV 10) attack Kwajalein Atoll and sink the Japanese vessels Asakaze Maru, Tateyama Maru, Takunan Maru, and Mikuni Maru.
1944—USS Flasher (SS 249) sinks Japanese destroyer Kishinami and damages a merchant ship in the South China Sea. Flasher is the only U.S. submarine to sink more than 100,000 tons of enemy shipping in World War II.
1950—While serving with VF-32 from USS Leyte (CV 32) during the Korean War, Lt. j.g. Thomas J. Hudner crash-lands his plane near the Chosin reservoir in an effort to rescue Ensign Jesse L. Brown, another VF-32 pilot whose plane had been shot down. Hudner is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.
1965—Gemini 7 is launched. The mission's command pilot is Air Force Maj. Frank F. Borman and the pilot is Lt. Cmdr. James A. Lovell. This flight consists of 206 orbits at an altitude of 327 km and lasts 13 days and 18 hours.
 
1998—USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) is commissioned at Philadelphia, PA. The ship is named in honor of the late Marine Corps Colonel Donald G. Cook, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam while held as prisoner for three years by the Viet Cong.
 
Today in History
December 4
771
 
With the death of his brother Carloman, Charlemagne becomes sole ruler of the Frankish Empire.
1861
 
The U.S. Senate, voting 36 to 0, expels Senator John C. Brekinridge of Kentucky because of his joining the Confederate Army.
1861
 
Queen Victoria of Britain forbids the export of gunpowder, firearms and all materials for their production.
1862
 
Winchester, Va., falls into Union hands, resulting in the capture of 145 Southern soldiers.
1863
 
Seven solid days of bombardment ends at Charleston, S.C. The Union fires some 1,307 rounds.
1872
 
The U.S. brigantine Marie Celeste is found adrift and deserted with its cargo intact, in the Atlantic Ocean between the Azores and Portugal.
1900
 
The French National Assembly, successor to the States-General, rejects Nationalist General Mercier's proposal to plan an invasion of England.
1914
 
The first Seaplane Unit formed by the German Navy officially comes into existence and begins operations from Zeebrugge, Belgium.
1918
 
France cancels trade treaties in order to compete in the postwar economic battles.
1941
 
Operation Taifun (Typhoon), which was launched by the German armies on October 2, 1941, as a prelude to taking Moscow, is halted because of freezing temperatures and lack of serviceable aircraft.
1942
 
U.S. planes make the first raids on Naples, Italy.
1947
 
Tennessee William's play A Streetcar Named Desire premieres on Broadway starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy.
1950
 
The University of Tennessee defies court rulings by rejecting five Negro applicants.
1952
 
The Grumman XS2F-1 makes its first flight.
1959
 
Peking pardons Pu Yi, ex-emperor of China and of the Japanese puppet-state of Manchukuo.
1981
 
President Ronald Reagan broadens the power of the CIA by allowing spying in the United States.
1985
 
Robert McFarland resigns as National Security Advisor. Admiral John Poindexter is named to succeed.
1991
 
The last American hostages held in Lebanon are released.
1992
 
US Pres. George H. W. Bush orders 28,000 troops to Somalia during the Somali Civil War.
Born on December 4
1584
 
John Cotton, English-born Puritan clergyman (The Way of the Church of Christ in New England).
1795
 
Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist (The French Revolution, Sartor Resartus).
1835
 
Samuel Butler, English writer and painter (Erewhon, The Way of All Flesh).
1861
 
Lillian Russell, singer and actress.
1865
 
Edith Cavell, English nurse who tended to friend and foe alike during World War I.
1866
 
Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born painter.
1875
 
Rainer Maria Rilke, German poet.
1892
 
Francisco Franco, Spanish general and dictator who came to power as a result of the Spanish Civil War.
1924
 
Frank Press, geophysicist.
1937
 
Max Baer Jr., actor, screenwriter, director, producer; best known for his role as Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies TV series
1940
 
Gary Gilmore, American murderer who demanded his death sentence be carried out; he was the first prisoner executed in the US following the Supreme Court's ruling on the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia.
1944
 
Chris Hillman, singer, songwrier, musician; performed with the bands The Byrds, The Hillmen, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Manassas.
1945
 
A. Scott Berg, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer (Lindberg, 1998).
1949
 
Jeff Bridges, actor, producer; won Academy Award for Best Actor as Otis "Bad" Blake in Crazy Heart (2009).
 
