Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fw: TheList 4724

The List 4724

To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
This day in Naval History
May 17
1940 - FDR announces plans to recommission 35 more destroyers
1942—USS Tautog (SS 199) sinks Japanese submarine I-28; USS Triton (SS 201) sinks the Japanese submarine (I 64), and USS Skipjack (SS 184) sinks a Japanese army transport ship. 
1943—Destroyers USS Moffett (DD 362) and USS Jouett (DD 396) sink German submarine U 128, which was credited with sinking 12 Allied merchant vessels, including 4 American ships. 
1951 - Aircraft from carriers attack bridges between Wonsan and Hamhung, Korea
1962 - Naval amphibious ready group lands Marines to guard Thailand's borders from Communist probes
1966 - Naval Support Activity Saigon established
1973—Capt. Robin Lindsay Catherine Quigley becomes the first woman to hold a major Navy command when she assumes command of U.S. Navy Service School, San Diego, CA.
1987—USS Stark (FFG 31) is struck by two Iraqi Exocet Missiles in the Persian Gulf, killing 37 Sailors and wounding 21.
1990—USS Roark (FF 1053) rescues 42 refugees from an unseaworthy craft in the South China Sea. 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In national news headlines today, outlets are reporting that today marks one year since special counsel Robert S. Mueller III took over the Justice Department's Russia investigation, and that a massive cloud of ash and toxic steam from the erupting Kilauea volcano now has Hawaii's Big Island under a "red alert" for aviation.  Speaking to USNI News, CNO Adm. John Richardson shared his vision for "dynamic force employment," a way to revolutionize naval deployments in order to be "strategically predictable, but operationally unpredictable". According to Richardson, shifting deployments could allow for "high-end strike-group-on-strike-group exercises." The Newport News Daily Press reports that the future USS Montana, 21st submarine of the Virginia class, marked a construction milestone with the laying of the keel Wednesday.  Additionally, the Wall Street Journal states that the Trump administration remains undeterred by recent North Korean threats to walk away from the upcoming nuclear summit.
Today in History May 17
Afghan chief Sher Khan defeats Mongul Emperor Humayun at Kanauj.
Italian Jesuit Niccolo Zucchi sees the belts on Jupiter's surface.
Louis XIV sends an expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declares war on France.
Merchants form the New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street.
Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.
Union General Ulysses Grant continues his push towards Vicksburg at the Battle of the Big Black River Bridge.
The first Kentucky Derby is run in Louisville.
Frederick Douglass is appointed recorder of deeds for Washington, D.C.
Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins the invasion of France.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules for school integration in Brown v. Board of Education.
The Senate Watergate Committee begins its hearings.
In the Persian Gulf the American guided missile frigate USS Stark is struck by 2 Exocet missiles fired by an Iraqi aircraft; only one detonates, but 37 sailors are killed and 21 are wounded. Whether the launch was deliberate or a mistake is still debated.
Thanks to Bruce -----A repeat for those O-boat sailors
Ten years ago today, the USS Oriskany was sunk 22 miles off Pensacola to create an artificial reef...what an amazing work of marine demolition that made this a reality!
View video at:
Oriskany: 11 years as 'The Great Carrier Reef'
Melissa Nelson Gabriel
Pensacola News Journal
In the 11 years since the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany was intentionally sunk in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, it has become both a top international dive destination and an underwater memorial to thousands of veterans who served on the famed carrier that is now the world's largest artificial reef.
The ship has also become a final resting place for dozens of veterans who have had their ashes scattered over the site or had their sealed urns placed inside the ship since it was sunk 22 miles off Pensacola beach in about 220 feet of water.
Local dive enthusiasts say the Oriskany's size and complexity make it the Mount Everest of diving. Dubbed "The Great Carrier Reef" by locals, it has put Pensacola on the map of dive enthusiasts around the world.
"It's a bucket-list dive for a lot of people. Scuba diving and coming down on something like that, it's surreal," said Chris Kimball, a Pensacola diver.
