Monday, April 9, 2018

Fw: TheList 4695

The List 4695


To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend. 
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History – April 9, 2018
April 9
1848—A party of men from the sloop-of-war USS Dale march 12 miles inland from Guaymas, Mexico, to capture and spike a 3-gun Mexican battery that was firing at other ships.
1941—USS North Carolina (BB 55) is commissioned. Some of the notable battles she participates in are the Guadalcanal Campaign, the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, the Battle of Philippine Sea, and gunfire support during the Iwo Jima invasion.
1942 The Bataan Peninsula falls and the Death March begins
1943—Due to World War II, the rank of commodore is reestablished as a temporary rank. During the 1986 Defense Authorization bill, O-7 officers are called rear admiral (lower half).
1944—TBM bombers and FM-2s aircraft (VC 58) from USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60), together with USS Pillsbury (DE 133), USS Pope (DE 134), USS Flaherty (DE 135), and USS Chatelain (DE 149) sink German submarine U 515.
1945.  Sonderkommando Elbe (the elite German ramming unit) destroys 24 USAF bombers in it first and only operation
1959—The first seven Mercury astronauts are selected, including three Navy aviators and one Marine: Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra, Lt. Malcom S. Carpenter, Marine Lt. Col. John Glenn Jr., and Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news headlines focus on a chemical attack within Syria and subsequent retaliatory missile strikes against a Syrian base and North Korean assurances for talks on denuclearization. During a visit on Friday to the Naval War College to announce the formation of the College of Leadership and Ethics and to release an updated version of the Naval Leader Development Framework, CNO Adm. John Richardson spoke with USNI News about the challenges a great power competition will bring to the Navy's leaders. Defense News sat down with Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer to discuss the state of the 7th Fleet in the wake of last year's collisions. Additionally, a six-month investigation by Military Times found that there was a 40 percent increase in accidents involving fighter, bomber, helicopter and cargo warplanes between FY 2013 and 2017. Tied in part to the 2013 budget cuts, the Navy has seen an 82 percent increase in aviation mishaps.
 
 
1865
 
April 7
1652
 
The Dutch establish a settlement at Cape Town, South Africa.
1712
 
A slave revolt breaks out in New York City.
1798
 
The territory of Mississippi is organized.
1862
 
General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in TN.
1914
 
The British House of Commons passes the Irish Home Rule Bill.
1922
 
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior leases the Teapot Dome naval oil reserves in Wyoming.
1933
 
President Franklin Roosevelt signs legislation ending prohibition in the United States.
1943
 
British and American armies link up between Wadi Akarit and El Guettar in North Africa, forming a solid line against the German army.
1945
 
The Japanese battleship Yamato, the world's largest battleship, is sunk during the Battle for Okinawa.
1963
 
Yugoslavia proclaims itself a Socialist republic.
1971
 
President Nixon pledges a withdrawal of 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
1980
 
The United States breaks relations with Iran.
1983
 
Specialist Story Musgrave and Don Peterson make the first Space Shuttle spacewalk.
1990
 
John Poindexter is found guilty in the Iran-Contra scandal.
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Subject: Fwd: Mark Robinson at Greensboro NC City Council on Gun Show - YouTube
Here is a man standing up for his rights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBEUlJZg5CY
 
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Thanks to Dr.Rich
Virgin Galactic's SS2 #2 ... 30-second burn test flight ...
Finally, TSC flew the first powered flight of ship two.  Ship one crashed 3.5 years ago.
 
The video infers that Mackay was the commander.  Actually he was copilot and Forger was in command.
 
I do not know why the video does not show the feather operation, entry deceleration or landing.
 
Burt
 
 
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We enter World War I
 
Believe it or not, to fully understand the reasons Pearl Harbor led us into war, we need to take a look at what was going on twenty-five years earlier that led America into World War One.  The politics, the major banks, the cast of characters, and the alliances set the stage for what would happen in 1941.
 
