Monday, December 18, 2017

Fw: TheList 4614

The List 4614


To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend. The List will be spotty this week as I am going to Idaho to visit Son and his family but taking the computer.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History - December 18
Dec. 18
1902—During the Venezuela Crisis of 1902-1903, Adm. George Dewey receives orders from President Theodore Roosevelt to sail with the North and South Atlantic Squadron to Trinidad then Venezuela to ensure Great Britain and Germany's dispute with Venezuela is settled by peaceful arbitration, not force. A settlement is reached February 1903.
1927—Chief Gunner's Mate Thomas Eadie dives under adverse conditions to help Chief Torpedoman Fred Michels, who had problems connecting an airline to USS S 4 as it is sinking. After two hours of extremely dangerous work, Eadie succeeds in his mission and brings Michels safely to the surface. For his extraordinary heroism Eadie is awarded the Medal of Honor. Michels receives his second Navy Cross for his rescue efforts on USS S 4.
1943—USS Aspro (SS 309) attacks a Japanese convoy in Sakishima Gunto, damaging fleet tankers Sarawak Maru and Tenei Maru, and escapes counter attacks by destroyer Shoikaze. Meanwhile, USS Grayback (SS 208) sinks Japanese freighter Gyokurei Maru east-northeast of Naha, Okinawa and escapes counter attacks by destroyer Numakaze.
1944—Adm. Halsey's 3rd Fleet encounters a typhoon northeast of Samar. Destroyers USS Hull (DD 350), USS Spence (DD 512), and USS Monaghan (DD 354) capsized and went down with practically all hands, while a cruiser, five aircraft carriers, and three destroyers suffered serious damage. Approximately 790 officers and men were lost or killed, with another 80 injured.
1965—The River Patrol Force is established in Vietnam. In December 1970, the resources are transferred by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt to the Vietnamese Navy. 
 
2016 Today in History December 18
1118
Afonso the Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captures Saragossa, Spain, causing a major blow to Muslim Spain.
1812
Napoleon Bonaparte arrives in Paris after his disastrous campaign in Russia.
1862
Nathan Bedford Forrest engages and defeats a Federal cavalry force near Lexington in his continued effort to disrupt supply lines.
1862
Union General Ulysses S. Grant announces the organization of his army in the West. Sherman, Hurlbut, McPherson, and McClernand are to be corps commanders.
1865
Slavery is abolished in the United States. The 13th Amendment is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution, ensuring that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
1915
In a single night, about 20,000 Australian and New Zealand troops withdraw from Gallipoli, Turkey, undetected by the Turks defending the peninsula.
1916
The Battle of Verdun ends with the French and Germans each having suffered more than 330,000 killed and wounded in 10 months. It was the longest engagement of World War I.
1925
Soviet leaders Lev Kamenev and Grigori Zinoviev break with Joseph Stalin.
1940
Adolf Hitler issues his secret plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union--Operation Barbarossa.
1941
Defended by 610 fighting men, the American-held island of Guam falls to more than 5,000 Japanese invaders in a three-hour battle.
1941
Japan invades Hong Kong.
1942
Adolf Hitler meets with Benito Mussolini and Pierre Laval.
1944
Japanese forces are repelled from northern Burma by British troops.
1951
North Koreans give the United Nations a list of 3,100 POWs.
1956
Japan is admitted to the United Nations.
1960
A rightist government is installed under Prince Boun Oum in Laos as the United States resumes arms shipments.
1965
U.S. Marines attack VC units in the Que Son Valley during Operation Harvest Moon.
1970
An atomic leak in Nevada forces hundreds of citizens to flee the test site.
1972
President Richard M. Nixon declares that the bombing of North Vietnam will continue until an accord can be reached (Operation Linebacker II).
1989
The European Economic Community and the Soviet Union sign an agreement on trade and economic communication.
2002
California Gov. Gray Davis announces the state faces a record budget deficit; the looming $35 billion shortfall is almost double the amount reported a month earlier during the state's gubernatorial campaign.
2005
Civil war begins in Chad with a rebel assault on Adre; the rebels are believed to be backed by Chad's neighbor, Sudan.
2008
United Arab Emirates holds it first-ever elections.
2010
In an opening act of Arab Spring, anti-government protests erupt in Tunisia.
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 18 DECEMBER 1967… 1967 REVIEW: FOUR HOLIDAY STAND-DOWNS…
December 17, 2017    Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #651… Part IX of 1967 Ops…During the year four stand-downs from combat ops were observed…. As in the case of all previous stand-downs, those in 1967 were beneficial to the enemy… but first…
 
