Thursday, May 10, 2018

TheList 4718

The List 4718

To All
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day In Naval History – May 9, 2018
May 9
1860—While off the Isle of Pines (now named Isla de la Juventud) near the south coast of Cuba, the screw gunboat Wyandotte captures the slaver William, which carries 570 Africans.
1926—Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd and Chief Aviation Pilot Floyd Bennett report reaching the North Pole in their heavier-than-air-flight aircraft. Both receive the Medal of Honor for this event.
1942—USS Wasp (CV 7) launches 47 RAF Spitfires, British carrier Eagle accompanies Wasp and launches 17 additional Spitfires.
1945—German submarine U 249 surrenders to PB4Y-1 "Liberator" from (FAW 7) off the Scilly Islands, England, becoming the first to do so after hostilities ceased in Europe.
1992—USS Ashland (LSD 48) is commissioned in New Orleans, LA.
2017—A South Korean fishing vessel collides with the port side, amid ship of USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) while the guided-missile cruiser is conducting routine operations in international waters. No one is injured in the incident.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news include takeaways from Tuesday's primary elections, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's resignation after allegations of physical abuse against women, and the Mormon Church announcing it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America after a 100-year relationship. Multiple outlets report that President Trump has announced a withdrawal from the 2015 Obama administration's deal to curb and monitor Iran's nuclear activity. President Trump announced that all sanctions suspended by the agreement are immediately in effect.  The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the USS Bonhomme Richard has returned to San Diego after serving for six years as the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship in the Western Pacific Ocean.  Additionally, USNI News reports that Lt. j.g Sarah B. Coppock pleaded guilty to a single charge of negligence as part of a plea deal.
Today in History May 9
Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his final trip to the New World.
The first newspaper cartoon in America appears.
U.S. troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops.
Union General John Sedgwick is shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during fighting at Spotsylvania. His last words are: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist--"
Threatened by the advancing French army, the Austrian army retreats across the River Sesia in Italy.
German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois.
Fascist Italy captures the city of Addis Abba, Ethiopia and annexes the country.
The German submarine U-110 is captured at sea along with its Enigma machine by the Royal Navy.
King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicates his throne and is replaced by Umberto I.
A laser beam is successfully bounced off the moon for the first time.
The House Judiciary Committee begins formal hearings on Nixon impeachment.
From NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND. See more great history in The H-Grams from Admiral Cox.
Read about this and topics from World War II, World War I, and the Spanish-American War at the Director's Corner ( to H grams at the top left.
The Battle of the Coral Sea

From: Director of Naval History
.Subj: H-Gram 005 - Battle of the Coral Sea

The Bomb that Changed the Course of the War
     On 8 May 1942, 24 SBD Dauntless dive bombers from USS Yorktown (CV-5) commenced an attack on the Japanese fleet carrier IJN Shokaku in the Coral Sea.  As each bomber nosed over in near-vertical dives from 18,000 feet on the wildly maneuvering Shokaku, their windscreens and bomb sights fogged over so badly during the descent that the U.S. pilots were blinded, forced to release their bombs "by memory."  Although one bomb hit the Shokaku very near the bow and started a serious fire, one bomb after another missed.  Finally one SBD, piloted by LT John Powers (USNA '35), his wing on fire after being hit by canon fire from a Japanese Zero fighter, pressed his dive well below the standard minimum pull-up altitude.  Power's bomb hit Shokaku nearly dead center and caused horrific and nearly fatal damage, starting massive fires and killing over 100 Japanese sailors.  Unable to pull up in time, Powers flew through the frag pattern of his own bomb and crashed alongside the Shokaku. Although 15 dive bombers off the USS Lexington (CV-2) would later manage to hit the Shokaku with one more bomb, it was Power's bomb that knocked Shokaku out of action for the rest of the battle, leaving her unable to recover aircraft, and with damage so severe that she was unable to participate in the critical and decisive Battle of Midway one month later, where her presence could have easily turned that battle into a catastrophic defeat for the U.S.  By the sacrifice of his life, and that of his radioman-gunner (Radioman Second Class Everett Clyde Hill), Powers quite likely prevented the loss of the Yorktown at the Battle of the Coral Sea, and changed the outcome of two of the most important battles of World War II.  For his valor, Powers was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously. Hill's parents received his $10,000 G.I. life insurance policy payout.
.Carrier vs. Carrier (Us vs. Them)
American and Japanese carriers and carrier air groups had significant strengths and weaknesses relative to each other.  Most histories "mirror image" Japanese doctrine and tactics with those of the U.S., which frequently leads to an inaccurate understanding of the battle.  There are two recent books that superbly describe Japanese carrier operations and are worth a read, "Shattered Sword" by Parshall and Tully, and "Kaigun" by Evans and Peattie.  Both are over 500 pages long, so if you read my synopsis (derived from those books and many others) in attachment H-005-2 you will become a lot smarter about the relative capabilities of the U.S. and Japanese carriers and air groups at the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, in a much shorter period of time, and  the battles might make more sense to you.