In her book, "The Guns of August", Professor Barbara Tuchman talks of the posturing of the European kings and armies after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia of Austria-Hungary by a Serbian. There were strong alliances that would come into play.  Austria-Hungary had an alliance with Germany and Germany wanted them to attack Serbia.  But Serbia had an alliance with Russia, and Russia had one with France.  France had an alliance with Great Britain, and Great Britain had an alliance with Belgium. Attack any one of these countries and you had to fight their big brothers.
 
Moreover, Kaiser Wilheim of Germany, Czar Nicholas of Russia, and King George of Great Britain were 1st cousins.  Queen Victoria of England was their grandmother and her husband Albert was a German.  Queen Victoria in fact was the grandmother of many of Europe's monarchs.
 
It seemed that no one really wanted to go to war except Germany.  Germany had the war machine and they had been planning for two years.  They wanted to add land.  Germany wanted Austria-Hungary to attack Serbia which would bring Russia in.  Then Austria-Hungary would be swayed to fight Russia.  With that, the Germany Army could cut through a corner of Belgium and attack France.  But when they did, Great Britain had to honor their alliance with Belgium.  So the first shots were fired by the British against the invading German Army on August 22, 1914.
 
Now then, with that history behind us, we move on to Germany's war against what we might call our Mother England.  Great Britain is an island nation and everything that comes in is by sea.
 
 
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In three years, the German submarine fleet sank thousands of ships trying to reach England or to supply the British Army.  And one out of every four ships that left England never returned.  
 
So Great Britain needed help, and they needed financial help.  John Pierpont Morgan, and the Morgan Bank had loaned $26 Billion dollars to them and what they feared was Great Britain losing the war. An entire generation was wiped out.  The stark realization dawned on the American bankers….If Great Britain were defeated, they would lose $26 Billion dollars, a huge sum even in those days. A default of that magnitude could break the Morgan Bank.  The only thing that could save the bank and Great Britain was for the Americans to enter the war. And that was the last thing Germany wanted to see.
 
Germany wanted the British to seek early peace thus keeping us out of the war.
 
So Germany's first action was discovered by British cryptanalysts in what became known as the Zimmerman telegram.  The Foreign Secretary of the German Empire, Arthur Zimmerman sent a telegram to the German ambassador in Mexico that if it appeared likely that America would join the war, he was to approach the Mexican government with a proposal for a military alliance, with funding from Germany.
 
With an attack by Mexico upon the United States, Mexico was promised Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.  Hoping that would tie up the American army, we would stay out of the war in Europe.  Mexico ignored the proposal, but word got out and inflamed American public opinion against Germany.
 
However, polls were 10 to 1 against going to war in Europe.  That news was not well received by the Morgan Bank, by Great Britain, or by our President Wilson who wanted to preside over the post-war League of Nations.  Clearly, more must be done to get America ready for war.
 
 
 
                                                     -3-
 
The next step to bring us into the war was the sinking of the British  cruise liner Lusitania.  The Lusitania was listed in Jane's Book of Fighting Ships as an armed auxiliary cruiser and crewed by Royal Navy Reservists.  It passed as a cruise ship, but the Germans knew it was carrying guns and ammunition for the British.  The German embassy in New York was watching her being loaded and decided to warn potential passengers not to book passage on her. 
 
They took out ads in fifty American newspapers saying, and I quote,  "Travelers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage of the RMS Lusitania are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain or any of her allies are subject to destruction in those waters and that travelers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk." End quote.  Signed, the Imperial German Embassy, New York, and dated April 22, 1915.  The Lusitania was due to sail on May 1st.
 
The U.S. Government prevented those ads from appearing in 49 of the 50 newspapers.  It appeared only in the Des Moines Register in Iowa.  Only President Wilson had the power to do that.
 