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Thanks to Bill. Just completed 'testing in Colorado and will test my school this week. Maybe I need to look into this….skip
Crazy, you will love it but you must wait till the end.
 
 
                                                              The Best Commercial <https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw__sw_5OIpCWEZTRnR0bGswOGxJM21kNURHdmthT3RHMkVn/view?usp=drivesdk>
 
                                                           
Another from Bill
Almost unbelievable......
 
China's Super Highway: MEGAPROJECTS
 
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTrg9fTJvmA
                       
 
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive, double-pane, energy-efficient kind.
 
        Today, I got a call from Home Depot who installed them.  The caller complained that the work had been
 
    completed a year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.
 
        Helloooo,........... just because I'm a Senior Citizen doesn't mean that I am automatically mentally challenged.
 
        So, I told him just what his fast-talking sales guy told me last year—that these windows would pay for
 
    themselves in a year.
 
Hellooooo? It's been a year, so they're paid for, I told him.
 
There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally hung up.
 
He never called back.  I bet he felt like an idiot.
 
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Monday Morning Humor from Al
Advent Virus Warning
     Be on the alert for symptoms of hope, peace, joy and love.  The hearts of a great many persons have already been exposed to the Advent Virus, and it is possible that people everywhere could become contaminated.  This could become an epidemic if not checked quickly.  It would pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict and distrust in the world.
     Some signs and symptoms of the Advent Virus:
A tendency to think and act with others in mind; 
An unmistakable ability to enjoy the present moment; 
A loss of interest in judging or condemning other people; 
A loss of interest in conflict and arguing; 
A loss of the ability to worry (a very serious symptom!); 
Frequent, inexplicable episodes of appreciation; 
Frequent feelings of connectedness with others; 
Frequent attacks of smiling and/or humming; 
An inexplicable sense of contentedness; 
A peculiar loss of self-centeredness; 
A tendency to let go of control and allow things to happen; 
A tendency to read the Bible and pray; 
An increasing susceptibility to friendliness in others, and 
An uncontrollable urge to share it with others.
Be on the Alert!  The Advent Virus is highly contagious!
Some suggestions to avoid a download into your system (soul):
Stay away from people who believe in God;
Keep your mind closed to new spiritual messages;
Focus on your self-serving priorities;
Find excuses to avoid worship and praise of God;
Do not open messages that speak of:
Forgiveness,
Reconciliation,
Peace,
Joy,
Faith,
Hope,
Love.


And now for some humor…


Submitted by Jerry Norris:

From the Desk 0f Santa Claus:
     I regret to inform you that, effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve the southern United States on Christmas Eve.  Due to the overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209.  I now serve only certain areas of  Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.
     As part of the new and better contract, I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies, so keep that in mind.  However, I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement, who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus.  His side of the family is from the South Pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good 'ole boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us.
     Differences such as:
There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus.  He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: "These toys insured by Smith & Wesson."
Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave an RC cola and pork rinds [or a moon pie] on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe.  He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.
Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs instead of reindeer.  I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.
You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner & Blitzen ..." when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead, you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and Labonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliott and Petty"
"Ho, ho, ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!"
As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words "Back off".  Last I heard, it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters.
The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area.  Instead, you'll see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas" and "Smokey and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of state patrol cars crashing into each other.
Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.
And finally, lovely Christmas songs have been sung about me like "Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer" and Bing Crosby's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."  This year songs such as Mark Chesnutt's "Bubba Claus Shot the Jukebox" and Cledus T. Judd's "All I Want for Christmas Is My Woman and a Six Pack" will be played on all the AM radio stations in the South..
Sincerely Yours, Santa Claus
Member of North American Fairies and Elves Local 209