 
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Thanks to Al
Monday Morning Humor--Getting Ready for Christmas
Some Christmas puns...
What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic.
What did the Gingerbread Man put on his bed? A cookie sheet!
Who sings "Love Me Tender," and makes Christmas toys? Santa's little Elvis.
Which of Santa's reindeer needs to mind his manners? "Rude"olph
Which reindeer has the cleanest antlers? Comet
 

     According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
     Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.
     We should've known. Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
 

     The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. this Christmas. This isn't for any religious constitutional reason. They simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the Nation's capitol.
     There was no problem however finding enough asses to fill the stable.
 

     Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates. "In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
     The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said.
     "You may pass through the pearly gates" Saint Peter said.
     The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."
     Saint Peter said "You may pass through the pearly gates."
     The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
     St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
     The man replied, "They're Carol's."
 
 
A Christmas cookie recipe worth your time...
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila
 
     Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.  Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup...just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off floor... Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.
     Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.
     Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.
     CHERRY MISTMAS
 
  
     A family had twin boys whose only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in every way, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist.
     Just to see what would happen, on Christmas eve, their father loaded the pessimist's room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist's room he loaded with horse manure.
     That night the father passed by the pessimist's room and found him sitting amid his new gifts crying bitterly. "Why are you crying?" the father asked.
     "Because my friends will be jealous, I'll have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I'll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken." answered the pessimist twin.
     Passing the optimist twin's room, the father found him dancing for joy in the pile of manure. "What are you so happy about?" he asked.
     To which his optimist twin replied, "There's got to be a pony in here somewhere!"
 
 
      The teacher was very curious about Christmas and how people celebrated this Holiday.
     She asked young Patrick Murphy, "Tell me Patrick, what do you do at Christmas Time ?"
     "Well miss, me and my twelve brothers and sisters go to the midnight Mass, then we come home very late and we put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings then all excited we go to bed and wait for Father Christmas to come with all our toys."
     That's very nice, Patrick.
     "Now Jimmy Brown, what do you do at Christmas?"
     "Well miss, me and my sister also go to church with Mum and Dad and we sing carols we get home ever so late. We put biscuits and mince pies by the chimney and we hang up our stocking. We hardly sleep waiting for Santa Claus to bring our presents."
     That's very nice Jimmy.
     "Now Isaac Cohen, What do you do at Christmas?"
     "Well it's the same thing every year, Dad comes home from the office, he opens the electric garage door, we all get in to his Rolls Royce, then we drive to his toy factory, we go inside and look at all the empty shelves, and Dad says "Thank God For Jesus Christ " and then we all go to the Bahamas."
 

Have a great week,
Al
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100 Men and Women We'll Test Today…and 100 Wear the Green Beret…
By Ray Starmann
You are an eyewitness with a front row seat, watching the death of the US military right before your eyes.
 
