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Friday, May 18, 2018

TheList 4725



The List 4725


 
To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
This day in Naval History
May 18
1775—Col. Benedict Arnold captures a British sloop at St. Johns in Quebec, Canada and renames her Enterprise, the first of many famous ships with that name.
1798 - Appointment of Benjamin Stoddert as first Secretary of the Navy
 
1898—During the Spanish-American War, boat parties from USS St. Louis and USS Wompatuck, under Capt. Caspar F. Goodrich, cut communication cables at Santiago, Cuba.
1902—Marines and Sailors from the iron-hulled screw steamer Ranger,  go ashore at Panama City, Colombia, to protect US citizen lives and property during an insurrection that results in Panama's eventual independence from Colombia on Nov. 3, 1903.
1944—USS Wilkes  (DD 441) and USS Roe (DD 418), carrying the 1st Battalion 163rd Infantry, land on Wakde, off Dutch New Guinea, securing the island and setting up airstrip for the Southwest Pacific offensive. 
1969—Apollo 10 is launched with Cmdr. John W. Young as command module pilot and Cmdr. Eugene Cernan as the lunar module pilot. The mission is a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.  
1943 Lancasters return to England after conducting the "Dambusters" raid  on the Ruhr Valley
1943 The Memphis Bell's crew becomes the first American crew to complete 25 missions over occupied Europe .The crew and the airplane are returned to the United states for a War Bond tour.
 
May 19
1813—During the War of 1812, the frigate Congress, commanded by John Smith, captures and burns the British merchant brig, Jean, in the Atlantic.
1855—The screw ship Powhatan lands her Marine guard at Shanghai, China, to protect the lives and property of Americans during a period of unrest.
1882—Commodore Robert W. Shufeldt, onboard USS Swatara, arrives in Korea to negotiate the first commerce treaty between Korea and a Western power. The treaty is signed on May 22, opening Korea to United States trade.
1944—USS England (DE 635) sinks Japanese submarine I 16, the first of five submarines the destroyer sinks in a week's time.  
1965 - 30th Naval Construction Regiment activated at Danang, Vietnam
 
May 20
1801 - Four warships sent to Mediterranean to protect American commerce
1815—Commodore Stephen Decatur sails with his flagship USS Guerriere and a squadron of nine ships for the Mediterranean to suppress piracy.
1844—The frigate Constitution, commanded by John Percival, sails from New York to depart on her 32,279 mile round-the-world cruise. Heading eastward, she visits places such as Brazil, Zanzibar, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, and Hawaii before returning back to Boston, MA, in Sept. 1846.
1909—USS Mississippi (BB 23) arrives at Natchez, MS, and becomes the first US Navy battleship to visit an inland city.
1943—The Tenth Fleet is established in Washington D.C., under the command of Adm. Ernest J. King, to coordinate U.S. anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic. Disbanded after WWII, the Tenth Fleet is reactivated in Jan. 2010 as U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.
1944—USS Angler (SS 240) sinks Japanese transport Otori Maru and survives depth charging by its escort, while both USS Silversides (SS 236) and USS Bluegill (SS 242) sink enemy vessels.
1995—USS Russell (DDG 59) is commissioned during a ceremony at Pascagoula, MS. The 9th Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is named for Rear Adm. John Henry Russell and his son, Commandant of the Marine Corps John Henry Russell Jr.  
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news includes the eruption and following plume from the Kilauea volcano's summit that shot ash and smoke 30,000 feet into the air, the Trump administration expecting to announce a ban on Planned Parenthood and other facilities that receive federal funds from "providing or mentioning abortions," and a dump truck and school bus collision in New Jersey that left one student and a teacher dead.  Stars and Stripes reports that Adm. Scott Swift was relieved as the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet by Adm. John Aquilino in a ceremony Thursday. CBS News reports the USS George H.W. Bush is nearing the end of its unique training mission with French pilots aboard the carrier. Additionally, Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump acknowledged new doubts about the fate of his coming meeting with Kim Jong Un.
 
