Sunday, December 2, 2018

TheList 4871



The List 4871 TGB

To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
Regards,
skip
This day in Naval History
Nov. 29
1776—Continental brig Reprisal arrives in Quiberon Bay, France, becoming the first Continental vessel to arrive in Europe. Reprisal was carrying Benjamin Franklin who was acting as the diplomatic agent to the country.
1929—Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd makes the first flight over the South Pole.
1943—TBF aircraft of VC-19 based aboard USS Bogue (CVE 9) sink the German submarine U-86 about 385 miles east of Terceira, Azores. 
1944—USS Maryland (BB 46) is hit by a kamikaze off Leyte. She is repaired in time for Okinawa Invasion where she is hit by a kamikaze again April 7, 1945.
1944—USS Archerfish (SS 311) sinks Japanese carrier Shinano on her maiden voyage 160 nautical miles southwest of Tokyo Bay. Shinano is the largest warship sunk by any combatant submarines during World War II. Also on this date, USS Scabbardfish (SS 397) sinks Japanese submarine I-365 east of Honshu. 
1990—The UN approves Security Council Resolution 678 authorizing the use of military force unless Iraq vacates Kuwait by 15 January 1991.
 
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Today's top national headlines include coverage of phone calls between President Trump and Roger Stone in 2016 during the presidential campaign, a push by Congress to end U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen, and a soaring stock market following an announcement that interest rate hikes will likely slow. The U.S. Navy sent two ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in the third such operation this year reports Reuters. "The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows," said the Navy in a statement. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee, Navy Acquisition Chief James Geurts stated that weapons elevators for the USS Gerald R. Ford will be built and installed by the time the ship leaves its post-shakedown availability reports USNI News. Additionally, USNI news reports that the 2019 Force Structure Assessment is unlikely to alter the plan for a 355 ship fleet.

Today in History
November 29
1760

Major Roger Rogers takes possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain.
1787

Louis XVI promulgates an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to Protestants.
1812

The last elements of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand Armee retreats across the Beresina River in Russia.
1863

The Battle of Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., ends with a Confederate withdrawal.
1864

Colonel John M. Chivington's 3rd Colorado Volunteers massacre Black Kettles' camp of Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek, Colo.
1903

An Inquiry into the U.S. Postal Service demonstrates the government has lost millions in fraud.
1923

An international commission headed by American banker Charles Dawes is set up to investigate the German economy.
1929

Commander Richard Byrd makes the first flight over the South Pole.
1931

The Spanish government seizes large estates for land redistribution.
1939

Soviet planes bomb an airfield at Helsinki, Finland.
1948

The Metropolitan Opera is televised for the first time as the season opens with "Othello."
1948

The popular children's television show, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, premieres.
1949

The United States announces it will conduct atomic tests at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.
1961

NASA launches a chimpanzee named Enos into Earth orbit.
1962

Algeria bans the Communist Party.
1963

President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints Chief Justice Earl Warren head of a commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
1967

US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation.
1972

Atari announces the release of Pong, the first commercially successful video game.
2007

Armed forces of the Philippines besiege The Peninsula Manila in response to a mutiny led by Senator Antonio Trillanes.
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7. The Oldest Pearl Harbor Survivor Has Died at 106
(CNN—24 NOV 18) … Nicole Chavez and David Wright