The Oriskany sunk to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico on May 17, 2006, after Navy divers placed explosive charges throughout the ship and conducted a planned detonation. A flotilla of boats surrounded the ship and onlookers blew air horns and cheered as the ship dipped below the waves, water spraying from various compartments, before it sank to the bottom of the Gulf to became the world's largest intentionally created artificial reef.
The sinking followed years of back and forth between the Navy, state of Florida, the Environmental Protection Agency and Pensacola-area leaders.
"The Navy had to have wanted it sunk here or it never would have happened," said Douglas Hammock, captain of the dive charter boat H20 Below, who recalled endless community meetings with federal officials in the years before the sinking.
Hammock was a recreational diver who earned a living repairing boats before the Oriskany was sunk. In the decade since, he has retired from the boat repair business and started his dive charter business. He estimates he has taken more than 10,000 divers to the Oriskany site.
Hammock took his boat to the site the day after the sinking when divers went down to retrieve cameras that had been placed on the ship to capture the event. His fear was that the ship had laid over on its side after hitting the ocean floor.
"It was a relief for all of us to find it sitting upright," he said.
Hammock has taken divers from around the world to the Oriskany site. Many of the divers are the children of sailors who served on the Oriskany. He has also taken veterans' families to the site for memorial services conducted by a Navy chaplain. The families often scatter ashes over the site or ask divers to place an urn with a sailor's ashes inside the ship, he said.
"We've had several pilots who were stationed on the Oriskany come back and make the dive, but the veterans are getting in the older bracket now," he said.
U.S. Sen. John McCain flew off the Oriskany before he was shot down and taken prisoner during the Vietnam War.
The ship is most remembered for a 1966 fire in the hangar bay. The fire, which ignited when a magnesium parachute flare exploded, killed 44 sailors.
Keith Benoit of Lafayette, Louisiana, was a 19-year-old disbursing clerk working below deck when the blaze erupted.
"The fire is the thing that sticks with me more than anything," said Benoit, who recalled sailors fighting the blaze for more than 18 hours.
"The smoke was really thick and there was a strong odor from the magnesium," he said.
Benoit is now in charge of the Oriskany veterans' 2016 annual reunion, which will be held in Lafayette in October.
Some veterans would have preferred to see the Oriskany turned into a museum, but the move was cost prohibitive, Benoit said. Most are pleased the ship has found a second life as an artificial reef, he said.
Dive master Taylor Wachtel has made more than 3,000 dives to the Oriskany and said she still has much more of the ship to explore.
"I'd say I haven't even seen a tenth of the ship," she said.
Wachtel's job is to accompany divers and look out for their safety. She also likes to point out the things to new Oriskany divers that they might not notice.
One of her favorites things are octopuses that curl inside pipes to protect eggs they have laid below.
"You cannot really see them unless you shine your light in there. Sometimes they will reach out with one of their tentacles and that is very cool," she said.
Wachtel has also seen a 300-pound Goliath grouper on the Oriskany, a 14-foot tiger shark and a massive whale shark.
The top of the Oriskany's tower is 84 feet below the surface. At about 140 feet, the carrier deck is below the 130-foot limit for recreational diving.
The Oriskany is not a beginner dive, said Wachtel, who encourages would-be divers to explore other area ship wrecks in shallower waters before attempting the Oriskany.
"It is good to ease into diving the Oriskany," she said.
Wachtel has taken divers from Europe, Brazil, Thailand, Australia and many other parts of the world to the dive site.
Diver and videographer Bryan Clark has made more than 200 dives on the Oriskany. Clark, an experienced technical diver, has explored the depths of the ship and documented the sea life surrounding it for the nonprofit Coastal Watch Alliance.
As parts of the ship deteriorate, holes are created that allow light to penetrate deeper into the structure spurring the growth of vegetation and drawing more sea creatures to the site, he said.
Clark said the coolest thing he has seen so far at the Oriskany site is a giant sunfish. The prehistoric looking fish can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
"It was amazing to be down there and see this crazy looking, humongous fish," he said.
Craig Clark, an Ocala dive shop owner and diving instructor, has teamed with a group of friends to explore much of the Oriskany's interior. The men are certified cave divers. They breathe a mix of oxygen, nitrogen and helium to make the deep dives. The group, called Intruders of the Deep, offers tours of the interior of the ship for advanced divers. But Clark said they haven't had many customers because of the complexity of the dive and the skill required.