The Battle of the Coral Sea - 7-8 May 1942
     The Battle of the Coral Sea was the first carrier versus carrier battle in history; opposing surface forces never sighted each other.  The battle occurred because U.S. naval intelligence provided Admiral Nimitz with sufficient warning and understanding of Japanese intent and capability that he chose to commit the two carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5) against a Japanese force expected to consist of 2-3 carriers (Shokaku, Zuikaku and the light carrier Shoho.)  Nimitz committed the Enterprise (CV-6) and Hornet (CV-8) as well, but they were unable to reach the area in time, due the timing of the Doolittle Raid (see H-Gram 004).  The battle was a tactical draw (some accounts argue a tactical U.S. loss) but a strategic victory for the U.S.  The Japanese force failed in its objective to capture Port Moresby, New Guinea, which would have threatened the northeast coast of Australia.  Although the Japanese had previously suffered set-backs, this was the first time that proved permanent.  In addition, the Japanese carrier Shokaku was severely damaged, and attrition to the air groups of both Shokaku and Zuikaku caused both carriers to miss the decisive battle of Midway a month later, which almost certainly changed the course of that battle, and of the war.  The Japanese also lost the light carrier Shoho on 7 May to a gross over-kill of U.S. carrier torpedo and dive bombers, and was the first carrier lost by either side in the war.   The cost to the U.S. was high; the carrier USS Lexington was sunk as a result of secondary explosions following torpedo and bomb hits, the Yorktown was damaged by a bomb (but not hit by torpedoes, which was the critical factor in her being repaired in time for Midway), the oiler USS Neosho (AO-23) (which had survived being moored right in the middle of the attack on Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor) was sunk, along with the destroyer USS Sims (DD-409.)  At the end of the second day of battle, the air groups on both sides were severely depleted with extensive losses, with Lexington sinking and Shokaku out of action.  Both commanders, RADM Frank "Jack" Fletcher and VADM Takeo Takagi, opted to withdraw, which resulted in years of criticism of both by other naval officers and armchair historians (Takagi was pilloried by ADM Yamamoto; Fletcher merely criticized, mostly behind his back).  Please see attachment H-005-3 for more detail on the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Thanks to USNA-at-large -
9 May 2018 0626
Ed:  Perhaps a reason for confirming Gina Haspel as CIA Director?
9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed seeks to help Democrats opposing Trump CIA nominee
Victor Morton – The Washington Times – 8 May 18
The man who masterminded the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks opposes the nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is backing the Senate intelligence panel's Democrats prior to Wednesday's hearing on whether to confirm the longtime CIA agent to lead the organization.
According to the New York Times and other news outlets, Mohammedasked a military judge at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to share six paragraphs he had written about Ms. Haspel with the Senate panel.
Ms. Haspel oversaw a black-site prison in Thailand where two al-Qaeda terrorists, one of them under her watch, were waterboarded and subjected to other harsh interrogation techniques that opponents call torture.
It is not known whether Ms. Haspel played any personal role in Mohammed's interrogation. After his 2003 capture in Pakistan, he was held and interrogated at secret CIA facilities in Afghanistan and Poland.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
May 9, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALV0… #795… IN THE HALCYON DAYS FOLLOWING WORLD WAR II PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN ARRANGED A MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO GREAT WARLORDS OF CHINA, COMMUNIST MAO ZEDONG AND NATIONALIST CHIANG KAI-SHEK. Truman's goal and hope was that the two enemies could and would work out a coalition government in lieu of a resumption of civil war.  The two leaders met for the first time in twenty years on 27 August 1945 and spent seven weeks talking. A great charade took place with the two staffs joining to craft the documents on which to establish a democratic China with an army commanded by Chiang Kai-shek. When they said goodbye on 11 October both sides were talking loudly about the future of democracy, peace and unity in China. It never happened. Mao used talk to buy time and deceive America, President Truman, the Nationalists and the world. When the time was right a year later Mao resumed the fight. Three years later Chiang Kai-shek and his vanquished Kuomintang army retreated to Taiwan where they remain today. Mao had given the world and history a lesson in what he called: "da da, tan tan."  Fight fight, talk talk. Fifty years ago in May 1968 the United States and North Vietnam went to Paris to talk while the fighting went on; and bloody fighting it was–in a two-week span of May 1968 the United States lost 1,100 soldiers killed-in-action. Concurrently, the nation was conducting talks with the North Koreans while 82 American sailors and one of our commissioned naval vessels were interned in North Korea.  Talk, talk……Fifty years later, today, 9 May 2018, America is talk, talking with North Korea, the PRC and shortly, with Iran to avoid fight, fight on both sides of the world. …
