Friday, December 16, 2016

Fw: TheList 4339

The List 4339
To All,
I hope you all have a great weekend. Next weekend is Christmas Weekend.
This Day In Naval History - December 16
1821 - LT Robert F. Stockton and Dr. Eli Ayers, a naval surgeon and member of American Colonizing Society, induce a local African king to sell territory for a colony which became the Republic of Liberia.
1907: The Great White Fleet departs Hampton Roads, Va. to circumnavigate the world in 14 months, a journey of 43,000 miles that included 20 port calls across six continents. Fourteen thousand Sailors and Marines participated in the voyage, leaving a lasting legacy at home and abroad.
1922 - USS Bainbridge (DD-246) rescues 482 persons from burning French transport Vinh-Long.
1941 - USS Swordfish (SS-193) sinks Japanese cargo ship Atsutasan Maru.
1942 - Pharmacist's Mate First Class Harry B. Roby, USNR, performs an appendectomy on Torpedoman First Class W. R. Jones on board USS Grayback (SS-208). It is the second appendectomy performed on board a submarine.
1998 - In Operation Desert Fox, Navy cruise missiles attack Iraq.
This Day In Naval History - December 17
1846 - Ships under Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry capture Laguna de Terminos during Mexican War.
1941 - Admiral Chester W. Nimitz named Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, to relieve Admiral Husband Kimmel. Admiral William Pye becomes acting commander until Nimitz's arrival.
First airplane flies
Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.
Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and developed an interest in aviation after learning of the glider flights of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s. Unlike their older brothers, Orville and Wilbur did not attend college, but they possessed extraordinary technical ability and a sophisticated approach to solving problems in mechanical design. They built printing presses and in 1892 opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. Soon, they were building their own bicycles, and this experience, combined with profits from their various businesses, allowed them to pursue actively their dream of building the world's first airplane.
After exhaustively researching other engineers' efforts to build a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft, the Wright brothers wrote the U.S. Weather Bureau inquiring about a suitable place to conduct glider tests. They settled on Kitty Hawk, an isolated village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, which offered steady winds and sand dunes from which to glide and land softly. Their first glider, tested in 1900, performed poorly, but a new design, tested in 1901, was more successful. Later that year, they built a wind tunnel where they tested nearly 200 wings and airframes of different shapes and designs. The brothers' systematic experimentations paid off–they flew hundreds of successful flights in their 1902 glider at Kill Devils Hills near Kitty Hawk. Their biplane glider featured a steering system, based on a movable rudder, that solved the problem of controlled flight. They were now ready for powered flight.
In Dayton, they designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion engine with the assistance of machinist Charles Taylor and built a new aircraft to house it. They transported their aircraft in pieces to Kitty Hawk in the autumn of 1903, assembled it, made a few further tests, and on December 14 Orville made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged, and they spent three days repairing it. Then at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, in front of five witnesses, the aircraft ran down a monorail track and into the air, staying aloft for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet. The modern aviation age was born. Three more tests were made that day, with Wilbur and Orville alternately flying the airplane. Wilbur flew the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds.
During the next few years, the Wright brothers further developed their airplanes but kept a low profile about their successes in order to secure patents and contracts for their flying machines. By 1905, their aircraft could perform complex maneuvers and remain aloft for up to 39 minutes at a time. In 1908, they traveled to France and made their first public flights, arousing widespread public excitement. In 1909, the U.S. Army's Signal Corps purchased a specially constructed plane, and the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and market their aircraft. Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever in 1912; Orville lived until 1948.
The historic Wright brothers' aircraft of 1903 is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
This Day In Naval History - December 18
1902 - Admiral of the Navy George Dewey receives orders to send his battleship to Trinidad and then to Venezuela to make sure that Great Britain's and Germany's dispute with Venezuela was settled by peaceful arbitration not force.
1944 - Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet encounters typhoon northeast of Samar.
Destroyers USS Hull, USS Monaghan and USS Spence sink, while 21 other ships are damaged.