The German Navy had 29 Undersea Boats, U-boats, operating in the Atlantic.  The Captain of the Lusitania read his orders and he was to rendezvous with the British cruiser, HMS Juno off the coast of Northern Ireland and continue under her protection.  Further, she was to reduce power and run on only three of four engines reducing her speed to 75%.  Two merchant ships had been sunk days before in the rendezvous area.  But when the Lusitania arrived at the rendezvous point, the HMS Juno was not there.  She had been ordered back to port in Queenstown the day before by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.  She was immediately spotted by the German submarine U-20 who put a torpedo into her side.  She sank in eighteen minutes with a loss of everyone aboard.  That was 1,198 people, of which 128 were Americans and included Alfred Vanderbilt.
 
                                                 -4-
 
At the time of the sinking, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.  It is not known if he had been in contact with Winston Churchill.  But twenty-five years later, Roosevelt would be our President and Churchill would be the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
 
With the news of the sinking of the Lusitania and the death of so many Americans, the Morgan Bank bought 25 of the most influential newspapers to inflame the American public in support of going to war.  But the American public still weren't buying it.
 
It would be two more years, and the incident that brought it about was when the Germans sank three American merchant ships on March 17, 1917.
 
President Wilson pushed, and we declared war on Germany in April. 
 
Now then, let's fast forward to August 14, 1941.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt is now our President and Winston Churchill is the Prime Minister of Great Britain and responsible for conducting the war against the Axis Powers; Germany, Italy and Japan.  Great Britain has been at war for two years and the Germans have pushed the British Army into the sea at Dunkirk.  Germany has 65 U-boats operating in the Atlantic, mostly in Wolfpacks.  Very little is getting through to the British.  A sidenote, by the end of World War II, German U-boats had sunk 175 Allied warships and 2, 825 merchant ships.
 
So on this date, August 14, 1941, a top secret meeting was held between Roosevelt and Churchill in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland.  Roosevelt arrived on the cruiser USS Augusta and Churchill on the battleship HMS Prince of Wales.  They met for three days and nothing of their private meetings is recorded.  But out of their meeting came the Atlantic Charter which outlined how we and the British would co-operate AFTER the war.  A war that we were not in…. yet.
 
Four months after this meeting, the United States went to war.  Once more, Great Britain and Europe would be rescued.
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 9 APRIL 1968… "POWER AND IMPOTENCE: THE FAILURE OF AMERICA'S FOREIGN POLICY"…
April 9, 2018   Bear Taylor 
RIPPLE SALVO… #765… A 1966 BOOK BY EDMUND STILLMAN and WILLIAM PFAFF… Humble Host quotes a few of their concluding paragraphs and submits that their erudite conclusions are as applicable today as they were in 1966 and decades before that… but first…
GOOD MORNING: Day SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE of a remembrance of events and participants in an air war fought over North Vietnam fifty years ago…
HEAD LINES from the OGDEN STANDARD-EXAMINER (AP and UPI) on Tuesday, 9 APRIL 1968… FIFTY YEARS AGO Today…
Page 1: "THRONGS MOURN FALLEN NEGRO LEADER IN ATLANTA–TRIBUTE PAID AT SERVICES"… "An audience of America's famous said goodbye to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in formal funeral services today while thousands thronged outside. Senators, governors, civil rights leaders, religious figures and others–all led by Vice President Humphrey, representing the White house–came to Ebenezer Baptist Church….a crowd estimated at 50,000 stood outside for blocks around."…
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Today on Fighter Sweep
 
Watch: How Low Can You Go?
Flying low! What could be more fun! An unknown pilot (not me!) flying a Pilatus PC-9 turboprop, possibly of the "Wings of Storm" Croatian military aerobatic display team, flies just View More ›
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/FighterSweep?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
 