 
Today in History May 18
526
St. John I ends his reign as Catholic Pope.
1643
Queen Anne, the widow of Louis XIII, is granted sole and absolute power as regent by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king's will.
1652
A law is passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies but it causes little stir and seems unlikely to be enforced.
1792
Russian troops invade Poland.
1802
Britain declares war on France.
1804
Napoleon Bonaparte becomes the Emperor of France.
1828
The Battle of Las Piedras, between Uruguay and Brazil, ends.
1860
Abraham Lincoln is nominated for president.
1864
The fighting at Spotsylvania in Virginia, reaches its peak at the Bloody Angle.
1896
The Supreme Court's decision on Plessy v. Ferguson upholds the "separate but equal" policy in the United States.
1904
Brigand Raisuli kidnaps American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.
1917
The U.S. Congress passes the Selective Service act, calling up soldiers to fight World War I.
1931
Japanese pilot Seiji Yoshihara crashes his plane in the Pacific Ocean while trying to be the first to cross the ocean nonstop. He is picked up seven hours later by a passing ship.
1933
President Franklin Roosevelt signs the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.
1942
New York ends night baseball games for the rest of World War II.
1944
The Allies finally capture Monte Cassino in Italy.
1951
The United Nations moves its headquarters to New York city.
1969
Two battalions of the 101st Airborne Division assault Hill 937 but cannot reach the top because of muddy conditions.
1974
India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb.
1980
After rumbling for two months, Mount Saint Helens, in Washington, erupts 3 times in 24 hours.
 