In an OpEd that ran on the pages of The New York Times on 25 July 2011 the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, wrote that "talk, talk" with China is "a step toward trust with China." He wrote that "we need to make that relationship (with China) better, by seeking strategic trust." Even as the Admiral was writing, China was staking a permanent claim to the Spratly's and Scarborough Shoals. Almost seven years later we can assess the results of Admiral Mullen's "strategic trust."… China is talk, talking while leaning forward in every corner of the world and is winning. The State Department of the United States was and remains in the hands of suckers for "da da." The lessons of the "peace talks–da da–in the summer of 1968 should not be lost on the new American Secretary of State as he sits down with Kim Il Sun and all the other diplomats who include the Little Red Book of Mao in their respective brief cases. Another little book in those same brief cases is Sun Tzu's "Art of War" with a highlighted and underlined axiom therein: "The acme of skill is to win without fighting (tan tan)…" The corollary: The acme of skill is to win by da da."…  Another salvo on the subject below… but first…
GOOD MORNING…Day SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE of a look back of fifty years to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war and the air war over North Vietnam called Rolling Thunder…
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on Thursday, 9 May 1968…
THE WAR: Page 1: "ENEMY STEPS UP TERROR IN SAIGON–BUT OTHER FIGHTING IN THE AREA OF CAPITAL DWINDLES–Danang Post Is Shelled"… "Enemy troops stepped up their terrorist activity yesterday in Cholon, Saigon's Chinese district, and made new rocket attacks at Danang, 350 miles to the north. Scurrying from block to block  in the Chinese quarter, the terrorists fired on three police stations, hoisted Vietcong flags up light poles, sniped at passing military vehicles, and took over a refuge center for more than three hours. The Cholon fighting continued Thursday morning against an enemy force estimated at 1,000 men, United Press International reported… 'This activity didn't pose any serious threat to Saigon,' a spokesman for the United States military command said, 'but it did keep us busy…. The enemy hasn't been able to get reinforcements to Saigon as he had planned and the overall situation here has improved. The attacks from outside the city have evaporated on the east, west and north. The situation is still hazy to the south." He also said there did not appear to be any ground attack in the making for Danang at the moment, despite rocket attacks. At least 15 rockets were fired at the South Vietnamese Army's 1 Corps headquarters on Danang's outskirts…Ninety miles north of Danang between Dongha and the DMZ American marines were pounded with 500 rounds of artillery and mortar fire as they tried to assault an enemy platoon… the marines responded with their own artillery and the exchange of volleys lasted six hours. 'Sweeps of the area revealed 22 enemy killed in the action. Nine marines were killed and 34 wounded.' … In the enemy's current offensive, which began Monday is far less severe than the one staged during the Lunar New Year holidays, allied troops have reported more than 2,000 of the enemy killed in Saigon and the 11 surrounding provinces." The United States command reported that 30 Americans had been killed and 323 wounded. The casualty figures for the South Vietnamese Army are 181 dead and 608  wounded…. The Civilian population however has suffered heavy casualties with 141 killed and 1,230 wounded. In addition, 40,000 have been driven from their homes…"… Page 4: "FIGHTING LEAVES 22,000 MORE REFUGEES IN SAIGON"… Page 1: "PRESIDENT AGAIN PLEDGES EVENTUAL VIETNAM PULLOUT"… "President Johnson today renewed his pledge that military involvement of the United States in South Vietnam 'will diminish and disappear' as that country gains the right to self-determination.'"… Page 1: "JOHNSON LETTER SENT TO KOSYGIN–New Exchange of Views On Many Issues Reportedly Asked In Recent Note"… "In conjunction with his moves toward negotiations on Vietnam, President Johnson is reported to have written a letter recently to Premier Alsksei N. Kosygin of the Soviet Union proposing a new exchange on many issues."…
PEACE TALKS: Page 1: "FRANCE EXPECTS FULL PEACE TALKS WILL COME IN PARIS–Couve de Murville Foresees U.S. And North Vietnam Widening Negotiations–Washington Is Silent–But Administration Is Said To Share Paris's View–First Meeting Tomorrow"… "The French Foreign Minister, Maurice Couve de Murville, said today that France expected the United States and North Vietnam to move from preliminary talks to full-scale political negotiations without changing delegations or leaving Paris."…
Page 1: "JIM CATFISH HUNTER OF OAKLAND ATHLETICS PITCHED PERFECT NO-HITTER"… "Set down all 27 Minnesota Twin batters to win 4-0."
For much more go toTHE Bear at
Thanks to Paul
Retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski to Receive Medal of Honor