            Ray Chavez, the nation's oldest survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor, has died, the White House says. He was 106.
            The veteran passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday, CNN affiliate KFMB reported, citing a family statement.
Chavez was a quartermaster stationed in Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack on Hawaii that launched America's entry into World War II in 1941.
            He lived in Poway, California, with his family but gained prominence in recent years as he traveled around the country, attending memorial services and commemorations. Earlier this year, he met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office ahead of Memorial Day.
            "Ray was honored to have served his country and to fight among heroes and loved meeting his fellow comrades," his family said in a statement. "He cherished his time going to talk to the kids at schools because he doesn't want them to forget Pearl Harbor."
            As his health declined in recent months, he wished to be buried at the Miramar National Cemetery, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
            He saw ships on fire and smoke all around
In an interview with CNN in May, Chavez reflected on his service, and recounted his experience on the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared would "live in infamy."
Chavez was born in San Bernardino, California, and grew up in San Diego. He joined the Navy encouraged by his wife.
            "I was married at that time, and my wife encouraged me because she liked the Navy, and was more or less a Navy wife, and she wanted me to join. And then at the end of the war, she wanted me to stay in the Navy, but I had too much war already, and I got out," he told CNN in May.
            The morning of December 7, Chavez had been assigned to a minesweeper, the Condor, that, while on patrol detected a Japanese submarine in nearby restricted waters before returning to the harbor.
            "I had told (my wife), I didn't want to be awakened because I had been (out) all night, and I was very tired, and I wanted to get some sleep," Chavez said. "After she saw the beginning of the war, she went and called me, and I couldn't believe what she was telling me. And after her pleading with me to get up, let's see. I finally broke down, and went up, and sure enough, she was right."
            "And so, (there were) all the ships on fire, and a terrible smoke screen all through the harbor, covering it, and ships, all the adjoining area," he recalled.
            After the attack, Chavez served on the transport ship La Salle that brought soldiers to several island battles throughout the Pacific, including Okinawa and Guadalcanal.
When asked how often he thought about that day and his military service, Chavez told CNN, "Every day. And not hysterical or mean thoughts about it -- it was great. But it never goes away. All of what you see and learned."
            For Chavez, the most important lesson he learned from his service was "discipline," as well as the enjoyment he gained from the company of his fellow sailors.
            "It's quite a pleasure to meet new people and enjoy their company, and that's what happened to me," he said.
 
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Thanks to John and Ed
 
Subject: C-2 Greyhound - The COD
 
A great story about the C-2 written by who flew it.  The C-2 first appeared in the fleet in the mid-1960s when I was on the Kitty Hawk.  It quickly developed a bad reputation and high ranking folks refused to fly as PAX in them for awhile.  Never had to ride in one myself.
 
John
 
 
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Thanks to John and Dick
Setting a very high bar.
 Subject: Not too shabby
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Thanks to Bill.
Crazy, you will love it but you must wait till the end.
 
                                                              The Best Commercial <https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw__sw_5OIpCWEZTRnR0bGswOGxJM21kNURHdmthT3RHMkVn/view?usp=drivesdk>
 
                                                           
Another from Bill
Almost unbelievable......
 
China's Super Highway: MEGAPROJECTS
 
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTrg9fTJvmA
                       
 
Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive, double-pane, energy-efficient kind.
 
        Today, I got a call from Home Depot who installed them.  The caller complained that the work had been completed a year ago and I still hadn't paid for them.
Helloooo,........... just because I'm a Senior Citizen doesn't mean that I am automatically mentally challenged. So, I told him just what his fast-talking sales guy told me last year—that these windows would pay for    themselves in a year.
Hellooooo? It's been a year, so they're paid for, I told him.
There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally hung up.
He never called back.  I bet he felt like an idiot.
 