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Thanks to Mugs
What God did at Pearl Harbor that day.......
. . . as it could have been much worse.
  What God did at Pearl Harbor that day
  Really interesting, and I never knew this little bit of history:
 Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes. I went into a small gift shop to kill time.
 In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz.
 Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
 Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
 On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters everywhere you looked.
 As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?" Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.
 Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.  Which do you think it was?"
 Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"
Nimitz explained:
Mistake number one:
The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.  If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
 Mistake number two:
When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.
 As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America.  And I already have crews ashore
anxious to man those ships.
 Mistake number three:
Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply. That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.
  I've never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it. In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredericksburg , Texas -- he was a born optimist. But any way you look at it--Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.
 President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.
 There is a reason that our national motto is IN GOD WE TRUST.
 Why have we forgotten?  PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 18 MAY 1968… TO SINGAPORE WITH HOPE…
May 18, 2018  Bear Taylor   
RIPPLE SALVO… #804… HUMBLE HOST IS OLD. I HAVE BEEN AROUND SO LONG I KNOW WHAT'S NEXT. HISTORY HAS TAUGHT ME WELL. History is like the Principles of War. Ignore history or the Clausewitz principles at your own risk. Of course, like history, the principles for war fighting are not immutable. The wise general knows when and when not to apply a principle. But he knows the choice to fudge on one of those axioms must follow careful thought. So it is with history. The lessons from past experience provide wisdom for application, or not, depending on the inevitable variables that come with the passage of time and circumstance. Ignore the past at your own risk. In the present world historic negotiations that will determine the course of world history in this century will meet in Singapore in June. Our "conversations" with North Korea will mirror in many ways our nation's history at peace talks of the past. It will be folly for our side to ignore the lessons from our previous peace talks following the Korean and Vietnam wars, among other such negotiations. The June kickoff in Singapore is the first milestone in a long and arduous negotiation will proceed just as the first "conversations" between the US and North Vietnam did in Paris 50 years ago… Then it was "to Paris with hope." In June it will be "to Singapore with hope." The timeline for the Korean talks will be remarkably akin to the experiences of the Vietnam talks that went on for more than four years…. "To Paris With Hope" below…
GOOD MORNING… Day EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR of a review of historic events of fifty years ago and remembering the great sacrifices nd service of the warriors who carried the Vietnam war to the heartland of the enemy, North Vietnam…
HEAD LINES from THE NEW YORK TIMES on Saturday, 18 May 1968…
THE WAR: Page 1: "NORTH VIETNBAMESE STEP UP PRESSURE NEAR THE DMZ"… Dongha, South Vietnam, May 17–"While world attention has been focused on the talks in Paris and the bitter fighting in Saigon, North Vietnamese forces have stepped up pressure in the northern provinces of South Vietnam. On Saigon, the military command said that Operation Delaware, the offensive aimed at clearing North Vietnamese troops from the Ashau Valley had been concluded….The North Vietnamese have attacked the cities and military installations in the northern region with rockets and mortar shells and have engaged in a series of sharp battles around the old imperial city of Dongha, a major military center that serves as a supply depot for the defenses long the demilitarized zone.. CLASHES EVERY DAY… The biggest action occurred early this morning when a North Vietnamese division apparently tried to overrun this base, 10 miles south of the demilitarized zone. But nearly every day a United states or South Vietnamese unit clashed with an enemy battalion or regiment in the region. This has brought some of the heaviest fighting of the war, reflected by the fact that of the 562 Americans killed last week, 263 were killed in the five northern provinces, the I Corps area. Flooded with intelligence reports of impending enemy attacks, the allies are bracing for even heavier fighting in the weeks to come. 