Submitted by Marty Baugh:

Thought you might be interested in trying this Fruitcake Recipe:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
nuts
1 gallon whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality.
Take a large bowl.
Check the whiskey again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
Pour one level cup and drink.
Repeat.
Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whiskey is still OK.   Cry another tup.
Turn off mixer.
Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift 2 cups of salt.  Or something.  Who cares?
Check the whiskey.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.  Spoon.  Of sugar or something.  Whatever you can find.
Grease the oven.
Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Throw the bowl out of the window.
Check the whiskey again.
Go to bed.
Who the heck likes fruitcake anyway?



Submitted by Pastor Beck:

     A father of three sons was dying and wanted to give to his three sons his inheritance of 17 horses.   He wrote, "My oldest receives a half, my second receives a third, and my youngest receives a ninth."   The sons quarreled among each other because none of them could come out with the right amount since a half of a horse is a dead horse.   Soon the father died, and the quarreling increased. 
     A neighbor overheard the sons and offered, "Here, take my only horse.  That'll bring your father's total number of horses to 18."    The sons refigured and came to the conclusion that the oldest could take home 9; the second, 6, and the youngest, 2. Then they added them up and…yes, it comes to 17.  Then, the neighbor took his horse home.
     Sometimes to make Christmas come, we have to give up our only horse.



Submitted by Rob Hansen:

I Think Santa Claus Is a Woman.
     I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he's a she.  Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing, social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!
     For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve.  Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves.  On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman.
     Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.
     Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there  would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on  to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck  season had been extended.  Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist.
     Even if the male Santa did have reindeer, he'd still have transportation  problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and  clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.
     Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:
Men can't pack a bag.
Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.  Men would feel their masculinity is threatened...having to be seen with all those elves.
Men don't answer their mail.
Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described, even in jest, as anything remotely resembling a "bowlfull of jelly." Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.  Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.
Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.
     I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men:
Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definitely a guy.
Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers.
     Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test. But not St. Nick. Not a chance.



Submitted by Mark Logan:

     There are approximately two billion children (people under 18) in the world.  However, Since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions, this reduces Santa's workload to about 15% of the total, or 378 million children (according to the population reference bureau).  At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes to 108 million homes, presuming there is at least one good child in each.
     Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming east to west (which seems logical) movement.  This works out to 967.7 visits per second.  This is to say that for each Christian household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, get back up the chimney,
     Assuming that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which we know to be false, but will accept for the purposes of our calculations), we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks.  This means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second - 3,000 times the speed of sound.  For purposes of comparison, the fastest man made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a pokey 27.4 miles per second.
     The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element.  Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh is carrying more than 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself.  On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds.  Even granting that "flying" reindeer can pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can't be done with 8, or even 9, of them.  Santa would need 360,000 of them.  This increases the payload, not counting the weight   of  600,000 Tons, travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance.  This would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth's atmosphere.  The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of   energy per second each.  In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake.  The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second,   or  Not that it matters, though, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 miles per second in .001 seconds, would be subjected to acceleration forces of 17,000 G's.  A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to   the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force, instantly crushing his bones and organs and reducing him to a quivering blob of pink goo.
     Therefore, if Santa did exist, he's dead now.



Submitted by Keith Spreuer:

     One particular Christmas season a long time ago, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip... but there were problems everywhere.
     Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.
     Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.
     When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where. More stress.
     Then when he began to load the sleigh one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.
     So, frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered that the elves had hid the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor.
     He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from. Just then the doorbell rang and Santa mumbled on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.
     The angel said, very cheerfully, "Merry Christmas Santa. Isn't it just a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Isn't it just a lovely tree? Where would you like me to stick it?"
     And thus began the tradition of sticking the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.