Story Number: NNS180507-23Release Date: 5/7/2018 6:24:00 PM
From Naval Special Warfare Command
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The White House announced today that President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL), Retired, Britt Slabinski for his heroic actions in March 2002 during the Battle of Takur Ghar while serving in Afghanistan.

Master Chief Slabinski will be awarded the Medal of Honor during a White House ceremony on May 24, 2018 for his actions while leading a team under heavy effective enemy fire in an attempt to rescue teammate Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts during Operation ANACONDA in 2002. Master Chief Slabinski's selfless actions throughout the 14-hour battle constituted gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.

In the early morning of 4 March 2002, then-Senior Chief Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned area atop Takur Ghar, a 10,000-foot snow-covered mountain in Afghanistan. An enemy rocket-propelled grenade attack on the insertion helicopter caused Petty Officer Neil Roberts to fall onto the enemy-infested mountaintop below, and forced the damaged helicopter to crash land in the valley below. Fully aware of the risks, a numerically superior and well-entrenched enemy force, and approaching daylight, without hesitation Senior Chief Slabinski made the selfless and heroic decision to lead the remainder of his element on an immediate and daring rescue back to the mountaintop. Senior Chief Slabinski's team, despite heavy incoming enemy fire, was subsequently successfully inserted on top of Takur Ghar. Senior Chief Slabinski, without regard for his own life, charged directly toward the enemy strongpoint. He and a teammate fearlessly assaulted and cleared one enemy bunker at close range. The enemy then unleashed a murderous hail of machine gun fire from a second hardened position twenty meters away. Senior Chief Slabinski exposed himself to enemy fire on three sides, then moved forward to silence the second position. With bullets piercing his clothing, he repeatedly charged into deadly fire to personally engage the enemy bunker with direct rifle fire, hand grenades and a grenade launcher on the surrounding enemy positions. Facing mounting casualties and low on ammunition, the situation became untenable. Senior Chief Slabinski skillfully maneuvered his team across open terrain, directing them out of effective enemy fire over the mountainside.

Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed danger-close air support on the enemy, requested reinforcements, and directed the medical care of his rapidly deteriorating wounded teammates, all while continuing to defend his position. When approaching daylight and accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team to maneuver further down the sheer mountainside, Senior Chief Slabinski carried a seriously wounded teammate through waist-deep snow, and led an arduous trek across precipitous terrain while calling in fires on enemies engaging the team from the surrounding ridges. Throughout the next 14 hours, he stabilized the casualties and continued the fight against the enemy until the mountain top could be secured and his team was extracted. His dedication, disregard for his own personal safety and tactical leadership make Master Chief Slabinski unquestionably deserving of this honor.

He is only the 12th living service member to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery displayed in Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor is an upgrade of the Navy Cross he was previously awarded for these actions.

Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed the military departments to review all Service Cross and Silver Star recommendations for actions since September 11, 2001, to ensure Service members who performed valorously were appropriately recognized.

Master Chief Slabinski, a native of Northampton, MA, joined the Navy in September 1988. After graduating from Radioman Class "A" School in San Diego, CA, he completed the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL course in January 1990. He retired in June 2014 as the Director of Naval Special Warfare Safety Assurance and Analysis Program after more than 25 years of service.

Throughout his career, Master Chief Slabinski was assigned to both West and East Coast SEAL teams and completed nine overseas deployments and 15 combat tours.

Master Chief Slabinski has previously been awarded the Navy Cross; the Navy and Marine Corps Medal; five Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V" device; two Combat Action Ribbons; two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Meritorious Service Medal; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Joint Service Achievement Medal; and eight Good Conduct Medals.

The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own lives above and beyond the call of duty while:

* engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
* engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
* serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.