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Thanks to NHHC and Admiral  Cox  WWII 1941
The U.S. Asiatic Fleet – Background and Summary
Although commanded by a four-star (Admiral Thomas C. Hart) for oriental "face" reasons, the U.S. Asiatic Fleet was deliberately kept very small, in keeping with the Mahanian principle in force at the time to never divide the Battle Fleet.  (Only in early 1941 did the U.S. Navy begin to "violate" this principle by moving some battleships and aircraft carriers to the Atlantic from what has been the Battle Fleet (later renamed Battle Force) concentration area throughout the 1920's and 1930's at San Pedro and Long Beach.)  Consisting of the flagship, the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30), the early 1920's vintage light cruiser USS Marblehead (CL-12), 13 WW-I vintage destroyers, and an assortment of China gunboats and other auxiliaries, the primary offensive punch of the Asiatic Fleet was envisioned to be the potent force of 29 submarines, recently augmented in anticipation of war with Japan during 1941.
Although U.S. war plans at the time assumed that the Philippines would be lost to the Japanese, and that the U.S. Navy would have to fight our way across the Pacific to the decisive battle between the Battle Fleets in Far Eastern waters, the U.S. did not plan to give up the Philippines without a fight, and the submarines were meant to make the Japanese Navy pay heavily to take the Philippines.  The U.S. plan failed for several reasons, but the most significant was the unanticipated (by the U.S.) immediate loss of air superiority to the Japanese, and the fact that large numbers of U.S. torpedoes were defective.  (I'll cover the "Great Navy Torpedo Scandal" in a future H-gram, but before the war, the U.S. Navy conducted no live-fire tests of torpedo warshots against actual targets because it was deemed too expensive.  As a result, major flaws were not known and corrected until almost two years into the war, at incredible cost in lost target opportunities and American lives.)
The U.S. Navy Intelligence infrastructure in the Far East, centered around the signals intelligence and code-breaking center known as Station Cast in the Philippines (counterpart to Station Hypo in Hawaii,) worked reasonably well.  Admiral Hart received intelligence from broken Japanese diplomatic codes (that Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii did not get) and had sufficient warning to disperse most of the Asiatic Fleet to safer locations prior to the Japanese attack.  However, U.S. submarines were quickly deprived of key sources of reconnaissance of Japanese invasion force movements, when most of the PBY Catalina flying boats were quickly shot down or destroyed at anchor.  (Of 44 PBY's that were on station or reinforced Patrol Wing Ten, all but five were destroyed or shot down by March 1942, including one flown by LT Thomas H. Moorer, future CNO and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.)
Without air reconnaissance, or benefit of the ULTRA code-breaking intelligence that became available later in the war, U.S. submarines repeatedly missed intercept opportunities, consistently arriving at Japanese amphibious landing sites after the Japanese invasion ships had left, and were frequently attacked by Japanese aircraft whenever surfaced.  In addition, even with ample warning, the complete lack of effective U.S. air defenses enabled 54 Japanese bombers on 10 Dec 41 to leisurely and accurately plaster Cavite, the only major U.S. Navy base in the region, destroying almost everything at the base, including 230 submarine torpedoes and the submarine USS Sealion (SS-195) (severely damaged and later scuttled.)  Extremely vulnerable to air attack, the submarine tenders were withdrawn further south, except for USS Canopus (AS-9), whose Sailors would serve valiantly as infantry in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor.  In those rare cases where U.S. submarines intercepted the Japanese, such as S-38's (LT Wreford  G. "Moon" Chapple – future RADM - commanding) heroic foray into the treacherous waters of Lingayen Gulf to attack the main Japanese landing force in what was to that point the largest amphibious assault in history, U.S. torpedoes repeatedly failed to explode on target, leading immediately to the pounding of U.S. submarines by Japanese aircraft and depth charges; Despite the target-rich environment, S-38 only sank one large transport and survived, barely, repeated Japanese ASW attacks.  The Japanese landing at Lingayen was actually a major fiasco, with the Japanese loosing half their tanks and many men to sea state/weather conditions, far more than were lost as a result of U.S. action, and even then the U.S. could not effectively oppose it.
ABDAFLOAT