The narrow passageways inside the ship can make it difficult to navigate. The men use different colored lines marked with arrows to help them find their way around.
"You have to be careful not to disturb areas with a lot of rust or silt because that can create zero visibility," he said.
Clark has been through most of the ship, but there are still areas he wants to explore.
"There is so much of it to see. It is a massive structure," he said.
The unexpected surprises are what keep him coming back. During one dive, he descended into the middle of tens of thousands of tiny jellyfish.
Because much of the ship is made of aluminum, it is oxidizing quickly and starting to  break down on the ocean floor.
"She is decomposing quickly. In another 20 to 30 years there might not be much left to dive," Clark said.
Milestones in the history of the USS Oriskany
Sept. 25, 1950 – Commissioned 
Oct. 26, 1966 – Hangar bay fire kills 44.
Oct. 26, 1967 – Lt. Cmdr. John McCain flies off Oriskany in an A-4 Skyhawk, is shot down and taken prison of war in Vietnam.
Sept. 30, 1976 – Decommissioned and sent to storage in Bremerton, Washington.
1989 – Recognized as obsolete and struck from the Naval Vessel Register.
April 5, 2004 – Navy announces plan to transfer Oriskany to Florida for use as an artificial reef.
December 2004 – Towed to Pensacola.
June 2005 – Towed to Texas to ride out the hurricane season after delays from exhaustive ecological and health studies.
March 2006 – Towed back to Pensacola for preparation for sinking.
May 17, 2006 – Sunk in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola
New life for the 'Mighty O'
•Dubbed "The Great Carrier Reef" by locals
•Part of the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail
•Largest artificial reef in the world
•Located 22 miles off Pensacola Beach at a depth of about 220 feet
•Is not a dive for beginners
Thanks  to Dutch
So you think you want a boat??
Thanks to CS
Almost too much……….
Thanks to Carl
No wonder he never got the Nobel prize: Tom Wolfe made the left look stupid
Wolfe stated the obvious about the heroism and self-sacrifice of our military and American exceptionalism in spades in his oh, so dazzling and utterly readable more than once masterpiece, The Right Stuff.
May 16, 2018
No wonder he never got the Nobel prize: Tom Wolfe made the left look stupid
It's couched in oh, so delicate terms, as pretty much everyone mourns the death of the great Tom Wolfe.  Tom Wolfe was a reporter; Tom Wolfe was an observer.  Tom Wolfe eyed status-seeking.  Tom Wolfe skewered the establishment.  And through his incredible mastery of words, he entertained the hell out of us.
Yes, true enough.  But somehow he never got a Nobel Prize in literature, despite vastly outranking almost everyone else who has.
So I guess I am corrupting things a little when I state the obvious about Wolfe: he did write; he did observe; he did skewer; and by gosh, it all added up to making the left look stupid, particularly the cultural left, because it is the establishment.  There is no way a writer this honest could not find them.  And because he was a ferocious believer in and chronicler of American exceptionalism, he got them good.
Oh, he made the left look stupid.  It's why reading his work is such a delicious pleasure.
I read through the long, awesome piece in Vanity Fair by Michael Lewis, called "How Tom Wolfe Became Tom Wolfe," to make sure I didn't miss any clues, and though it took me an hour to read, it was extremely useful.
Turns out Wolfe got his start in red country, the genteel world of Richmond, Virginia, and was close to his conservative father.  He never abandoned that world, which meant he stayed an outsider, a "deplorable" all his life.  He was amused by President Trump and seemed to like the man – read this short passage of his thoughts in this American Spectator here, an incisive, original analysis from Wolfe about Trump.
There's a heck of a lot more from deep in his background.  Lewis wrote that Wolfe was right on to the left from his late college days, at least – his Ph.D. at Yale was all about the communist influence in American literature, a topic that almost didn't pass muster from the leftists at Yale then and certainly wouldn't even be entertained at such an establishment now (except in oozingly flattering terms, perhaps).