Have a great week,
Al


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Item Number:1 Date: 12/04/2017 AFGHANISTAN - SUICIDE BOMBER ON MOTORCYCLE KILLS 6 IN JALALABAD (DEC 04/SKY)  SKY NEWS -- A suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan has killed at least six people and wounded 13 others, reports Sky News (U.K.).   The bomber was trying to make his way via motorcycle to a pro-government rally in Jalalabad on Sunday, reported Voice of America News. Security forces stopped the man, prompting him to detonate an explosive device, said Nangarhar provincial officials cited by Tolo News (Afghanistan).   All those killed were civilians, said a government official cited by China's state Xinhua news agency.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility.   The blast came one day after a series of coordinated attacks in Jalalabad killed two intelligence officers and injured 10 people. One killed was a local intelligence chief. That attack was claimed by a local affiliate of the Islamic State
Item Number:2 Date: 12/04/2017 FRANCE - ARMY TAKES INITIAL DELIVERY OF NEW MAN-PORTABLE ANTI-TANK WEAPONS (DEC 04/FMIN)  FRENCH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- European missile maker MBDA has delivered an initial batch of MMP anti-tank weapons to the French defense procurement agency, DGA, reports the French Ministry of Defense.   Fifty missiles and 20 firing posts were handed over between Nov. 15 and Nov. 23, the ministry said.   The MMP (an abbreviation of the French term for medium-range missile) will gradually replace aging Milan missiles, HOT missiles mounted on VAB armored vehicles and the Eryx guided missile, the MoD said on Nov. 30.   French army infantry and cavalry units are in line for the new weapon system, as are the special operations forces of the army, navy and air force.   The MMP program is expected to total 400 firing posts and 1,750 missiles by 2025, said the ministry and MBDA.   Initial operational deployment is slated for 2018, the ministry said.   The medium-range system has both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop capabilities, noted Defense News
Item Number:3 Date: 12/04/2017 GERMANY - AMERICANS IN GERMANY EYED AS POTENTIAL U.S. MARINE RECRUITS (DEC 04/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The U.S. Marine Corps is set to open a new recruiting post for Americans in Germany, reports the Marine Corps Times.   On Feb. 15, the service will open a recruiting substation at Kleber Kaserne, a U.S. Army base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, said Sgt. Christopher Nieves, who is assigned to the facility.   The area has about 50,000 U.S. personnel and family members, noted the Stars and Stripes.   A Marine stationed in Germany suggested opening a recruiting facility, because Americans were returning to the U.S. to enlist, Nieves told the newspaper last week.   Only Americans, including the children of U.S. servicemembers, contractors and other Americans living in Europe, can enlist in the Corps, he said.   Nieves will be the only Marine recruiter in Europe at first. However, he is working with applicants from Brussels, London and Spain, so the service could eventually visit high schools beyond Germany, the recruiter said.   The substation is the first full-time Marine recruiting station outside the U.S
Item Number:4 Date: 12/04/2017 IRAQ - THOUSANDS OF YAZIDIS KIDNAPPED BY ISIS STILL MISSING (DEC 04/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Iraqi officials say that about half of the Yazidis who were kidnapped by the Islamic State three years ago are still missing, reports Agence France Presse.   Officials from the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Kurdistan said on Sunday that of the 6,417 Yazidis abducted by the jihadists after Aug. 3, 2014, only 3,207 have been rescued or freed.   The fate of the others is not known. At least 1,507 women or girls are among the missing, said one official. More than 2,500 children are now orphans due to the killing and abductions.   In 2014, ISIS fighters killed thousands of Yazidis in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar and kidnapped thousands of women and girls. Kurdish peshmerga fighters fought back against ISIS but forces from Baghdad did not take control of the region until October.   At one point, it was estimated that there were 500,000 members of the religious minority in Iraq. At least 100,000 have left the country and another 360,000 are living as internally displaced persons, the official said