'I forsee a succession of sharp, bloody fighting ranging all the way from squad-size ambushes to multi-battalion operations,' said Major General Rathvon McClure Tompkins, commander of the 3rd Marine Division. Allied officers feel that the threat of enemy action is greater than ever–partly because they believe that the North Vietnamese hope to influence the proceedings in Paris with their field forces and partly because they believe the long range enemy plans call for more aggressiveness at this point. 'We are in a dangerous period,' said on Marine officer…. ENEMY IS OUTNUMBERED… The allies have about 200,000 troops in the region, compared with about 60,000 North Vietnamese and a substantial number of guerrillas."…
PEACE TALKS: Page 1: "HUMPHREY IN SLIP ON PARIS PARLEY–AIDE SAYS HE DIDN'T MEAN DELEGATES HAD AGREED TO INCLUDE ALLIES IN TALKS"…Vice President Hubert Humphrey said today that it had been agreed at the talks in Paris that each side could bring to the negotiating table whatever representatives of the South Vietnamese people they wished. Within an hour, in response to newsmen's questions, an aide issued a statement of clarification for what apparently had been a slip of the tongue in the give and take of a question and answer session at the University of Maine."... Page 7: "DENIAL BY STATE DEPARTMENT"… "A statement issued today by an official spokesman of the State Department said: 'as the Vice President  has already stated, the question of participation by the south Vietnamese Government or the Vietcong has not come up in the talks now being held in Paris."… Page 7: "STATEMENT DISPUTED IN PARIS"… "Unimpeachable sources said tonight that there had been no discussion with North Vietnamese this week on the subject of who could eventually represent South Vietnam in negotiations."… Page 6: "North Vietnamese Delegation Will Move To Villa Near Paris"…
STATE DEPARTMENT. OFFICE OF HISTORIAN. HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS. FOREIGN AFFAIRS 1964-68. VIETNAM. Two documents worth a look to add understanding of what was going on behind the public face of the President's supervision fo the peace negotiations. Read at…
Page 1: "FRENCH WORKERS TAKE OVER PLANTS AS UNREST WIDENS–DOZENS OF FACTORIES BEING HELD BY THE STRIKERS– Red Flags Raised–Some Air Flights Canceled After Orly employees Call a 48-Hour stoppage"… "France's social revolt spread and changed in nature today as strikers, estimated to total 100,000, occupied dozens of factories in all parts of the country. The red flag was hoisted over several plants of a large chemical company."… Page 1: "ISRAELIS DISCOUNT A CAIRO PEACE PLAN–Officials Describe Reported Offer As Meaningless"… "Israeli officials today dismissed a meaningless the latest reported offer of peace terms from Cairo. Under the terms, Cairo would end its state of belligerency against Israel and acknowledge her right to use the Strait of Tiran in return for Israeli promise to withdraw her troops from occupied territories."… Page 1: KOSYGIN IN PRAGUE ON SURPRISE VISIT FOR TALKS ON RIFT–Arrives After An Eight-Man Soviet Military Mission–New Pressure Is Seen"… "…the purpose of the visit was described officially as a 'continuation of the exchange of views with the Czechoslovakia leaders…. LIBERALIZATION MAJOR ISSUE… "Even though both men had been invited by the reform regime in Prague, it appeared almost simultaneously arrival of the highest Soviet Government and military leaders might represent Moscow's major effort to persuade Czechoslovak leaders–through pressure or persuasion–to abandon or at least slow down the process of liberalization and democratization."… Page 1: "PEKING CALLS LIU AGENT OF THANG –MAOISTS ATTACK ON CHIEF OF STATE–Factual Proof Claimed"… "Communist China's chief of state, Liu Shao-chi was accused by the official press today for the first time of 'representing the interests of the Kuomintang, the governing party of Nationalist China under Chiang Kai-shek, who withdrew to Taiwan when the Communists took power in 1949."…
18 MAY 1968… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER…New York Times (19 May reporting 18 May ops)… Page 1: "In the air war in North Vietnam, United States pilots flew 128 multiplane raids, attacking enemy transportation lines, storage areas and antiaircraft positions. Their northernmost target was a railroad bypass 163 miles north of the demilitarized zone and 17 miles south of the 19th parallel. There have been no reports of American attacks north of the 19th parallel since President Johnson limited the bombing March 31."….
"Vietnam: Air Losses" (Chris Hobson) There were four fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 18 May 1968…