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Chaos at Atlanta International airport
Thanks to Stan
 
Seems that this afternoon an electrical power substation caught fire and power was knocked out to ALL of the airport.   Thousands of flights cancelled as ripple effect crosses the country.    It was mentioned that this same underground substation contained a portion of the "redundancy systems", and that is why the power failed to come back on.
While this is an interesting coincidence, did not the electrical engineers ever consider the concept of redundant locations for critical systems?   If terrorists ever find some of these technological 'jugular veins' we are in for big trouble.   Now that this substation has been exposed as a critical node, they will HAVE  to build a duplicate.  At least you'd hope.  Did not the same thing happen to a major Atlanta telecom provider this summer?   Remember the whole east coast internet was degraded for a day.    
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Thanks to Robert
Some Irish  humor
 
While reading an article last night about fathers and sons, memories came flooding back to the time I took me son out for his first pint.  Off we went to our local pub only two blocks from the cottage.
 I got him a Guinness.  He didn't like it, so I drank it.
 Then I got him a Kilkenny's, he didn't like that either, so I drank it. Finally, I thought he might like some Harp Lager?  He didn't.  I drank it.
 I thought maybe he'd like whisky better than beer so we tried a Jameson's; nope!  
 In desperation, I had him try that rare Redbreast, Ireland's finest whisky.  He wouldn't even smell it.  
 What could I do but drink it!
 By the time I realized he just didn't like to drink, I was so shit-faced I could hardly push his stroller back home!!!
 
Irish Confession
 
I went into the confessional box after many years of being away from the Catholic Church. 
  Inside I found a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap.  On one wall, there was a row of decanters with fine Irish whiskey and Waterford crystal glasses.  On the other wall was a dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates.
 When the priest came in, I said to him, "Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be."
He replied, "You moron, you're on my side."
 
Some Light Dublin Traffic Humor
 
A car full of Irish nuns are sitting at a traffic light in downtown Dublin when a bunch of rowdy drunks pull up alongside of them. 
 "Hey, show us yer teets, ya bloody penguins." shouts one of the drunks. Quite shocked, Mother Superior turns to Sister Mary Immaculata and says, "I don't think they know who we are; show them your cross." 
 Sister Mary Immaculata rolls down her window and shouts, "Piss off, ya fookin' little wankers, before I come over there and rip yer balls off."  She then rolls up her window, looks back at Mother Superior quite innocently, and asks, "Did that sound cross enough?"
 
AN IRISH BLONDE IN A CASINO
 
An attractive blonde from Cork, Ireland arrived at the casino.  She seemed a little intoxicated and bet twenty-thousand Euros on a single roll of the dice. 
 She said, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely naked."
 With that, she stripped from the neck down, rolled the dice and with an Irish brogue yelled, "Come on, baby, Mama needs new clothes!"
 As the dice came to a stop, she jumped up and down and squealed: "YES! YES! I WON, I WON!"
She hugged each of the dealers and then picked up her winnings (and her clothes) and quickly departed.
 The dealers stared at each other dumbfounded.  Finally, one of them asked, "What did she roll?"
 The other answered, "I don't know - I thought you were watching the dice."
 
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Not all Irish are drunks. 
Not all blondes are dumb. 
But all men.... are men. 
 
Irish Fun
 
Mick says to Paddy: "Close your curtains the next time you're shagging your wife. The whole street was watching and laughing at you yesterday."
Paddy says: "Well the joke's on them stupid bastards, because I wasn't even home yesterday."
 
Paddy & Mick find three grenades, so they decide to take them to a police station.
Mick: "What if one explodes before we get there?"
Paddy: "We'll lie and say we only found two." 
 
Paddy was driving home, drunk as a skunk, suddenly he has to swerve to avoid a tree, then another, then another. A cop car pulls him over as he veers about all over the road. Paddy tells the cop about all the trees in the road.
Cop says "For God's sake Paddy, that's your air freshener swinging about!" 
 
Reilly went to trial for armed robbery. The jury foreman came out and announced, 'Not guilty.'
'That's grand!' shouted Reilly. 'Does that mean I can keep the money?'
 
Murphy told Quinn that his wife was driving him to drink. 
Quinn thinks he's very lucky because his own wife makes him walk. 
 
Mrs. Feeney shouted from the kitchen, 'Is that you I hear spittin' in the vase on the mantel piece?'
'No,' said himself, 'but I'm gettin' closer all the time.' 
 