  Item Number:5 Date: 12/04/2017 LEBANON - NEW SAR CENTER PLANNED WITH CYPRIOT HELP; ANNOUNCEMENT COMES AFTER DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING IN NICOSIA (DEC 04/DAILYSTAR)  DAILY STAR -- The Cypriot government has pledged to help Lebanon build a search-and-rescue center to respond to emergencies off its Mediterranean Sea coast, reports the Daily Star (Beirut).   Cypriot officials will provide training, technical knowledge and financial assistance for the center, said a Nov. 30 statement from the Lebanese Defense Ministry.   The center will also bolster bilateral cooperation on maritime security in the eastern Mediterranean, said the statement.   The announcement came after Cypriot Defense Minister Christophoros Fokaides met on Thursday with his Lebanese counterpart, Yaacoub Sarraf, in Nicosia, the Cypriot capital.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 12/04/2017 LITHUANIA - GOVERNMENT AGAIN TO DONATE RIFLES, AMMUNITION, ANTI-TANK WEAPONS TO UKRAINE (DEC 04/LIMOD)  LITHUANIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Lithuanian government has decided to donate a variety of military equipment to Ukraine, reports the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense.   The gear will consist of weapons and ammunition that the Lithuanian military used before becoming a NATO member and that do not coincide with NATO-standard calibers, the ministry said on Nov. 27.   The donation is expected to include automatic rifles and carbines; machine guns; anti-armor weapons; ammunition; and spare parts.   The equipment is expected to be handed over as soon as possible, said the ministry.   The move is intended to strengthen Ukraine's defense capabilities and ensure its sovereignty, Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said.   Last year, Lithuania said it would again supply Ukraine with lethal weaponry that it no longer used. At the time, Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told Reuters: "We are sending a message to Ukraine that it is not alone" in resisting Russian aggression to its territory.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 12/04/2017 NIGERIA - SUICIDE BOMBING IN MARKET LEAVES 13 DEAD (DEC 04/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- A suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria over the weekend has killed at least 13 people and injured more than 50, say local officials as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.   Saturday's attack targeted a market in the town of Biu. The town is about 115 miles from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in the northeast.   Two female attackers detonated suicide vests near the town's main square, said police. One pretended to be waiting in line to receive food handouts, noted a rescuer quoted by the Voice of America News.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility, though the Islamist Boko Haram is suspected
Item Number:8 Date: 12/04/2017 SINGAPORE - U.S. STATE DEPT. ON BOARD WITH PURCHASE OF LASER-GUIDED BOMBS FOR TRAINING UNIT IN IDAHO (DEC 04/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has notified Congress of its approval of a potential Foreign Military Sale of guided weapons to Singapore, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The proposed US$415 million deal covers 40 GBU-10 Paveway II laser-guided bomb units consisting of MXU-651B/B air foil groups, MAU-209C/B or MAU-169L/B computer control groups and Mk 84 or BLU-117B/B bomb bodies; and 84 GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb units consisting of MUX-650C/B air foil groups, MAU-209C/B or MAU-168L/B computer control groups and Mk 82 or BLU-111B/B bomb bodies, the DSCA said on Nov. 29.   The possible sale also includes 60 FMU-152 or FMU-139D/B fuzes; AIM-120 AMRAAM telemetry kits; target drones; high-bandwidth compact telemetry module kits; spare and repair parts; and associated technical and logistics support.   If concluded, the potential purchase would improve Singapore's ability to develop experienced pilots to support its F-15SG fighters with its pilot proficiency program at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, the agency said
  Item Number:9 Date: 12/04/2017 SOUTH KOREA - AIR FORCE SETS UP NEW ISR WING TO MONITOR GROWING N. KOREAN NUCLEAR, MISSILE THREATS (DEC 04/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean air force has activated a new airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) unit designed to improve the monitoring of nuclear and missile threats from the North, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The new aviation intelligence wing is responsible for 24/7 monitoring of Pyongyang's activities in close coordination with U.S. ISR assets on the peninsula.   The unit will also collect and analyze information from South Korea's military space assets, the air force said on Friday.   The wing will operate four RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles ordered from the U.S., which are scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019.   The larger unit replaces the 37th Tactical Intelligence Squadron, the air force said.