(1) COMMANDER CHARLIE NEGUS JAMES and LCDR VINCENT DUNCAN MONROE were flying an RA-5C of the RVAH-11 Speartips embarked in USS Kitty Hawk on a photo reconnaissance mission in Route Pak II between Vinh and Vinh Son at 11,000-feet when hit by antiaircraft fire. The aircraft burst into flame and became uncontrollable requiring the crew to abandon th aircraft 25 miles northwest of Vinh in a very hostile area. Beepers were heard and parachutes were seen but a SAR effort in the area was deemed too risky for the helicopters. Both Commander JAMES and LCDR MONROE were listed as Missing in Action and assumed to have been captured after Hanoi Radio reported the capture of two American pilots. Commander James was repatriated  in March 1973. LCDR MONROE was presumed KIA and the remains of LCDR Monroe were returned in 1978 and he rests in peace in Arlington National Cemetery…
(2) CAPTAIN TERRY JUN UYEYAMA and CAPTAIN TOMMY EMERSON GIST were flying an RF-4C of the 14th TRS and 432nd TRW out of Udorn…."On 18 May 1968, then Captain Tery Uyeyama and Captain Tommy Gist, navigator, were the crew of an RF-4C, call sign 'Vacuum' which was on a single aircraft day airborne alert photo reconnaissance mission in the area of Donghoi, North Vietnam and disappeared. CAPTAIN UYEYAMA and CAPYAIN GIST were listed as Missing in Action for the duration of the war. CAPTAIN UYEYAMA was returned with the American POWs in march 1973. CAPTAIN Tommy GIST never was a POW and he is listed as "presumed killed in action" and he has been left behind… But there is much more to this story and Humble Host will tell it tomorrow in Ripple Salvo #805….
(3) CAPTAIN ROLAND ROBERT OBENLAND was flying an F-100D of the 531st TFS and 3rd TFW out of Bien Hoa against an enemy troop target six miles from the airfield. He was making a low-level napalm drop when hit by ground fire. He was unable to eject before the aircraft impacted the ground. He now rests in peace in Arlington, glory gained, duty done…he is remembered on this day fifty years after his final flight in the service of his country…
(4) An O-1E of the 22nd TASS and 504th TASG out of Binh Thuy crashed in South Vietnam as a consequence of engine failure. The pilot survived…
SUMMARY OF ROLLING THUNDER LOSSES (KIA/MIA/POW) ON 18 MAY FOR THE FOUR YEARS OF THE OPERATION…
1965… CAPTAIN DAVID LOUIS HRDLICKA, USAF… (POW)…
1966… CAPTAIN LEE DUFFORD HARLEY… USAF… (KIA)… and… A2C ANDRE ROLAND GUILLET, USAF… (KIA)…
1967… COMMANDER KENNETH ROBIN CAMERON, USN… (POW, Died in captivity)… and… LT ROBERT JOHN NAUGHTON, USN… (POW)…
1968… CAPTAIN TERRY JUN UYEYAMA, USAF… (POW)…and CAPTAIN TOMMY EMERSON GIST, USAF… (KIA)… and CAPTAIN ROLAND ROBERT OBENLAND… USAF… (KIA)…
Humble Host flew #168, a night dive bombing flight with one wingman …6 Mk-82s and Mk 24 Flares to work Highway 82 and a truck park… unknown BDA, no fires or secondaries…Also flew 1.8 maintenance test flight then hassled with a returning Battlecry flight…Probably Ernie Christensen…
RIPPLE SALVO… #804… New York Times, 10 May 1968, Page 46, Op Ed ….
"TO PARIS WITH HOPE"…
"The long-sought negotiations that are scheduled to open today in Paris could mark a historic turning point for the United States, Vietnam and the world. Ambassador Averell Harriman sounded a positive note on his departure for the French capital yesterday when he called on the North Vietnamese to match Americans in 'a spirit of hope, sincerity and good-will.' His Vietnamese counterpart, Xuan Thuy, responded in kind and as he landed at Le Bourget Airport, saying he was 'optimistic.'
"Such optimism is shadowed, however, by word of intensified fighting in Vietnam, by Ho Chi Minh's untimely appeal to the Vietcong to step up their struggle against American 'aggression' and by ominous reports of Soviet troop movements in Eastern Europe. days, weeks and even months of hard bargaining lie ahead, delicate negotiations that could be adversely affected by intemperate actions on either side or by disruptive developments elsewhere in the world.
"American officials have long warned that in moving to the peace table the United States faces what former Ambassador Kenneth T. Young has called a new and hazardous kind of LSD trip– Long Slow Diplomacy.' They recall Korean negotiations, which stretched out over a two-year period during which 12,700 Americans died and 49,500 were wounded.
"Another such ordeal is not inconceivable. But it should not be necessary. The Geneva Accords of 1954, which both sides have endorsed in principle, were achieved in a little over two months. The Paris negotiations must not be permitted to falter or to fail, for they carry with them the hope of mankind."   End quote…
So it is with the conversations in Singapore…
Humble Host suggests a reading of the Wikipedia "Paris Peace Accords"… read at…
RTR quote for 18 May: ISAIAH II.4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks, nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."…
Lest we forget…      Bear
 