 Finnegin: My wife has a terrible habit of staying up 'til two o'clock in the morning. I can't break her out of it.
Keenan: What on earth is she doin' at that time?
Finnegin: Waitin' for me to come home. 
 
Slaney phoned the maternity ward at the hospital. 'Quick!' he said. 'Send an ambulance, my wife is goin' to have a baby!'
'Tell me, is this her first baby?' the intern asked.
'No, this is her husband, Kevin, speakin'.'
 
Did you hear about the Irish newlyweds who sat up all night on their honeymoon waiting for their sexual relations to arrive? 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 12/18/2017 AFGHANISTAN - GUNMEN, SECURITY FORCES EXCHANGE FIRE NEAR INTEL TRAINING CENTER IN KABUL; ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY (DEC 18/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- Heavily armed militants have attacked an Afghan intelligence training facility in Kabul, the nation's capital, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   On Monday, several assailants entered a building near the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan's main intelligence agency.   They hit a neighboring training facility with light arms and rocket fire, said local officials in a developing story.   The "number of attackers, possible casualties and their targets is not yet clear," said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, as cited by Reuters.   Three attackers were reportedly killed. One police officer was reportedly wounded, according to Voice of America News. Initial reports suggested that some attackers were wearing police uniforms.   Through its Amaq news agency, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack
Item Number:2 Date: 12/18/2017 AUSTRIA - CONSERVATIVES, RIGHT-WING POPULISTS TO FORM COALITION GOVERNMENT (DEC 18/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Austria's president has approved a new governing coalition that includes the right-wing populist Freedom Party, reports Deutsche Welle.   President Alexander Van der Bellen's approval on Saturday was largely ceremonial. The president said he was assured that Austria would remain at the center of a "strong European Union."   This means that Austria will have the continent's first coalition government to include a far-right party, noted Politico.   The Freedom Party will be the minor coalition partner to the conservative People's Party, led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. Kurz, currently foreign minister, will become the new chancellor and the world's youngest head of government.   Freedom Party members will head the foreign, interior and defense ministries, among others, noted BBC.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 12/18/2017 CHINA - SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS CONTINUING CHINESE CONSTRUCTION ON S. CHINA SEA ISLANDS (DEC 18/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The Chinese government has continued to upgrade and build infrastructure on islands in the disputed South China Sea, according to an analysis cited by the Stars and Stripes.   "International attention has shifted away from the slow-moving crisis in the South China Sea over the course of 2017, but the situation on the water has not remained static," says the Washington, D.C.-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).   The AMTI is part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank. It shared the images and analysis exclusively with the Wall Street Journal.   The recently released satellite images show that over the last year China has built infrastructure such as hangars, bunkers, missile shelters and radars covering more than 70 acres on man-made islands in the Spratly and Paracel chains to upgrade larger outposts into air and naval bases.   Beijing insists the island construction is primarily for civilian purposes and to improve safety for fishing and maritime trade.   The report says that China's land-reclamation efforts in the Spratlys and Paracels were apparently complete by mid-2017.   Beijing has also joined negotiations with Southeast Asian nations, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, which also have claims in the South China Sea, on a code of conduct for the region.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/18/2017 EGYPT - CIVILIAN AIR TRAFFIC BETWEEN MOSCOW, CAIRO TO RESUME IN FEBRUARY; FLIGHTS SUSPENDED IN 2015 AFTER TERROR ATTACK (DEC 18/AL-SHARQ)  AL-SHARQ AL-ASWAT -- The Russian government has announced that direct commercial flights between the Egyptian capital of Cairo and Moscow will resume in February, reports Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London).   Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov and Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi signed a protocol on security cooperation on Dec. 15, paving the way for the resumption of flights.   Flights were halted after a massive terrorist attack on a plane carrying mainly Russian visitors in October 2015, killing all 224 on board. The plane took off from the tourist resort town of Sharm El Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula.   The attack was attributed to the local ISIS affiliate, Sinai Province – which claimed the blast, noted BBC.   The agreement did not cover chartered flights to Egyptian tourist sites