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 12/04/2017 SOUTH KOREA - LAWMAKERS GIVE OVERSEAS MILITARY MISSIONS ANOTHER YEAR (DEC 04/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean National Assembly has extended the deployment of military personnel around the world, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Two of the motions passed on Friday called for extending the mandate of the South Korean contingents assigned to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until the end of 2018.   The others authorize the South Korean contingent training the United Arab Emirates military and the Cheonghae anti-piracy unit operating in the Gulf of Aden to continue until the end of next year.   As of Nov. 30, 2016, there were 329 South Koreans in Lebanon and 293 in South Sudan, according to government figures. Four more staff have since been deployed to UNIFIL and seven to UNMISS.   The Cheonghae unit has 302 personnel; there are 146 in the U.A.E. contingent
  Item Number:11 Date: 12/04/2017 SOUTH KOREA - U.S., S. KOREA BEGIN LARGE AERIAL DRILL; EXERCISE OPPOSED BY N. KOREA, CHINA, RUSSIA (DEC 04/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- South Korea and the U.S. have just begun large-scale joint aerial drills in the Korean peninsula, reports CNN.   The annual drills, called Vigilante Ace, began on Monday and will continue until Friday, noted the Daily Telegraph (U.K.) – which reported that both China and Russia had called for the drills to be cancelled.   Among the 230 aircraft taking part are six F-22 Raptors, along with an unspecified number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, said a spokesman from the U.S. Air Force.   Other assets expected to be included are B-1B Lancer bombers, EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jets, and F-15C and F-16 fighter jets, according to South Korea's official Yonhap news agency.   About 20,000 U.S. and South Korean troops are expected to participate, said the U.S. Pacific Command.   The drills will simulate the creation of an air bridge in the western Pacific, allowing fighters to deploy efficiently and effectively, PACOM said in a statement.   Pyongyang criticized the drills, saying they were a "dangerous provocation that could" inflame tension in the Korean peninsula, as reported by Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's ruling communist party newspaper.   The exercises come less than a week after North Korea test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile
Item Number:12 Date: 12/04/2017 SYRIA - ARMY INTERCEPTS ISRAELI MISSILES NEAR DAMASCUS, SAY SYRIAN STATE MEDIA (DEC 04/MIDEEYE)  MIDDLE EAST EYE -- Syrian air defenses have intercepted what state media said were Israeli missiles close to the country's capital, reports the Middle East Eye (London).   On Friday, just after midnight, local time, "the Israeli enemy fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military position in Damascus province," reported the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).   SANA reported that the military was able to intercept the missiles, but said the strike caused material damage in the towns of Kiswah and Sahnaya, both located near Damascus.   However, Sky News (U.K.) reported that the strikes originated in Lebanese airspace, suggesting an air-to-surface missile. Haaretz (Israel) intimated that both missiles and warplanes were used in the attack   The head of a monitoring group based in London said the strike apparently hit an arms depot.   Accounts differ. Some suggested the strike targeted a Syrian facility, with others describing the depot as Iranian or belonging to Hezbollah.   Israeli military officials declined to comment
Item Number:13 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - AIR FORCE VALIDATES TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GROUND-BASED STRATEGIC DETERRENT ICBM PROGRAM (DEC 04/BOEING)  BOEING -- Boeing has announced the successful completion of its first Air Force review for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program.   The November review established the baseline for the GBSD and validated program technical requirements ahead of the design and development phase, said a company release on Nov. 30.   The GBSD will replace the Minuteman III ICBM.   The system requirements review was completed about two months after Boeing received a $349 million technology maturation and risk-reduction contract for the program.   The Boeing design addresses the replacement of the entire ICBM system, including new flight systems, weapon system command-and-control and launch systems within existing Minuteman silos.   A preliminary design review is planned for 2020