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Thanks to Clyde
 
Subject: The Great Escape Tunnel
This is an incredible summary of what was found and will be of some interest to you.
 The Great Escape
Untouched for almost seven decades, the tunnel used in The Great Escape has finally been unearthed
The 111-yard passage nicknamed "Harry" by Allied prisoners was sealed by the Germans after the audacious breakout from the POW camp Stalag Luft III in western Poland.
Despite huge interest in the subject, encouraged by the film starring Steve McQueen, the tunnel remained undisturbed over the decades because it was behind the Iron Curtain and the Soviet authorities had no interest in its historical significance.
Finally, British archaeologists have excavated and discovered some remarkable secrets.
Many of the bed boards which had been joined together to stop collapsing were still in position.  And the ventilation shaft, ingeniously crafted from used powdered milk containers known as  Klim Tins, remained in working order. 
Scattered throughout the tunnel, which is 30 feet below ground, were bits of old metal buckets,  hammers and crowbars which were used to hollow out the route.
A total of 600 prisoners worked on three tunnels at the same time.  They were nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry, and were just 2 foot square for most of their length.
It was on the night of March 24 and 25, 1944, that 76 Allied airmen escaped through Harry.
Barely a third of the 200 prisoners, many in fake German uniforms, civilian outfits and carrying false identity papers, who were meant to slip away managed to leave before the alarm was raised when escapee number 77 was spotted.
Tunnel vision: A tunnel reconstruction showing the trolley system.
 
Only three POWs made it back to Britain.
Another 50 were executed by firing squad on the orders of Adolf Hitler, who was furious after learning of the breach of security.
In all, 90 boards from bunk beds, 62 tables, 34 chairs and 76 benches, as well as thousands of items including knives, spoons, forks, towels and blankets, were squirreled away by the Allied prisoners to aid the escape plan right under the noses of their captors.
Although the Hollywood movie suggested otherwise, NO Americans were involved in the operation.  Most were British, and others were from Canada, (all the tunnelers were Canadian personnel with backgrounds in mining) Poland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa.
The site of the tunnel, recently excavated by British archaeologists.
The latest dig, over three weeks in August, located the entrance to Harry, which was originally concealed under a stove in Hut 104.
The team also found another tunnel, called George, whose exact position had not been charted.  It was never used as the 2,000 prisoners were forced to march to other camps as the Red Army approached in January 1945.
Watching the excavation was Gordie King, 91, an RAF radio operator, who was 140th in line to use Harry and therefore missed out.  "This brings back such bitter-sweet memories," he said as he wiped away tears.  I'm amazed by what they've found."
Bitter-sweet  memories: Gordie King, 91, made an emotional return to Stalag Luft III.
Thank a teacher if you are reading this.

Thank a WWII veteran if you are reading it in English.
 