If there is anyone who questions the wisdom of RIMPAC exercises, other regional engagement exercises (or even NATO) the short and chaotic life of the American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, and its Naval Component Command (ABDAFLOAT), and the culminating defeat in the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942, represents a textbook case of everything that can go wrong in coalition warfare, and the disaster that can befall an Allied/Coalition Force that has never trained together.  Although the stubborn U.S. and Filipino Army defense of the Bataan Peninsula inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese and greatly slowed Japan's timetable for completing the capture of the Philippines, the Japanese onslaught everywhere else in the Far East continued at an astonishing and unabated pace.
ABDA Command was conceived as a means by the Allies to defend Singapore and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia.)   As U.S. and British leaders convened in Washington in late Dec 41 and grappled with the unexpected collapsing situation in the Far East, they pushed for a unified command structure.  In a surprise to the British, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General George C. Marshal, supported even more surprisingly by ADM Ernest J. King (Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet,) pushed to have a British army general put in charge of ABDA, while British Prime Minister Winston Churchill pushed to have an American admiral put in charge (both sides most likely saw the whole thing as a loser, leading to the gracious offers to have the other put in charge.)  Without consulting the Netherlands Government-in-Exile, the job was given to British Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell (most recently run out of Libya by German General Erwin Rommel) and the naval component command, termed ABDAFLOAT, to Admiral Hart.
ABDA almost immediately became dysfunctional, as the Allied interests quickly diverged and the Japanese racked up victory after victory.  Wavell was focused on the defense and supply of India, and the defense of Singapore (whose garrison quickly surrendered on 15 Feb 42  to a Japanese force half its size in what is generally considered the most ignominious defeat in British military history).  The Dutch Naval Forces Commander in the East Indies, VADM Conrad Helfrich was focused exclusively on the defense of Java (to the last Allied ship) and was so incensed that an American admiral had been put in charge of the naval defense of the Dutch East Indies that he actively worked through diplomatic and government channels to undercut ADM Hart and have him relieved.  The Australians were focused on the defense of Timor and Australia (most of the Australian Army was in North Africa fighting the Germans.)  The Americans kind of just hung out losing ships to fulfill political promises of moral support to the Dutch, brokered in Washington.  Dutch political pressure in Washington became so intense, that Admiral King informed Admiral Hart that he should request to be relieved for "health reasons" (in his 60's, the Dutch and British claimed Hart was "too old" for his position – he lived to a vigorous 94.)  Hart acceded to King's "recommendation" and command of U.S. Naval Forces in the region passed to newly-promoted VADM Glassford on 4 Feb, under the overall command of VADM Helfrich.  The relief of Hart marked the official end of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet.  In the end, with the fall of Singapore, Wavell recommended dissolution of ABDA, pulled up chocks and went to India.
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Item Number:1 Date: 11/29/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 10 KILLED IN ATTACK ON SECURITY COMPOUND IN KABUL (NOV 29/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least 10 people have been killed and 29 wounded in an attack on a military compound in Kabul, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   On Wednesday, a water tanker filled with explosives was detonated outside the compound used by the British security group G4S, said the interior ministry.   Four gunmen then entered the site and opened fire.   A guard at the site said fighting continued into Thursday morning.   A British national was among the dead, reported the Khaama Press (Afghanistan).   At least 15 of the injured worked for the private security firm, said an interior ministry spokesman.   G4S provinces security for the British Embassy in Afghanistan, noted UPI.   The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 11/29/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 55 TALIBAN KILLED IN 4-DAY OPERATION, SAYS MILITARY (NOV 29/KP)  KHAAMA PRESS -- The Afghan military says that at least 55 Taliban fighters have been killed during a four-day operation in the northern Kunduz province, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan).   Soldiers from the 10th special operations Kandak (battalion) conducted four days of operations in the Dasht Archi district, the 209th Shaheen Corps said on Thursday.   Troops identified and destroyed four large explosive caches and 60 militant fighting posts, said the corps.   Another 15 Taliban fighters were wounded during the operations.  
 