Wolfe understood the importance of rural America in the creation of heroes and the stultifying groupthink of too much exposure to cities, a "deplorable" idea indeed that we are living now.  Such were the good takeaways from Lewis.
As a result, Wolfe's glory was in destroying the left with his words.
How on Earth can anyone look at Lenny Bernstein sucking up to the 1960s Black Panthers the same way after a passage like this?
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.  THESE ARE NICE.  LITTLE Roquefort cheese morsels rolled in crushed nuts.  Very tasty.  Very subtle.  It's the way the dry sackiness of the nuts tiptoes up against the dour savor of the cheese that is so nice, so subtle.  Wonder what the Black Panthers eat out here on the hors d'oeuvre trail?  Do the Panthers like little Roquefort cheese morsels rolled in crushed nuts this way, and asparagus tips in mayonnaise dabs, and meatballs petites au Coq Hardi, all of which are at this very moment being offered to them on gadrooned silver platters by maids in black uniforms with hand-ironed white aprons?
When I first read that as a college student, I couldn't stop laughing.  I memorized that passage because it was so funny.
Wolfe did fantastic work targeting the academic left in general.  One of his finest passages was on how leftists always yelled about fascism in America, yet it was Europe that had the problem:
The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.
He wrote about what a bunch of perverts these fashionable lefties were, too, lusting after the college girls as they gave their pompous progressive lectures, with one such lecturer thinking:
"The little blonde bud from the creative-writing class is a sure thing, but she'll insist on a lot of literary talk first[.] ... The big redhead on the lecture committee will spare me that, but she talks to me as if I'm seventy years old[.] ... Little Bud? ... or Big Red?
He went after the mainstream media, too, acting as paparazzi on the astronauts of The Right Stuff, seeking to interview "the dog, the cat, the rhododendrons," which told you all you needed to know – and was hysterically funny, too.
He fried the "Me Generation" and all the nut-bags from California's quiche-eating, hot-tubbing cultie groups, mouthing New Age drivel.  "Let's talk about me," as he summed these jackasses up.  It was the only right way to treat them.
So many leftists got it good from Wolfe.  There were the ad men in "The Commercial" who wanted to bow to political correctness by casting the first black baseball player in a deodorant ad and how they tiptoed around the subject of race as "flatfoot Irishmen" scared and dancing around in their great fear of being thought of as racist, even as they were breaking racial barriers.
There were the suck-up liberal bureaucrats in "Hush Puppies," who gladly ate merde at the feet of Tiki-stick stomping minority groups "mau-mauing" them in their quest for "summer jobs for youth" out in the San Francisco projects, a classic case of left-wing-on-left-wing stupidity.
He tore apart the Rev. Al Sharpton as a colossal charlatan in his later novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, exposing him for his left-wing race-baiting.
He made the art world, with all its nutty emperor's new clothes ideas about what's art and how ugly some of its stuff looked, look like a bunch of idiots in The Painted Word.
He trashed the disgusting hook-up culture that has ruined university culture in I am Charlotte Simmons.
All of this stuff riled the left.  In one passage in one of his books – think it was the one on meeting porny feminist Germaine Greer, who set her hair on fire because she was bored (you'd never forget a passage like that) – somewhere in the piece spoke of an enraged lefty who wanted to dump spaghetti sauce all over his own suit.
And as a coda, Wolfe stated the obvious about the heroism and self-sacrifice of our military and American exceptionalism in spades in his oh, so dazzling and utterly readable more than once masterpiece, The Right Stuff.
What a treasure he was.  He wrote about the world as it is, telling our American story because he loved our American story.  How sad that we don't have him to write about the ongoing story of America.  He wrote about the world as an outsider, and he examined the establishment as it needed to be examined, and naturally, that added up to making the left look stupid.  There was no other way for a writer this honest, and we are the richer for it.
Thanks to Michael T. …and Dr. Rich
 1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent. 
2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, 'I'll serve you, but don't start anything.'
 3 Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted. 
4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra. 
5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says: 'A beer please, and one for the road.' 
6. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: 'Does this taste funny to you?' 