Item Number:5 Date: 12/18/2017 HONDURAS - PRESIDENT DECLARED WINNER; OAS, CITING IRREGULARITIES, CALLS FOR NEW ELECTION (DEC 18/NPR)  NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO -- The Organization of American States (OAS) has urged a new presidential election in Honduras, citing irregularities and doubts surrounding the final results, reports NPR.   The electoral commission released final results of the disputed elections on Sunday night. The commission is controlled by allies of Hernandez, noted the New York Times. Incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez beat challenger Salvador Nasralla by 1.53 percentage points, according to official results.   Observers from OAS and other international groups said multiple problems required a recount.   Problems cited included a clear preference for the ruling party in polling stations, inadequadate physical security of ballots and "deliberate human intrusions into the computer systems that counted the vote," according to NPR.   Nasralla said it was clear there had been fraud "before, during and after" the election, according to Reuters
Item Number:6 Date: 12/18/2017 LIBYA - GUNMEN ABDUCT, KILL MISRATA'S MAYOR (DEC 18/LIBHER)  LIBYA HERALD -- A Libyan official says gunmen abducted and killed the mayor of the northwestern coastal city of Misrata, reports Libyan Herald.   Mayor Mohamed Eshtewi was kidnapped while leaving Misrata's airport Sunday night after returning from an official visit to Turkey, noted AFP.   The mayor's brother, who was in the car, survived the attack, according to several sources.   The mayor's body was dumped a short while later at the city's Safwa hospital, a spokesman said.   Misrata, about 115 miles east of Tripoli, is Libya's third-largest city.   The exact cause of death is unclear. A hospital spokesman said the mayor had bullet wounds in his leg and back. A local security chief said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The mayor had faced growing opposition, noted the BBC.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 12/18/2017 LIBYA - SAIF, SON OF LATE DICTATOR, TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT (DEC 18/EGYPTTODAY)  EGYPT TODAY -- The son of Libya's deposed dictator Muammar Qaddafi intends to upcoming presidential elections, reports Egypt Today.   "Saif al-Islam [Qaddafi] will run for the upcoming presidential elections which may take place in mid-2018," said a family spokesman cried in the paper on Sunday.   Saif, 45, intends to bring more stability across Libya and will soon reveal his plan to do so, said the spokesman.   He is the second-oldest of the dictator's 10 children.   Presidential elections could be held in mid-2018, according to the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).   From 2011 to earlier this year, Saif was held by militias in the town of Zintan. He was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death in absentia in a trial in Tripoli in 2015, noted the Daily Mail (U.K
Item Number:8 Date: 12/18/2017 NETHERLANDS - DEFENSE MINISTRY GOES WITH BOEING TO UPGRADE 6 CHINOOKS (DEC 18/BOEING)  BOEING -- The Netherlands Ministry of Defense has awarded Boeing a contract to modernize six air force CH-47 Chinook helicopters to the latest F-model, reports Boeing.   The work will ensure commonality for the service's entire fleet of 20 CH-47F helicopters, the company said in a release on Dec. 14. The amount of the contract was not specified.   Deliveries of the upgraded Chinooks are scheduled to begin in 2021.   The common configuration will improve operational effectiveness, maintenance and affordability. It includes the Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit with an integrated digital automatic flight-control system, said Boeing
Item Number:9 Date: 12/18/2017 NIGERIA - AID CONVOY IN BORNO COMES UNDER ATTACK, 4 FROM WFP KILLED (DEC 18/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- The World Food Program (WFP) says four members of an aid convoy were killed over the weekend in northeastern Nigeria, reports Premium Times (Nigeria).   The convoy was ambushed Saturday while heading towards a camp for internally displaced persons in Ngala village, Borno State, a WFP spokeswoman said.   The truck driver and his aide were among the victims. The convoy was reportedly escorted by the military, according to the WFP.   Two Nigerian publications – Premium Times and the News Nigeria – reported that as many as three members of the team were kidnapped. WFP did not confirm this detail. The military declined to comment to Reuters.   The WFP is a U.N. body that provides food assistance to the displaced.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Boko Haram is active in the area and has targeted aid groups in the past. Last year, the U.N. suspended food aid to Borno after a convoy was attacked and two aid workers were injured, noted Reuters