180507-N-N0101-110 WASHINGTON (May 7, 2018) An undated official portrait of retired Master Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Britt K. Slabinski. President Donald J. Trump will award the Medal of Honor to Master Chief Slabinski during a White House ceremony on May 24, 2018 for his heroic actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar in March 2002 while serving in Afghanistan. Master Chief Slabinski is being recognized for his actions while leading a team under heavy effective enemy fire in an attempt to rescue SEAL teammate Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts during Operation Anaconda in 2002. The Medal of Honor is an upgrade of the Navy Cross he was previously awarded for these actions. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
May 7, 2018
Item Number:1 Date: 05/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - AIRSTRIKE KILLED DOZENS AT RELIGIOUS CEREMONY IN KUNDUZ PROVINCE, SAYS U.N. REPORT (MAY 09/UNAMA)  UNITED NATIONS ASSISTANCE MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has released a report on an Afghan air force strike last month in the Dasht-E-Archi district of the northern Kunduz province.   Afghan helicopters fired rockets and heavy machine guns on a religious ceremony in Laghmani village on April 2 resulting in 107 casualties, said a UNAMA release on May 7.   Thirty-six people were killed and 71 wounded. Children accounted for 81 of the casualties, with 30 killed and 51 wounded.   The UNAMA said that it received additional credible information that the casualty figures could be higher.   The Afghan government, which has acknowledged that civilian casualties occurred during the strike, said the mission was targeting senior Taliban leadership.   The report outlined the risks of a new strategy developed with U.S. advisers, which involves greater use of Afghan airpower, noted Reuters. The U.N. expressed concern about the high numbers of causalities from air attacks prior to the April 2 incident. Sixty-seven deaths, and 75 injuries were recorded through the first three months of 2018.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - AT LEAST 2 KILLED, 6 INJURED IN TRIPLE SUICIDE BOMBING IN KABUL (MAY 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least two people have been killed and six injured in three suicide attacks in Kabul, reports Agence France-Presse.   The first explosion occurred on Wednesday near a police headquarters in the western Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, said the Interior Ministry, as reported by Tolo News. Two attackers and two police officers were killed and two officers wounded, a military spokesman said.   A second and third blast were reported shortly after the first near a police headquarters in Shahr-e-Naw, a commercial area in downtown Kabul. The two attackers reportedly tried to enter the compound but were killed by guards.   Gunfire was reported after the explosions, said witnesses.   Special operations forces moved in shortly after the attack and were engaged in a protracted fight with militants holed up in nearby buildings.   The Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the first explosion, reported Reuters. Some officials cast doubt on the group's claim, pointing to its low membership and remote stronghold in Nangarhar province.   Some senior Afghan intelligence officials believe the attack was carried out by the Haqqani network, which operates alongside the Taliban.    
  Item Number:3 Date: 05/09/2018 DEM REP OF CONGO - AT LEAST 17 DEAD IN LATEST EBOLA OUTBREAK (MAY 09/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared an Ebola outbreak in the country, reports the BBC.   So far, there are two confirmed cases of Ebola and 17 deaths attributed to the virus, the health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.   The cases have come from around Bikoro, in the northwestern part of the country and were first reported by local authorities on May 3.   Samples from five patients suspected of having Ebola were tested by the World Health Organization (WHO). Two came back positive, said the organization.   The WHO will disburse US$1 million from an emergency fund and deploy 50 experts to the country, said the international health group.   This is the ninth confirmed outbreak of Ebola in the country. Eight people in the Democratic Republic of Congo were killed in an outbreak last year, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 05/09/2018 EGYPT - CHIEF PROSECUTOR REFERS 555 TERROR SUSPECTS TO MILITARY COURT (MAY 09/DNE)  DAILY NEWS EGYPT -- The Egyptian prosecutor general has referred 555 suspects to a military court on terrorism charges, reports the Daily News Egypt.   The suspects, said to be members of the Sinai Province affiliate of ISIS, were accused of being part of 43 terrorist cells responsible for 63 attacks that killed police and military personnel.   The militants also sabotaged a natural gas pipeline between Sheikh Zuweid and Port Said.   Of the 555 suspects charged, only 216 are currently in custody, reported Egypt Today.   Sinai Province has killed dozens of security personnel over the last several years. The Egyptian government in February launched an operation against the terrorist group
Item Number:6 Date: 05/09/2018 LIBYA - ISIS SUICIDE CAR BOMB KILLS 2 MEMBERS OF DIGNITY OPERATION (MAY 09/REU)  REUTERS -- At least two people have been killed and four wounded in a suicide car bombing near the Libyan city of Sirte, reports Reuters.   On Tuesday, attackers targeted a security checkpoint about 55 miles (90 km) east of the oil-rich city, security officials told Agence France-Presse.   The checkpoint was manned by a civilian and a guard from the Libyan National Army, an armed group in eastern Libya headed by Khalifa Haftar. Forces loyal to Haftar have been conducting operations against suspected Islamist militants since 2014 under Operation Dignity.   Officials said another car bomb was defused nearby.   In a statement through its semi-official Amaq media wing, the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, though the group said it inflicted 13 casualties.   The attack came one day after Haftar promised to "liberate" the city of Derna from the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an extremist militia that expelled ISIS from the city in 2015.    