7. 'Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.' 'That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.' 'Is it common?' Well, 'It's Not Unusual.' 
8. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, 'I was artificially inseminated this morning.' 'I don't believe you,' says Dolly. 'It's true; no bull!' exclaims Daisy. 
9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either. 
10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before. 
11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any. 
12. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, 'Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!' The doctor replied, 'I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!' 
13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel. 
14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. 
15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, 'Dam!' 
16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too. 
17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse. 'But why,' they asked, as they moved off. 'Because,' he said, 'I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.' 
18. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt , and is named 'Ahmal.' The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him 'Juan.' Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, 'They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal.' 
19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him. (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) ..... A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
 20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
Item Number:1 Date: 05/17/2018 AFGHANISTAN - SECURITY FORCES REGAIN CONTROL OF FARAH WITH HELP FROM COALITION AIRPOWER (MAY 17/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Afghan security forces have full control over Farah, the capital of the western province of the same name, reports the Voice of America News.   Government control was re-established on Wednesday, officials said.   A coordinated Taliban attack on Tuesday resulted in the capture of several government facilities, including the police and intelligence headquarters.   A counterattack by Afghan forces with U.S. air support killed more than 300 Taliban fighters, forcing the militants to retreat, Farah Gov. Abdul Basir Salangi told the VOA. At least 25 Afghan troops and several civilians were killed in the fighting he said. Around 2,000 militants took part in the attack, said the governor.   The Afghan air force A-29 light attack aircraft and Mi-17 assault helicopters took part in the operation, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   American A-10 attack aircraft and armed MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles also participated, reported the Stars and Stripes.   The Taliban said that its fighters had killed 64 "enemy" forces before making a tactical withdrawal with captured vehicles and equipment. Only nine fighters were killed, a spokesman said.   Some reports indicated that the Taliban remained in control of some areas of the city, according to locals
  Item Number:4 Date: 05/17/2018 COLOMBIA - DISSIDENT FARC MEMBERS CLASH WITH MILITARY NEAR BORDER WITH ECUADOR (MAY 17/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Eight dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) militant group have been killed in fighting with the Colombian military, reports Agence France-Presse.   The clashes erupted between the military and the fighters in Putumayo department, near the Colombian border with Ecuador, the government said on Thursday.   The FARC members are believed to be linked a cell led by Edgar Salgado, also known as Rodrigo Cadete, who has rejected a 2016 peace agreement.   One of those killed in the fighting was an aide to Cadete, the defense ministry said.   While most of the FARC's 7,000 fighters demobilized as part of the peace deal, some have continued to fight, especially in Colombia's border areas
Item Number:5 Date: 05/17/2018 INDONESIA - INITIAL BATCH OF APACHE ATTACK HELOS FORMALLY ACCEPTED (MAY 17/ANTARANA)  ANTARA NEWS AGENCY -- The Indonesian army has accepted delivery of its initial batch of U.S. built attack helicopters, reports Antara News, Indonesia's national news agency.   Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Rear Adm. Bambang Nariyono were joined by U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Erin Elizabeth McKee for the acceptance ceremony on Wednesday for the first three of eight AH-64E Apache helicopters ordered in 2015, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. The aircraft arrived in Indonesia in late 2017.   The event took place at the army airbase at the Ahmad Yani Airport in Semarang.   The five remaining Apaches are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.  