Item Number:14 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - ANONYMOUS CRITIC BLASTS TRAINING AT SPECIAL WARFARE SCHOOL; ARMY WILL PROBE ALLEGATIONS (DEC 04/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army says it has begun an investigation into allegations of lowered training standards and "moral cowardice" among Army leaders at the school that trains Green Berets, reports the Army Times.   The accusations were made in an anonymous email sent by a writer claiming to be speaking on behalf of a number of trainers at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C.   The writer said that over the last two years, a drive to increase the number of special operations personnel has resulted in fundamental standards being cut, which could threaten the future of the force.   The writer also alleges that Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, the school's commander, and other members of his command staff have put careerism ahead of building a quality force.   "[The school] has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders," according to the email, shared with Army Times and other media outlets. "They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces [are] more prolific but dangerously less capable than ever before."   The email charges that a command directive bars remedial training or physical punishment for student infractions, saying that only counseling or Uniform Code of Military Justice actions would be taken.   The anonymous writer also alleges that students are no longer required to pass physical standards, such as a 15-foot (4.6-m) rope climb while carrying 25 pounds (11 kg); a 5-mile (8-km) run in under 40 minutes; and a 12-mile (19-km) ruck march in under three others; among others.   Sonntag has defended the quality of graduates during his tenure.   The commander of the school at Fort Bragg denied most of the allegations, but said some of the comments required more evaluation, as reported by one wire service
Item Number:15 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - CIA DIRECTOR SAYS HE WARNED IRANIAN GENERAL; LETTER SAID TO BE UNOPENED (DEC 04/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- CIA Director Mike Pompeo has confirmed he sent a letter to the commander of Iran's force dedicated to planning and executing foreign operations about threats to U.S. forces in Iraq, reports Military Times.   Speaking at a defense forum on Dec. 2, Pompeo said that Qasem Soleimani, the commander of of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force, refused to open the letter.   The letter warned that the U.S. would hold Soleimani and his forces responsible for any Iranian attack on U.S. troops supporting the Iraqi government against ISIS, according to Pompeo.   Fars, an Iranian news agency, said the letter arrived "recently" but was not received, as cited by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   Soleimani oversees forces fighting the Islamic State in Syrian city of Bukamal, on the Iraqi border, said an Iranian official cited by Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan).  
  Item Number:16 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - NSA STAFFER PLEADS GUILTY TO TAKING HOME CLASSIFIED DEFENSE DOCUMENTS (DEC 04/BALT)  BALTIMORE SUN -- A former National Security Agency employee has pleaded guilty in federal court to removing classified defense documents and bringing them home, reports the Baltimore Sun.   The documents are believed to have been stolen from his home computer by hackers working at the behest of or cooperation with Russian intelligence, reported the New York Times.   Nghia H. Pho, 67, pleaded guilty on Friday to willful retention of national defense information.   The crime carries a possible sentence of 10 years in jail; prosecutors agreed to not to seek more than eight years.   The case had not been previously revealed in detail. The charges were unsealed Dec. 1.   Pho worked for the NSA's Tailored Access Operations unit out of Ft. Meade, Md., according to court documents.   From 2010 to 2015, Pho took thousands of classified documents and files to his home computer, said prosecutors. Pho was said to be using the information to rewrite his resume.   The New York Times said the hackers apparently used antivirus software made by the Kaspersky Lab to gain access.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - NIGER GIVES PERMISSION TO U.S. TO ARM ITS DRONES FLYING FROM ITS TERRITORY (DEC 04/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- Pentagon officials say the U.S. military and the Nigerien government have agreed that the U.S. can fly armed unmanned aerial vehicles from its base in Niger, reports the Stars and Stripes.   Washington has been flying unarmed MQ-9 Reapers from an airbase in the Nigerien capital of Niamey.   Under the agreement reached last week, armed Reapers could begin to fly within days, the New York Times said on Nov. 30.   