Item Number:4 Date: 11/29/2018 EGYPT - BLOCKADE AGAINST QATAR TO REMAIN, LEADERS SAY (NOV 29/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have announced that they will maintain their blockade against Qatar, reports the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   On Tuesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi hosted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Cairo.   The leaders said that the blockade would remain in effect until further notice, citing the need to contain Iranian interference in the region, according to the Saudi-based Al-Arabiya television channel. The countries emphasized that they would not "make any concessions" toward Qatar, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).   In June 2017, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed an embargo by air, land and sea on Qatar. The coalition accuses Doha of supporting terrorist groups in the region. Qatar denies the charges.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 11/29/2018 NIGERIA - ARMY REPELS BOKO HARAM ATTACK IN BORNO STATE (NOV 29/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- The Nigerian army says it has foiled an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northwestern Borno state, reports the Vanguard (Lagos).   On Tuesday, troops from the 157 Strike Force Battalion repelled Boko Haram militants who attempted to infiltrate the town of Cross-Kauwa in the Kukawa local government area, said an army statement.   No further details were immediately available.   Separately, the army said on Tuesday that it had recovered all of the bodies from a Boko Haram assault on three military bases in Metele in Borno last week, reported the Concise News (Nigeria). More than 100 troops were killed in the attacks
Item Number:6 Date: 11/29/2018 RUSSIA - IL-112V LIGHT TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT READY FOR TESTING (NOV 29/TASS)  TASS -- Ilyushin has rolled out the first Ilyushin Il-112V light transport aircraft ahead of flight trials, reports the Tass news agency (Russia).   On Tuesday, the first flight prototype was rolled out at the Ilyushin Voronezh VASO aircraft plant, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   The prototype will now undergo a range of complex airfield tests to determine if the aircraft is ready for its maiden flight, said a release from the United Aircraft Corp.   A second prototype intended for strength and fatigue testing is under construction.   Following testing, the Russian Defense Ministry is expected to order a low-rate production batch of Il-112Vs for operational trials.   The Il-112V can carry payloads of up to five tons and transport troops, military hardware, various armaments and other cargo.   The aircraft is being developed to replace the military's fleet of An-24 and An-26 turboprop aircraft.   Moscow has indicated plans to purchase 62 Il-112Vs
Item Number:7 Date: 11/29/2018 SLOVENIA - IN A 1ST, WOMAN APPOINTED TO LEAD ARMED FORCES (NOV 29/STA)  SLOVENIAN PRESS AGENCY -- Slovenia has become the first NATO member state to appoint a woman as head of the armed forces, reports the Slovenian Press Agency (STA).   On Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Alenka Ermenc formally took her post as the chief of General Staff, succeeding Maj. Gen. Alan Geder during a ceremony in Ljubljana.   Ermenc served as deputy chief of staff since February and was promoted to major general on Nov. 23.   Ermenc has served in the armed forces since 1991, when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. She has participated in numerous military operations, including the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) peacekeeping mission, where she was in charge of human resources and advised the KFOR commander
  Item Number:8 Date: 11/29/2018 SOMALIA - U.S. AIRSTRIKES REACH NEW HIGH (NOV 29/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) says three Al-Shabaab militants have been killed in its latest airstrike in Somalia, reports the Voice of America News.   The attack on Tuesday targeted militants near Quy Cad in the Mudug region, said AFRICOM.   Locals said the strikes targeted vehicles belonging to a junior Al-Shabaab commander.   There were no indications of civilian casualties, said the command.   This was the 36th U.S. airstrike targeting Al-Shabaab this year, marking the largest number of U.S. air attacks in Somalia in one year.   AFRICOM conducted strikes in the same area on Nov. 19 and 20, that killed 50 Al-Shabaab militants
  Item Number:9 Date: 11/29/2018 SOUTH KOREA - PLANS FOR NEW EARLY WARNING RADARS, MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT MOVE FORWARD (NOV 29/HYR)  HANKYOREH -- The South Korean government has announced plans to acquire additional early warning radar systems from Israel, reports the Hankyoreh newspaper (Seoul).   The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) says it will purchase two EL/M-2080 Green Pine Block C early warning ballistic missile radar systems to boost South Korea's capabilities to "detect and track ballistic missiles from a long distance at an early stage," said an agency statement on Tuesday.   A budget of US$292 million has been allocated for the project and a contract is expected to be awarded within a year, said a DAPA official.   Deliveries are scheduled for the early 2020s, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   The Block C radars have a 190-mile (300-km) greater detection range than the Block B systems now in South Korean service. It is also designed to work with missile defense systems to intercept threats, reported the Times of Israel.   The committee also finalized a decision to purchase P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft within the year.   Seoul plans to purchase six Poseidon aircraft at a cost of around US$186 million each under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, the official said
Item Number:10 Date: 11/29/2018 SOUTH KOREA - REMOVAL OF GUARD POSTS, MINES IN DMZ SET TO CONCLUDE (NOV 29/YON)  YONHAP -- North and South Korea will complete the demolition of guard posts and demining of a battle site in the demilitarized zone this week, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The work, which began in October under a bilateral accord to reduce tensions, is expected to wrap up on Friday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said on Thursday.   Last month, the two countries agreed to remove 10 guard posts each from the area and demine Arrowhead Ridge (Hill 281) in the demilitarized zone. The Arrowhead Ridge site has been designated for a project to remove the remains of troops killed in the Korean War from April to October 2019.   One guard post will remain on each side.   Pyongyang and Seoul will verify that the guard posts have been destroyed in December.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 11/29/2018 SRI LANKA - MILITARY CHIEF DETAINED IN COVER UP OF MURDER OF 11 YOUNG MEN DURING CIVIL WAR (NOV 29/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- Sri Lanka's top officer has been detained in connection to the murder of 11 young men near the end of the country's civil war in 2009, reports the Press Trust of India.   