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 04/09/2018 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - 1 KILLED, DOZENS WOUNDED IN BANGUI CLASHES (APR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- One civilian has been killed and dozens of United Nations peacekeepers, civilians and opposition fighters wounded in fighting in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, reports Reuters.   Early Sunday morning, fighting erupted in the Muslim-majority PK5 neighborhood after peacekeepers attempted to dismantle several militia bases in the area.   Bangui is a majority Christian city.   Eight militia members were arrested during the operation, said a spokesman for the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).   Weapons and drugs were also seized.   Eleven peacekeepers were wounded in the fighting, the spokesman said. Another 20 people, including civilians and fighters, were also injured.   MINUSCA said in a statement that PK5's residents had repeatedly called on the peacekeepers to eliminate armed groups responsible for extortions and attacks on civilians.   The Central African Republic has been riven by fighting since the predominately Muslim Seleka rebels overthrew President Francois Bozize in 2013. The move prompted retaliatory attacks by primarily Christian anti-Balaka militias.   Attacks on civilian members of both communities have been a common feature of the conflict.  
 Item Number:2 Date: 04/09/2018 CHINA - BORDER SECURITY STEPPED UP WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY, INCLUDING UNMANNED SYSTEMS (APR 09/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- China is developing a new, all-weather solutions to ensure border security in remote parts of the country, reports the Press Trust of India.   Beijing is planning a satellite-based early warning monitoring system in contested and remote areas, said the state-run Beijing Evening News on Sunday.   China has also built a network of security cameras along its borders, with plans to reinforce them in the near future, it said.   The exact locations of these deployments were not announced.   China is developing border patrol technology -- including radar, patrol boats and unmanned aerial vehicles -- to cover sea, air and land, said a military expert cited by the official Global Times.   Unmanned technology is playing a larger role in border security, including the use of drones and tracking vehicles to patrol and installing unmanned monitoring systems, the expert said.   China has deployed a new patrol boat to Pangong Lake in Ladakh in Indian-administered Kashmir. The new "Wild Ox" scout vehicle has been deployed to the southwest Yunnan province. The vehicle can carry up to 17 soldiers and is outfitted with the Beidou satellite navigation system and a real-time communication system.   The PLA has begun deploying drones to monitor remote parts of the country, including the forested Yunnan province, the deserts of Xinjiang and plateaus in Tibet.   China has land border disputes with India, Russia and Vietnam, among other nations, noted Forbes.   It has maritime border disputes with a number of southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, The Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 04/09/2018 DJIBOUTI - U.S. NAVAL EXERCISE CANCELLED AFTER AERIAL MISHAPS (APR 09/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- U.S. Naval Forces Central Command has cancelled the remainder of Exercise Alligator Dagger in Djibouti following two U.S. Marine Corps accidents last week, reports the Marine Corps Times.   On Tuesday, an AV-8B Harrier II crashed when the pilot ejected shortly after taking off from Djibouti Ambouli International Airport.   In a separate incident, a CH-53E Super Stallion suffered structural damage during a hard landing at a beach landing zone.   The Djibouti government requested that the U.S. suspend air operations, reported NBC News. Flights not associated with the exercise were unaffected by the cancellation, officials said.   Alligator Dagger is a two-week exercise for Marine Expeditionary Units preparing for operations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations.   The 26th MEU "will have numerous additional training exercises to maintain and sharpen readiness during their time in U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's area of operations," said a command spokesman.     
  Item Number:4 Date: 04/09/2018 GERMANY - UPGRADED EUROFIGHTER RADAR UNLIKELY TO MEET 2018 DELIVERY DATE, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTRY (APR 09/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- A German Ministry of Defense report warns of a "very high risk" that the Eurofighter's CAPTOR-E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar will miss its initial delivery date in late 2018, reports defense-aerospace.com.   If the deadline is missed, it will delay the delivery of Block 25 aircraft. Development of the CAPTOR-E is already 13 months late. Germany's share of the development costs have increased by 585 million euros (US$718 million), says the ministry report dated April 5.   The document blames the delays on the stalled approval of a new front-end computer; limited availability of radar components; software development problems; and different priorities between the U.K. and Germany.   Germany is focused on improving air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities, while the U.K.'s priority is electronic warfare.   The lagging radar development is expected to cause further delays to Kuwait's Eurofighter order, which was already pushed back from late 2019 to late 2020