Item Number:6 Date: 05/17/2018 ISRAEL - JETS STRIKE HAMAS POSITIONS IN RESPONSE TO MULTIPLE EXCHANGES OF FIRE (MAY 17/HA)  HAARETZ -- The Israeli military says it has hit Hamas positions in Gaza after shots were fired into southern Israel, reports Haaretz (Israel).   On Wednesday, machine gun fire from Gaza into Sderot resulted in material damage but no casualties, the military said.   Sderot officials said the shots were fired at an Israeli military aircraft and the bullets struck homes as they fell to earth, reported the Times of Israel.   Israeli jets responded with strikes, hitting seven targets in the Gaza Strip, including a weapons production facility, reported Turkey's Anadolu Agency.   There were three separate cross-border exchanges on Wednesday prior to the strikes, said military officials.   One man was wounded by shrapnel in the Israeli strikes, said the Palestinian Health Ministry. It was unclear where the man was at the time.   Israel holds Hamas accountable for all military activities within Gaza, which is under the control of the militant group
  Item Number:8 Date: 05/17/2018 NIGERIA - 15 BOKO HARAM FIGHTERS KILLED IN JOINT OP WITH CAMEROON (MAY 17/THIS)  THIS DAY -- Nigerian and Cameroon troops have killed 15 Boko Haram fighters after clashes near Lake Chad, reports This Day (Lagos).   Separate clashes took place during operations to clear militants from islands in Lake Chad and villages in northern Borno state, said a Nigerian army spokesman.   Eleven militants were killed in the Gomaran village in the southern Lake Chad basin. Four others were killed in separate encounters in the Bama and Dikwa districts of Borno, the spokesman said.   Fifty-three people were rescued from insurgent camps, said the spokesman, as cited by by Turkey's Anadolu Agency.   Troops recovered several pistols and rifles from the scene, along with Boko Haram propaganda and military uniforms, reported the News Agency of Nigeria.   The rescued hostages were being interviewed before their release.   Boko Haram often trains or pressures its kidnapping victims to work as fighters for the group
  Item Number:9 Date: 05/17/2018 POLAND - AIR FORCE HOSTS NATO TIGER MEET DRILLS FOR 1ST TIME (MAY 17/PMOD)  POLISH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- For the first time, Poland is hosting NATO's Tiger Meet exercise, reports the Polish Ministry of Defense.   The drills, involving 70 aircraft, 10 helicopters and an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) plane, began on May 14 at the air base in Krzesiny in western Poland. The exercise is slated to conclude on May 25.   NATO Tiger Meets bring together squadrons with tigers in the emblems for joint exercises designed to improve interoperability.   Participants in this year's event include Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, France and the U.K.   The Polish 6th Fighter Squadron based at Krzesiny, flying F-16s, has been a member of the NATO Tiger Association since 2011.  
Item Number:10 Date: 05/17/2018 RUSSIA - MODERNIZATION OF NUCLEAR MISSILE FORCES CONTINUES (MAY 17/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed that new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) systems and nuclear bombers will be deployed in 2018, reports Newsweek.   Fourteen military units around Russia will receive the new Yars multiple-warhead, road-mobile ICBM, Putin told defense ministry officials on Tuesday in Sochi.   "Modernized missile-carrying bombers Tu-95MS and Tu-160 armed with modern cruise long-range missiles Kh-101 and Kh-102" are also being added to the country's arsenal, he said.   Putin tasked industry officials with accelerating development of the S-500 air defense system, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   Putin emphasized that the timeline for constructing five new Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines "must go strictly to plan," reported Interfax-AVN.   Putin has stressed that Russia is not seeking an arms race, while touting the latest generation of strategic weapons as being "invincible" and unmatched by foreign systems.   Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence expects Russia's Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle to enter service by 2020, reported CNBC
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/17/2018 USA - NEW SANCTIONS TARGET HEZBOLLAH LEADERSHIP (MAY 17/TREASURY)  U.S. TREASURY DEPT. -- The U.S. and its Arab Gulf allies have sanctioned top leaders of the Hezbollah militant group, reports the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury.   On Wednesday, the U.S. announced joint sanctions against Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah; Hezbollah second-in-command, Naim Qassem; and other members of Hezbollah leadership council.   The U.S. was joined by its six partner nations in the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.   The sanctions also targeted four additional individuals and three businesses linked to the group, including Talal Hamiyah, the Hezbollah external operations chief.   "By targeting Hezbollah's Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called 'Political Wing' and Hezbollah's global terrorist plotting," said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a statement, as reported by Bloomberg News.   The sanctions are part of U.S. efforts to address Iran's "malign activities and regionally destabilizing behavior, including that of Hezbollah" following the withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran, Treasury said.   The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS) was also included in the sanctions, reported Reuters. ISIS-GS is believed to be behind the ambush in Tongo Tongo, Niger, in October 2017 that killed four U.S. soldiers.

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