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Thanks to Carl….Maybe she knew Tiger's wife!!!!!
(And you thought pro golfers had an easy life!!)
 
PGA Golfer's Wife Charged With 'Attacking' Him After Calling Him A 'P***y' For Playing Badly In Tournament
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 05/18/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 7 CITIES UNDER TALIBAN THREAT, SAYS MOD (MAY 18/TN)  TOLONEWS -- The Afghan Defense Ministry says seven cities are in danger of falling to the Taliban but that Afghan forces will defend them, reports Tolo News (Afghanistn).   The cities of Farah, Faizabad, Trinkot, Kunduz, Maimana and Pul-e-Khumri are under pressure from the Taliban, a defense spokesman said on Wednesday. The seventh city was not named, but is likely Ghazni city, noted the Long War Journal, which tracks militant activity.   Afghan forces have responded to this threat and launched multiple operations to push back against militant advances, the spokesman said.   Five of these cities -- Farah City, Tarin Kot, Kunduz City, Maimana, and Pul-i-Khumri -- have been under Taliban attack since October 2016.   On Wednesday, 22 security troops were killed and five injured when dozens of Taliban fighters attacked the Zana Khan and Jaghato districts of Ghazni province, provincial officials said.   On Friday, Taliban insurgents abandoned an offensive to take the city of Farah, during which they briefly gained control of the city and killed 25 members of the security forces and five civilians, reported the New York Times.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 05/18/2018 BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - COURT REFUSES TO HAND OVER ALLEGED ASSASSIN OF HAMAS DRONE EXPERT TO TUNISIA (MAY 18/REU)  REUTERS -- A Bosnian court has declined a request from Tunisia to extradite a Bosnian national for the 2016 killing of a Tunisian man working with Palestinian militant group Hamas, reports Reuters.   On Thursday, the court ruled that Elvir Sarac could not be handed over to Tunisian authorities due to the lack of a bilateral treaty allowing such extraditions.   Neither country is a party to international conventions that could enable extradition under special conditions, the court said.   Tunisian authorities believe that Sarac and a Croatian man were involved in the 2016 assassination of Mohammed Zouari, who is believed to have worked with Hamas as a drone specialist. Zouari was shot dead near his home in Sfax.   Sarac was arrested this week under an Interpol warrant, requested by Tunisia, reported Balkan Insight. He denies the charges.   A Croatian court ruled last week that the Croatian suspect can be extradited to Tunisia.   Hamas has blamed Israeli agents for the killing.   Tunisian authorities have charged 10 Tunisians for involvement in the killing
Item Number:4 Date: 05/18/2018 BRAZIL - 11 CHARGED WITH ESTABLISHING ISIS CELL (MAY 18/REU)  REUTERS -- Brazilian prosecutors have charged 11 people with trying to set up an Islamic State (ISIS) terror cell, reports Reuters.   On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Goias state said they charged 11 members of the cell with attempting to recruit fighters for the terror group.   Only one of the 11 suspects has been arrested, a source in the prosecutor's office told Agence France-Presse.   From 2016 to 2017, the cell used social media to recruit fighters, including minors, to fight for the group in Syria, said prosecutors.   In an online chat, one of the accused suggested copying a March 2017 ISIS attack in the U.K., where the attacker used his car and a knife to kill five people.   Brazilian police were tipped off by Spanish prosecutors after a Brazilian was arrested in Spain for ISIS ties.   This was the second ISIS-linked group broken up by Brazilian officials in two years. Police dismantled an ISIS cell just before the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Item Number:5 Date: 05/18/2018 EGYPT - 19 MILITANTS KILLED AS GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN IN SINAI CONTINUES (MAY 18/AHRAM)  AHRAM ONLINE -- The Egyptian military says it has killed 19 militants over the last few days as part of an ongoing offensive in the Sinai peninsula, reports Ahram Online (Egypt).   Ten militants were killed during army raids in northern and central Sinai, said a military spokesman on Thursday.   Another nine died during a police operation in El-Arish, the capital of North Sinai.   Twenty suspected criminals have also been arrested in recent operations, the spokesman said.   In addition, the air force destroyed a vehicle carrying weapons near the western border and troops destroyed several underground hideouts and three tunnels in North Sinai, said a military statement.   President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi launched Operation Sinai 2018 in February to restore security in the region. At least 296 people have been killed in the fighting, including 35 military personnel, reported Reuters
  Item Number:7 Date: 05/18/2018 IRAQ - 8 KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK NORTH OF BAGHDAD (MAY 18/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- At least eight people have been killed and 30 wounded in a suicide attack on a funeral in the Heseiwa region of the Tarimiya district, north of Baghdad, reports Iraqi News.   On Wednesday, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt in a tent full of mourners, reported Agence France-Presse.   The funeral was being held for someone from the village of Sheikh Hamad who died on Tuesday under suspicious circumstances, said a local cited by the New Arab.   Members of the Hashed al-Shaabi militia, which fought with government forces against the Islamic State, were among the fatalities, according to an unnamed police source.   No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. ISIS has conducted similar attacks in recent weeks
  Item Number:9 Date: 05/18/2018 PAKISTAN - REGIONAL MILITANT COMMANDER KILLED IN RAID IN BALUCHISTAN (MAY 18/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- The Pakistani army has killed a militant commander during a raid in the southwest Baluchistan province, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   A military intelligence officer was killed and four soldiers were injured during the operation targeting Salman Badeni, the Baluchistan region chief for the Lashkar I Jhangvi terrorist group, said an army release on Thursday.   Two other militants were killed in the clashes.   Badeni was "involved in killings of over 100 innocent personnel of Hazara community and police," the army said. The militant group considers Shi'ites to be apostates and has targeted the Hazara in dozens of attacks.   The army later killed five suicide bombers who attempted to drive a vehicle filled with ammunition and explosives into a military facility in Quetta in an apparent reprisal attack, reported Reuters.   Meanwhile, a Pakistani paramilitary was killed and 14 others were injured in a suicide attack against a security forces vehicle in Nowshera in Pakistan's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, reported the Nation (Pakistan
  Item Number:11 Date: 05/18/2018 RUSSIA - PUTIN, ASSAD DISCUSS END TO SYRIAN CONFLICT IN SOCHI (MAY 18/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin have begun discussing an end to the war in Syria, reports Agence France-Presse.   On Thursday, Assad made an unannounced visit to the southern Russian city of Sochi to meet with Putin.   In light of the Syrian army's advances against rebel forces in recent months, "conditions have been created which favor the start of a political process on a major scale," according to a statement released by Putin.   "Stability is improving, and all that opens the doors to the political process, which we started a while ago," said a statement from Assad released after the meeting.   The selection of candidates for a constitutional committee will begin soon, the statement said.   As the process moves forward, "foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory," said Putin.   Putin did not specify which foreign forces he was referring to. Multiple countries, including Iran, Russia, Turkey and the U.S., have troops in parts of Syria.   The meeting came a day after Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. Special Envoy to Syria, warned that a regime attack on Idlib province, where many rebels have gone under agreements with Damascus, could affect 2.3 million people
Item Number:13 Date: 05/18/2018 USA - LAWMAKERS SEEK TO CUT ARMS SALES TO TURKEY (MAY 18/AL-MON)  AL-MONITOR -- Lawmakers in the House and Senate have entered language in defense spending bills that would curtail significant arms sales to Turkey over Ankara's purchase of Russian air defense systems, reports the Al-Monitor (Washington, D.C).   Last year, Turkey inked a deal with Russia for S-400 air defense systems, raising concerns about security and interoperability with U.S. and NATO equipment.   Congress approved sanctions last year penalizing countries for "significant transactions" with Russian defense companies, including Almaz-Antey, which builds the S-400.   Some senators are also seeking to punish Ankara after it jailed an American pastor for months and expelled the Israeli ambassador in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.   The House Armed Services Committee advanced a defense authorization bill on May 11 that would prohibit "major defense equipment" sales to Turkey until the Trump administration submits a report on the state of U.S.-Turkish military and diplomatic relations.   Meanwhile, the Senate has proposed banning the sale of F-35 stealth fighters to Turkey until Ankara meets several conditions. Turkey has plans to order more than 100 of the jets.   "Turkey's strategic decisions regrettably fall more and more out of line with, and at times in contrast to, U.S. interests," Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said in a statement upon introducing the bill. "These factors make the transfer of sensitive F-35 technology and cutting-edge capabilities to Erdogan's regime increasingly risky."   Similar language was struck from last year's spending bill at the request of the Trump administration
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