  Item Number:5 Date: 04/09/2018 GHANA - PRESIDENT DENIES GOVERNMENT APPROVED U.S. MILITARY BASE, DEFENDS COOPERATION ACCORD (APR 09/GHWEB)  GHANAWEB -- President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says that he will not sign an agreement that would allow the United States to establish a military base in Ghana, reports GhanaWeb.   In a speech on April 5, Akufo-Addo denied that his government had signed an agreement with Washington that included a U.S. base.   "The United States of America has not made any request for such consideration and, consistent with our established foreign policy, we will not consider any such request," the president said. "However, in consideration of the realities of our circumstances and the challenges to peace in our region in our time, we have deemed it prudent to continue the cooperation agreement with the United States of America," he said.   Thousands of Ghanaian citizens protested reports of a potential U.S. base in Accra on March 28.   Akufo-Addo defended the defense cooperation agreement, arguing that it would "help enhance our defense capability, and offer an important layer of support in our common effort to protect the peace in our region."  
Item Number:6 Date: 04/09/2018 GREECE - TSIPRAS DEMANDS RELEASE OF 2 SOLDIERS HELD IN TURKEY (APR 09/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has demanded that Turkey release two Greek soldiers apprehended last month, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Ankara is using the detained soldiers as "pawns to blackmail" Athens, Tsipras said in an April 7 statement to the Documento newspaper.   "In the past, we returned Turkish soldiers who crossed a few meters into Greece while on patrol. I expect the Turkish president to do the same," said the prime minister.   The soldiers were detained on March 2 after they illegally crossed the border, according to the Turkish government. The soldiers say they got lost in foggy conditions.   A USB stick carried by the soldiers contained military sketches and one soldier carried a highly-secured cell phone, Turkey's state Anadolu Agency reported last month.   The two soldiers are currently being held in pre-trial detention.   Athens says it has not been given enough information to investigate Ankara's allegations.   Turkey has criticized calls to return the soldiers, noting that eight soldiers suspected of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt are awaiting asylum in Greece.   Greece's supreme court has blocked their extradition, saying they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey.  
Item Number:7 Date: 04/09/2018 JAPAN - SELF-DEFENSE FORCES STAND UP NEW AMPHIBIOUS UNIT (APR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- Japan has activated its first marine unit since World War II, reports Reuters.   The Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) stood up on April 7 in a ceremony held at Camp Ainoura on the southwest island of Kyushu.   The unit is trained to counter attempts to take and hold Japanese islands in the East China Sea, where China has become increasingly assertive.   "Given the increasingly difficult defense and security situation surrounding Japan, the defense of our islands has become a critical mandate," said Vice Defense Minister Tomohiro Yamamoto.   The brigade is part of an expanding amphibious force that includes helicopter carriers, amphibious ships, V-22 Osprey tiltrotors and amphibious assault vehicles and is designed to deter China.   The marines conducted a mock exercise to retake an island as part of the ceremony.   The 2,100-strong unit has proven controversial due to its offensive capability and potential to threaten Japan's neighbors.   Japan could assemble a unit similar to a U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit within a year or so, said analysts.   Such a unit would still require a joint navy-army amphibious headquarters and more amphibious ships
Item Number:8 Date: 04/09/2018 MALI - MILITARY SAYS 14 KILLED IN ESCAPE ATTEMPT (APR 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Malian army says it has killed 14 suspected terrorists trying to escape the custody of authorities, reports Agence France-Presse.   The suspects were arrested on April 5 and killed the following day while trying to escape police custody in Dioura, located in Mali's central Segou region, said Malian military officials cited by Reuters.   Two local officials cited by AFP cast doubt on the story, saying that 20 people were killed and that they were civilians.   The discovery of a mass grave containing six bodies in the central Mopti region last week caused international outcry and demands by watchdog groups for an investigation into extrajudicial killings.   Human-rights groups say the Malian army has conducted a number of killings and kidnappings against suspected militant sympathizers ahead of presidential elections scheduled for July.   Mali is struggling to stamp out ongoing unrest following a 2012 insurgency by Tuareg separatist and jihadist forces.  