The armed drones will give U.S. forces in western Africa increased airpower.   The military has long eyed the use of armed Reapers in Niger. The deadly ambush of special operations forces in Niger on Oct. 4 added urgency to the debate.   The U.S. military expects to move its drone operations to a new base in Agadez in central Niger next year.   The current Niger base has become the main hub for U.S. operations in the region against extremists such as Boko Haram, based in Nigeria, Al-Qaida-affiliates and Islamic State militants.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 12/04/2017 USA - PRESIDENT SAID TO BE STILL MULLING DECISION ON MOVING U.S, EMBASSY IN ISRAEL TO JERUSALEM (DEC 04/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- Arab leaders have urged Washington against a possible move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, saying such a move would negatively impact future negotiations, reports the Times of Israel.   "If the American government does in fact…recognize a unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfers the American embassy to Jerusalem, this is a step that will end any chance of a peace process," a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Sunday.   The move "will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence," said the Arab League's Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit in a statement.   President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Sunday that Washington was still considering the move.   Jerusalem is claimed as the capital by both Israelis and Palestinians.   American presidents must sign a security waiver every six months to keep the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, with Dec. 4 being the next deadline. Last week, U.S. officials suggested that President Trump planned to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but not move the embassy, noted the New York Times. The plans were not firm, however, officials said
  Item Number:19 Date: 12/04/2017 YEMEN - ANOTHER HOUTHI MISSILE INTERCEPTED, SAY OFFICIALS (DEC 04/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- Saudi forces say they have intercepted a missile flying over its airspace, reports Defense News.   The missile was intercepted and destroyed without causalities on Nov. 30, said a spokesperson for the military alliance battling Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen.   The missile was heading to the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait in Asir province, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya channel reported.   The spokesperson said the attack provided more evidence for the "consistent stream of weapons smuggled into Yemen." Riyadh and Washington have both accused Tehran of supplying weaponry to the rebels.   On Sunday, the arm of Yemen's state media operated by the Houthis, SABA, claimed a rebel-launched missile struck the al-Barakah nuclear reactor in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, a Saudi ally. There were reports of a missile reaching the U.A.E., reported Reuters
Item Number:20 Date: 12/04/2017 YEMEN - FORMER PRESIDENT SALEH ALLEGEDLY KILLED IN SANAA BY HOUTHIS, REBELS ANNOUNCE (DEC 04/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been killed, reports media loyal to the Houthi rebels, as cited by CNN.   Houthi-controlled al-Masirah TV broadcast the news on Monday. Videos were circulating on Monday showing what appears to be Saleh's body being dragged through the street.   CNN noted that it had seen the footage, though pointing out that it could not be independently verified. The death was reported by Sanaa's Houthi-controlled Interior Ministry.   Houthi fighters attacked Saleh's home in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, on Monday, reported Al Jazeera. Sources initially denied that Saleh had been killed.   On Monday, fighting between the Shi'ite Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Saleh entered their fifth day. Houthi sources claim to have retaken the majority of Sanaa.   Saleh fought the Houthis for years when he was president of Yemen from 1990 until 2012. After he stepped down amid popular protests, Saleh briefly disappeared from the political scene. He returned as an ally of the rebel movement in 2015.   Saleh publicly announced an end to the alliance on Saturday, saying he was open to speaking to Saudi Arabia directly. A spokesman for the Houthis said on Saturday the move amounted to a "coup."   The Houthis ousted internationally recognized president Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2014 and 2015. They have been battling a Saudi-led coalition of states seeking to restore him.   The death of Saleh would be a blow to hopes for an end to the conflict, say observers.
 
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