  Item Number:8 Date: 05/09/2018 NORTH KOREA - POMPEO PAYS VISIT AHEAD OF PLANNED SUMMIT (MAY 09/POLITICO)  POLITICO -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in North Korea as part of preparations for an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, reports Politico.   "For decades, we have been adversaries. Now we are hopeful that we can work together to resolve this conflict," Pompeo said on Wednesday.   Pompeo met with a former intelligence chief, Kim Yong Chol, and Ri Su Yong, a former foreign minister who is close to North Korea's autocrat.   The secretary of state praised North Korean efforts in arranging an upcoming meeting between their two heads of state.   Pompeo's trip was announced on Tuesday amid talk of freeing three U.S. citizens held in North Korean labor camps. One has been held since 2015 and two others were arrested last year, reported the Washington Post.   In a tweet Wednesday morning, President Trump said Pompeo would be returning with the three hostages on Thursday.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 05/09/2018 SYRIA - RUSSIAN ATTACK CHOPPER GOES DOWN IN EAST; 2 CREWMEMBERS DIE (MAY 09/TASS)  TASS -- A Russian attack helicopter has crashed in eastern Syria, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   The Ka-52 helicopter was on a routine flight on Monday when it went down, said the Russian Defense Ministry. Both pilots were killed.   Initial reports indicated that the helicopter suffered a technical malfunction, the ministry said. It was not shot down.   A Russian search-and-rescue team recovered and transported the bodies back to their home airfield
Item Number:13 Date: 05/09/2018 SYRIA - SUSPECTED ISRAELI MISSILES STRIKE SOUTH OF DAMASCUS KILLING 15 (MAY 09/HA)  HAARETZ -- Syrian state media has accused Israel of conducting an airstrike on a base south of Damascus, reports Haaretz (Israel).   Fighter jets struck a Syrian government position in Al Kiswah on Tuesday, killing 15 people, including eight Iranians, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based watchdog group.   The jets targeted a weapons depot, which has been hit by suspected Israeli airstrikes in the past, reported London's Daily Telegraph.   Syrian state media said that two Israeli missiles had been intercepted but made no mention of casualties.   While not claiming the strikes, Israel said it had detected unusual movements of Iranian units in the area that suggested an attack was imminent
Item Number:15 Date: 05/09/2018 USA - PROPULSION SYSTEM FAILURE SENDS GERALD R. FORD CARRIER BACK TO PORT (MAY 09/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The lead ship in the Navy's newest class of aircraft carriers suffered a propulsion issue in January that forced it back to port, reports Bloomberg News.   The main thrust bearing part of the propulsion system on USS Gerald R. Ford has now failed twice in less than a year. The issue has yet to be rectified.   The carrier is in its shakedown period where the shipbuilder, Huntington Ingalls Industries, performs systems tests and fixes defects. The Ford is scheduled to achieve combat-ready status in 2022.   Huntington Ingalls determined that the issue was the result of a manufacturing defect, said the Naval Sea Systems Command. The problem "affects the same component" located in other parts of the propulsion system, the command said.   The failure was "unfortunate, but this and other ship quality issues are not surprising," said Shelby Oakley, a director at the Government Accountability Office who monitors shipbuilding. "The Navy has had issues with the extent of its inspections prior to delivery."   The issue, which was not disclosed to Congress during recent hearings, comes as the Navy is seeking approval to accelerate the purchase of a fourth Ford-class carrier in fiscal 2019 by bundling it with a contract for the third. The Navy wants the additional carrier as it seeks to grow the fleet to 355 ships
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/09/2018 USA - TRUMP PULLS OUT OF NUCLEAR DEAL (MAY 09/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- President Donald Trump has announced his intention to extricate the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Speaking from the White House on Tuesday, Trump denounced the deal, calling it "one-sided" and "disastrous."   The U.S. will apply tough new sanctions against Iran and sanction countries and companies that aid Tehran in its quest for nuclear weapons, said Trump.   Sanctions lifted as part of the agreement are being immediately re-implemented, said administration officials. These sanctions include a ban on any new deals with Iranian firms.   Businesses have between 90 to 180 days to conclude any pending transactions, said officials.   International reaction was mixed. European leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, criticized the decision and reiterated their commitment to the deal.   These sentiments were echoed by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who called on the remaining parties to continue to abide by the terms of the deal.   Trump's decision was welcomed by Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ambassador to the U.S. expressed his country's "full support" for the decision.   In a speech from Tehran on Wednesday, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Iran would leave the deal unless it received solid guarantees on trade from the European signatories, reported the Times of Israel.   Following the announcement, Iranian officials said Tehran would continue to expand "its constructive role in the region" and strengthen its missile programs, reported the Mehr News Agency (Tehran).   President Hassan Rouhani said that if the agreement's goals could be achieved with the other signatories to the deal, it would remain in place, reported BBC News. If the deal cannot be salvaged, Tehran will resume uranium enrichment, officials said

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