On Wednesday, the Fort Magistrate court ordered that Adm. Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the chief of defense staff, be held for investigation into the abduction and murder of 11 men in their late teens or early 20s, including ethnic minority Tamils, for ransom in 2008 and 2009.   The bodies of the men have never been found, noted BBC News.   The court denied bail and remanded Wijegunaratne in custody until Dec. 5, citing concerns that the admiral could obstruct the investigation and influence witnesses, reported Agence France-Presse.   Wijeguneratne finally surrendered earlier in the day after three warrants for his arrest were issued last month. He was detained after reports that he tried to abduct a key witness and have a police detective removed from the case.   The admiral is accused of assisting former naval intelligence officer Lt. Cmdr. Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, the main suspect, flee the country to avoid legal proceedings.   The naval officer returned and was detained in August.   The admiral concealed information regarding Hettiarachchi's whereabouts to the court, said a special police team.   Wijegunaratne denies the allegations
  Item Number:12 Date: 11/29/2018 UKRAINE - PRESIDENT URGES NATO TO SEND SHIPS TO SEA OF AZOV IN FACE OF RUSSIAN BLOCKADE (NOV 29/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked NATO to send naval vessels to the Sea of Azov amid a continuing standoff with Russia, reports Agence France-Presse.   Russia has ambitions to expand across all of Ukraine, Poroshenko told the German daily newspaper Bild on Thursday.   The ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol, both on the Sea of Azov, are under blockade by Russian vessels, said Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan, as reported by Reuters.   Ships are not being allowed to reach Ukrainian ports on the sea, he said. Eighteen vessels are awaiting entry and nine are waiting to exit, he said.   On Monday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg demanded that Russia free three Ukrainian ships and sailors seized in the Kerch Strait on Sunday.   A NATO spokeswoman said that the alliance already has a strong presence in the region and that it will continue to assess its presence, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she planned to press President Valdimir Putin to release the ships and their crews at a G20 summit later this month.   "We can only resolve this in talks with one another because there is no military solution to all of these conflicts," she said.   Moscow maintains that the Ukrainian ships tried to pass through Russian waters without first notifying authorities. Putin has also claimed that the confrontation was a political stunt to boost Poroshenko's popularity ahead of elections next year.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 11/29/2018 USA - PENTAGON WARNS RUSSIA AGAINST INTERFERING WITH EVIDENCE AT SITE OF CHEMICAL ATTACK (NOV 29/AL-MASDAR)  AL-MASDAR NEWS -- The U.S. Dept. of Defense has warned Russia against tampering with evidence at the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, reports the Al-Masdar News (Beirut).   "We caution Russia against tampering with another suspected chemical weapons attack site and urge Russia to secure the safety of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors so these allegations can be investigated in a fair and transparent manner," a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.   The spokesman also warned Russia against launching a new military operation in Idlib.   On Monday, the OPCW announced plans to investigate an alleged chlorine gas attack in Aleppo that killed nine people and injured up to 100 on Nov. 24, reported Reuters.   The Syrian and Russian government have blamed rebel forces for the attack.   In April, Washington accused Russia of blocking international inspectors from reaching the location of a suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma in southwestern Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with the site, reported the Moscow Times.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 11/29/2018 USA - SENATE ADVANCES MEASURE TO END U.S. SUPPORT FOR WAR IN YEMEN (NOV 29/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The U.S. Senate has voted to advance a measure that would end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, reports the New York Times.   On Wednesday, 63 of 100 senators voted to advance the measure to a final floor vote, which is expected next week.   The resolution invokes the 1973 War Powers Act and directs the U.S. to end military involvement in the war against the Houthi rebels within 30 days of passage, according to a copy of the resolution on the Senate's website.   Military actions against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) would not be affected.   If approved, the measure would still require approval from the House. Such a vote is unlikely before next year, when the next legislature is seated.   A similar vote in March failed to garner enough votes.   The vote came after testimony from Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that touched on U.S. support for the coalition and the death of a Saudi journalist at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.   Senators expressed unhappiness that CIA chief Gina Haspel did not attend the closed hearing on relations with Saudi Arabia, reported the BBC.   Haspel has listened to what Turkey says is a record of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and reviewed evidence in the crime.   Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October in an operation reportedly ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Item Number:15 Date: 11/29/2018 USA - U.S. SHIPS PASS THROUGH TAIWAN STRAIT (NOV 29/USNI)  U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE -- A U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and Henry Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler have sailed through the Taiwan Strait, reports USNI News.   On Wednesday, the destroyer USS Stockdale and oiler USNS Pecos conducted a routine passage through the strait in line with international law, said a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokeswoman.   The transit was part of the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, she said.   The People's Liberation Army was fully aware of the transit, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said, as reported by Reuters.   Beijing expressed concern over the passage to Washington, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman. China sees such maneuvers as violations of its sovereignty.   This was the third such operation in the strait this year, noted the South China Morning Post.   Beijing considers the self-ruled island to be a wayward province and has not ruled out the use of force to unify it with mainland China




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