Item Number:10 Date: 12/18/2017 PAKISTAN - ISIS CLAIMS QUETTA CHURCH EXPLOSION; 9 DIE IN SUICIDE ATTACK (DEC 18/DAWN)  DAWN -- A suicide bomb and gun attack on a church in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta has killed at least nine people and injured 30 more, reports Dawn (Pakistan), citing Baluchistan's provincial officials.   Two men approached the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon, said officials.   Guards stopped the attackers at the entrance, said witnesses.   Provincial officials told AFP that police shot one attacker outside the church. The other reportedly blew himself up at the church's main doors.   Police are searching for two more suspects who fled the scene after the attack, reported BBC.   The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, according to Reuters
Item Number:11 Date: 12/18/2017 PAKISTAN - IN RARE POSITIVE MOVE, ISLAMABAD DECIDES TO EXCHANGE LIAISON OFFICERS WITH AFGHANISTAN (DEC 18/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- For the first time, the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan have agreed to send liaison officers to each other's military headquarters as a way to better coordinate security, reports the Voice of America News.   The Pakistani government is also awaiting a formal response from Kabul to a proposal for a wide-ranging bilateral dialogue, a Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Islamabad on Dec. 14.   The "Afghanistan Pakistan Action Plan for Solidarity" (APAPS) was shared with Afghan officials on Nov. 25. It provides a comprehensive plan for "constructive and meaningful" engagement through working groups in the areas of politics, economy, military, intelligence-sharing and refugee issues, the ministry spokesman said.   The agreement on liaison officers was reached on Nov. 30 during a meeting between the top military officers of the neighbors.   The sides also agreed to set up ground coordination centers, the spokesman said.   The neighbors have been at odds over their shared border. Afghanistan says Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan are prolonging the conflict, while Islamabad accuses Kabul of harboring anti-Pakistan militants on its side of the border
Item Number:12 Date: 12/18/2017 SOMALIA - WASHINGTON FREEZES FOOD, FUEL AID TO MILITARY, CITING CORRUPTION (DEC 18/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The U.S. government is suspending some of its aid to Somalia's military over concerns about corruption, reports the Voice of America News.   Made public last week, the suspension is a response to the military's repeated failure to account for aid items such as food, fuel and weapons.   The "pause" in aid is designed "to ensure that U.S. assistance is being used effectively and for its intended purpose," said an unnamed State Dept. official last week.   The government in Mogadishu has agreed to develop new accountability criteria that meet U.S. standards to allow other Somali units to receive assistance in a way that "builds greater transparency," the official said.   Washington has become frustrated that Somalia has failed to build a viable national army despite hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, reported Reuters.   "We are adjusting U.S. assistance to [Somali National Army] units, with the exception of units receiving some form of mentorship, to ensure that U.S. assistance is being used effectively and for its intended purpose," officials told the wire service.   Meanwhile, the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia is drawing down, with plans to leave by 2020
  Item Number:13 Date: 12/18/2017 TURKEY - ANKARA INTENDS TO OPEN EMBASSY IN E. JERUSALEM EMBASSY, SAYS ERDOGAN (DEC 18/REU)  REUTERS -- The Turkish government says it intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem as part of Ankara's call to recognize it as the Palestinian capital, reports Reuters.   President Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision on Sunday, days after hosting a summit of Muslim leaders in Istanbul.   Erdogan called the emergency meeting as leaders of Muslim nations worked to respond to a Dec. 6 announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announced the eventual relocation of the U.S. Embassy.   Palestinians consider the eastern part of Jerusalem the capital of their future state. Nominally under the control of the Palestinian Authority, Jerusalem is effectively administered by the Israeli government, which has long considered Jerusalem its capital.