Item Number:9 Date: 04/09/2018 RUSSIA - PUTIN DISMISSES 11 GENERALS (APR 09/DAILYMI)  DAILY MIRROR -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has fired 11 generals, reports the Mirror (U.K.).   Among those relieved of duty include generals from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Penitentiary Service, the Ministry for Emergency Situations and the Investigative Committee, according to Russian media on April 6.   The move comes as Russia has come under fire for its suspected involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian intelligence agent in the U.K.   The Kremlin did not release any reason for the personnel changes.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 04/09/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - ARMY SEEKS ADDITIONAL PALADIN HOWITZERS FROM U.S. (APR 09/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved a potential sale of self-propelled artillery to Saudi Arabia, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The proposed US$1.31 billion sale covers 180 M109A5/A6 medium self-propelled howitzer structures for conversion to 177 M109A6 155-mm self-propelled howitzer systems; three fire-support combined arms tactical trainers (FSCATT); 180 M2 heavy-barrel .50-caliber machine guns; and eight Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS).   The possible sale will upgrade Saudi Arabia's ability to meet existing and future threats and better secure its border and critical infrastructure, the agency said in an April 5 release.   Saudi Arabia already operates M109A2/A3/A5 howitzers, noted the DSCA.   The potential deal is part of the US$110 billion U.S.-Saudi arms agreement signed last year, reported Agence France-Presse
Item Number:11 Date: 04/09/2018 SYRIA - DAMASCUS BLAMES ISRAEL FOR STRIKES ON T4 AIR BASE (APR 09/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Syria and Russia have blamed Israel for an airstrike on an air base in Homs, Syria, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Several missiles hit the T4 airbase in Syria early Monday, killing at least 14 soldiers, among them Syrian and Iranian officers, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   Two Israeli F-15 fighter jets launched eight guided missiles from Lebanese airspace, said the Russian Defense Ministry.   Syrian air defense systems shot down five of eight missiles fired, the ministry said, as cited by Interfax.   The origin of the strikes in Lebanese territory fits a pattern of Israeli airstrikes in Syria, said Syrian government backers.   Syria initially blamed the U.S. for the strike. The Pentagon denied the claims, noted CNN.   Israel did not comment on the strikes. It does not generally comment on such accusations.   Israel has alleged that the base is used in part to funnel Iranian weapons to Hezbollah.   Iran, which supports the government of Bashar Assad in its war against rebels, denied allegations that it uses the conflict to set up bases in Syria.   If Israel were behind the strike, it would likely be motivated by a desire to keep Iranian weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah and send a message on the use of chemical weapons, said Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence and an air force general
Item Number:12 Date: 04/09/2018 SYRIA - DOZENS KILLED IN APPARENT CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK IN E. GHOUTA (APR 09/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Dozens of Syrians have been killed in a suspected chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma, 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Damascus, reports the New York Times.   At least 15 residents of the area complained of breathing problems after an airstrike on April 7, according to a rebel medical source. After dark, helicopters dropped exploding barrels containing a chemical substance that affected many more people.   Casualty estimates varied. The New York Times reported 42 deaths, citing medical sources. The U.K.-headquartered Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 56 people were killed in the assault. Al Jazeera (Qatar) reported more than 70 people killed, citing a rebel medical group.   More than 500 people went to medical centers after the attack "with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent," said a joint statement from the Syrian Civil Defense and the Syrian American Medical Society.   Verifying reports was impossible due to a government siege of the area. Casualties could rise as rescue workers uncover more bodies.   Given the symptoms and means of dispersal, many observers and medical sources said they believed it to be a chemical weapons attack.   The substance used was likely chlorine gas in a conjunction with a stronger agent, said a rebel medical source. If confirmed, it would be the eighth chemical weapons attack in Syria since President Trump took office, reported USA Today.   