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 12/18/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - SENIOR JAPANESE, BRITISH OFFICIALS CONFIRM DEFENSE COOPERATION PLAN; BRITISH FORCES TO TRAIN IN JAPAN IN 2018 (DEC 18/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The British and Japanese governments have agreed to a three-year defense cooperation plan, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The accord was announced late last week following a meeting between the foreign and defense secretaries of the two nations at Greenwich Naval College. The agreement followed a commitment made in August between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and British Prime Minister Theresa May.   British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the Norfolk-class frigates HMS Sutherland and HMS Argyll will visit Japan in 2018.   Under the arrangement, the U.K. will also send around 45 army personnel for a joint exercise in Japan. This will be the first time that British military personnel have trained on Japanese territory and the first time that non-U.S. troops have done so, the ministry said.   Plans call for closer cooperation between the Royal Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force following this year's deployment of RAF Typhoon fighters.   Plans also called for Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to tour the newly commissioned aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth
Item Number:15 Date: 12/18/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - UNMANNED MAGMA AIRCRAFT USES JETS OF AIR TO CHANGE DIRECTION (DEC 18/BAE)  BAE SYSTEMS -- BAE Systems and the University of Manchester in England have completed an initial phase of flight trials with a new unmanned aerial vehicle technology demonstrator, reports the defense firm.   The Magma small-scale UAV employs a unique blown-air system to maneuver, potentially enable future stealthier aircraft designs, noted the Dec. 13 release.   The new concept for aircraft control eliminates the need for complex, mechanical moving parts to move flaps to control the aircraft during flight, said company officials.   The system could provide greater control and reduce weight and maintenance costs, enabling lighter, stealthier, faster and more efficient military and civilian aircraft in the future, says BAE.   The jet-powered UAV is testing two technologies. In one, wing circulation control takes air from the engine and blows it supersonically through the trailing edge of the wing to provide control.   In another, fluidic thrust vectoring uses blown air to deflect the exhaust to change the direction of the aircraft.   The trials are part of an ongoing project between BAE and the university to explore and develop innovative flight-control technology, said the release.   Future tests will demonstrate the flight-control technologies with the goal of flying the air vehicle without any moving control surfaces or fins, said BAE
  Item Number:16 Date: 12/18/2017 USA - ARMY STUDY CRITIQUES MILITARY OPERATIONS AGAINST ISIS IN MOSUL (DEC 18/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A new U.S. Army study of the military operation to eject Islamic State fighters from Mosul in northern Iraq has identified multiple difficulties faced by the American units taking part, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Problems included sharing imagery and differing understandings of what was happening on the battlefield, says the study. The Journal reviewed an unclassified version of the unpublished document.   "Different imagery databases resulted in inefficiencies and suboptimal combat effectiveness," says the report.   The Army study also raises concerns about the military's response to ISIS drone capabilities, the use of private contractors, Army training for urban warfare and how American forces communicated with residents trapped in Mosul.   The Army was slow to respond to the terrorist group's use of drones, revealing a lack of comprehensive approach to urgent, emerging battlefield challenges, the report concludes.   The reliance on private contractors, although primarily in rear areas, needs to be reviewed, the study says.   The service's current urban training fails to replicate the challenges of maneuvering in tight spaces against a determined and dug-in foe, according to the U.S. and British officers involved in the report.   Despite the criticisms, the report notes that the American and allied effort to advise Iraqi forces during the nine-month operation to retake the city from 3,000 to 5,000 dug-in ISIS fighters was largely successful
Item Number:17 Date: 12/18/2017 USA - ARMY, MARINES POINT TO VALUE OF DEPLOYMENTS TO EUROPE IN POTENTIAL CONFLICT (DEC 18/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- The U.S. Army and Marine Corps have identified new requirements for operations in Europe based on the last year of rotational deployments there, reports Defense One.   The U.S. Army sent an aviation brigade from the 10th Mountain Division to Europe for nine months as well as an armored brigade from the 4th Infantry Division to join NATO's multinational Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Poland.   Two rotations of about 300 Marines deployed to Norway this year for cold weather training and deterrence.   Leaders from both services maintain that they experienced a high level of cooperation with U.S. allies and praised the rigorous training for simulated peer-to-peer conflict.   The Army and Marines also identified what U.S. forces would need in a conflict in the region. These include upgraded navigational systems; improved boots and cold weather gear; and vehicle certifications to simplify travel on the continent.   The services also said they developed quick fixes for the navigation and certification issues for units rotating to Europe, officials said
  Item Number:18 Date: 12/18/2017 USA - NORTHROP TO SUPPLY ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS TO U.S. ARMY, NAVY, AUSTRIA, CANADA, JAPAN (DEC 18/NG)  NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP. -- Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $124.7 million contract to produce the latest version of the AN/APR-39 radar warning receiver system.   The deal for AN/APR-39D(V)2 digital radar warning receiver and electronic warfare management systems follows the successful completion of engineering and manufacturing development activities, including rigorous trials that verified the systems readiness for production and combat operations, said a company release on Dec. 14.   The APR-39D(V)2 is a small, lightweight system that provides 360-degree coverage to detect and identify radio-frequency threats to an aircraft.   As an electronic warfare management suite, the system can display data from multiple onboard sensors and automatically launch countermeasures.   The electronic warfare system features high-performance digital receivers, enhanced signal processing and updated apertures for aircraft survivability in modern combat environments, said Northrop Grumman.   Some of these developments were first reported several months ago.   The systems will be delivered to the U.S. Army and Navy as well as Austria, Canada and Japan, said the Pentagon contract announcement in September
Item Number:19 Date: 12/18/2017 USA - PROSECUTORS ALLEGE N.Y. WOMAN USED BITCOIN TO LAUNDER MONEY FOR ISIS (DEC 18/USDAENY)  UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NY -- A Long Island woman has been indicted in a New York court for using Bitcoin to fund terrorists in Syria, according to the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.   The five-count indictment was unsealed on Dec. 14 in federal court in Central Islip, New York.   Bitcoin is a form of digital currency – created and held electronically.   Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, is accused of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three substantive counts of money laundering. She pleaded not guilty at her arraignment.   Her lawyer says she was collecting money to help Syrian refugees, noted NBC New York.   Prosecutors allege that the woman accrued more than $85,000 via fraudulent means, converted the money into Bitcoin and laundered the money before transferring the money out of the country in the support of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS).   Shahnaz is a U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan. She was arrested on July 31 at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport while attempting to fly to Pakistan, said prosecutors. Officials believe she intended to continue her journey to Syria, according to NPR
Item Number:20 Date: 12/18/2017 USA - USAF RESURRECTS OLD AIRCRAFT FROM 'BONEYARD' TO TRAIN ITS MECHANICS (DEC 18/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- The U.S. Air Force has come up with a plan to train up the thousands of new maintainers it has recruited over the last year to address a major shortfall, reports the Air Force Times.   The service is trying to get the new personnel seasoned so that they can keep up with veteran maintainers once they are deployed.   The strategy includes pulling old fighters out of the "Boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., to help new maintainers gain experience.   It typically takes five to seven years to get new three-skill level maintainers up to speed.   In early 2018, old F-15 and F-16 fighters will be withdrawn from the Boneyard and prepared for service as trainers for new maintainers and weapon loaders, officials said.   The old aircraft will not fly or be combat-capable. However, having such dedicated training aircraft will allow maintainers to learn without requiring active aircraft to be available, said officials.   This plan should allow operational aircraft to continue to do their missions, instead of being pulled off the line to allow maintainers to learn new skills, said Col. Michael Lawrence, chief of the Air Force's maintenance division.
 
 
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