The apparent use of chemical weapons drew immediate condemnation from the U.S. and calls for an independent investigation from France, the U.K and the U.S.   International outcry was expected to push the U.N. Security Council to address the issue on Monday, reported the BBC.   The Assad government and its backers in Tehran and Moscow denied the allegations of a government-launched chemical weapons attack.   The chemical attacks could have been carried out by rebel groups in the area, said Syrian state media.   The Syrian government launched an offensive to retake the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region in February. Around 1,600 people have been killed in the offensive, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   On Sunday, Jaish al-Islam, the main rebel group in Ghouta, agreed to a deal with the government to leave the area and be bused to another area outside of government control in northern Syria.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 04/09/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - NEW MILITARY FACILITY OPENED IN BAHRAIN (APR 09/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- Britain has opened a new naval base south of Manama, Bahrain, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The Naval Support Facility at the port of Mina Salman, which officially opened on April 5, will house British troops and support U.K. operations against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.   The facility will serve a key role in British operations in the region, as well as a hub for Royal Navy operations in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Ocean, the ministry said.   The base will be staffed by 300 military and civilian personnel and can accommodate up to 550 for short period.   The Royal Navy, which has four minehunters based at Mina Salman, will also have the opportunity to station more vessels in Bahraini ports.   The U.K. ended its last permanent presence in the Gulf in 1971. Britain occupied a base in Basra, Iraq, starting in 2003, but vacated it six years later, noted Agence France-Presse.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 04/09/2018 USA - 2 KILLED IN APACHE HELICOPTER CRASH IN LATEST AVIATION MISHAP (APR 09/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- A U.S. Army AH-64E Apache attack helicopter has crashed during a training exercise at Fort Campbell, Ky., killing both crewmembers, reports the Army Times.   Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Connolly and Warrant Officer James Casadona were killed on April 7 when their helicopter went down, said an Army statement.   They were on routine training at the time of the accident, said the Army.   Both soldiers were assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.   Connolly, 37, worked as an instructor pilot. Casadona, 28, was a pilot.   There have been four U.S. military aircraft mishaps in the last week, noted Reuters. On April 3, a U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter crashed off the coast of Southern California, and a Marine Harrier jet went down in Djibouti.   On April 4, a U.S. Air Force F-16, part of the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration squadron, crashed in Nevada.     
  Item Number:15 Date: 04/09/2018 USA - RELEASE OF DELAYED MISSILE DEFENSE REVIEW EXPECTED IN MAY (APR 09/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Missile Defense Review, originally expected to be released in February, is nearing completion and will likely be released next month, reports Defense News.   The report is expected to be unclassified and cover a wider scope of missile threats -- such as cruise missiles and hypersonic glide vehicles -- than the originally proposed "ballistic missile threat review."   The document is expected to focus on defeating a limited salvo from North Korea. It may also cover airborne platforms for missile defense.   The fiscal 2019 budget request for missile defense increased by $2 billion over the 2018 request.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 04/09/2018 USA - U.S. SANCTIONS 38 RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS (APR 09/NPR)  NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO -- The U.S. Treasury Dept. has issued sanctions against dozens of Russian government officials and businessmen with ties to the Kremlin, reports NPR.   Those sanctioned will have their U.S. assets frozen and U.S. citizens will be restricted from conducting business with them.   Washington may also exercise secondary sanctions on foreigners who conduct a large amount of business with the sanctioned individuals. The sanctions are being executed through the U.S. Treasury Dept. Office of Foreign Asset Control.   Senior U.S. officials cited "the totality of the Russian government's ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern" of disruptive actions on an international scale and its efforts to subvert democracy in particular.   The move by the U.S. represents a change in tactics, and potentially an escalation from the tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats. Advocates say that the move is more likely to affect President Putin than diplomatic expulsions.
 
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