1965 - River Patrol Force established in Vietnam.
1965 - Helicopters from HS-11 on USS Wasp (CVS-18) pick up crew and capsule of Gemini 7, after picking up the crew and capsule of Gemini 6 two days earlier.
1967 - Operation Preakness II begins in Mekong Delta.
1972 - Mining and bombing of North Vietnam resumes with Linebacker II Operation.
December 16
Henry VI of England is crowned King of France.
Oliver Cromwell takes on dictatorial powers with the title of "Lord Protector."
To protest the tax on tea from England, a group of young Americans, disguised as Indians, throw chests of tea from British ships in Boston Harbor.
A fire in New York City destroys property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. It lasts two days, ravages 17 blocks, and destroys 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church.
Confederate General Joseph Johnston takes command of the Army of Tennessee.
Union forces under General George H. Thomas win the battle at Nashville, smashing an entire Confederate army.
In Spain, a general strike is called in support of the revolution.
The National Women's Party urges immediate congressional action on equal rights.
British troops carry out an air raid on Italian Somalia.
Germany mounts a major offensive in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. As the center of the Allied line falls back, it creates a bulge, leading to the name--the Battle of the Bulge.
Chinese Communist leader Mao Tse-tung is received at the Kremlin in Moscow.
President Harry Truman declares a state of National Emergency as Chinese communists invade deeper into South Korea.
President Jimmy Carter appoints Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Cleveland becomes the first U.S. city to default since the depression.
The United States launches a missile attack on Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.
President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which establishes the United States' first national standards regarding email and gives the Federal Trade Commission authority to enforce the act.
For yesterday, 15 December  -
* Bill Bennett's The American Patriot's Daily Almanac
The Bill of Rights
During the battle to ratify the U.S. Constitution, many Americans worried that the founding document failed to list specific rights to be protected against abuse of power. Thomas Jefferson, who generally approved of the new Constitution, put voice to that view when he wrote to James Madison: "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth . . . and what no just government should refuse." To gain support for the Constitution, Federalists agreed to add amendments protecting personal liberties.
Madison was one of those who had considered a list of protected rights unnecessary. He believed the Constitution, as written, gave the federal government no power to violate citizens' liberties. He also worried that listing specific rights might imply that the government could limit rights not listed. Nevertheless, when the First Congress met in New York in 1789, he set about crafting a set of amendments. "If we can make the Constitution better in the opinion of those who are opposed to it," he said, "without weakening its frame, or abridging its usefulness in the judgment of those who are attached to it, we act the part of wise and liberal men to make such alterations as shall produce the effect."
Madison and a few colleagues sifted through scores of proposed amendments and winnowed them down to a brief list, using the Virginia Declaration of Rights and other precedents as guides. Congress sent twelve amendments to the states for approval. Ten were eventually ratified. On December 15, 1791, Virginia became the last state needed for ratification, and the Bill of Rights went into effect. Those first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, preserving such cherished rights as freedom of speech, press, and religion, lie at the heart of Americans' faith in limited government and the rule of law.
"Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Article the first ... After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article the second ... No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.
Article the third ... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Article the fourth ... A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Article the fifth ... No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Article the sixth ... The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Article the seventh ... No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Article the eighth ... In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Article the ninth ... In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Article the tenth ... Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Article the eleventh ... The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Article the twelfth ... The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House
John Adams, Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate
Attest John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives
Sam. A. Otis Secretary of the Senate
End quote
Thanks to Dutch
 Snipped from another net -
1773 – The Boston Tea Party.  Sons of Liberty dump British tea. *
* Bill Bennett's The American Patriot's Daily Almanac
The Boston Tea Party
On the cold, damp night of December 16, 1773, a few dozen colonists wearing old clothing and blacked faces tramped through the streets of Boston toward three ships tied up at Griffin's Wharf. The Mohawks, as they called themselves, clambered aboard the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver and began hoisting chests of tea from the vessels' holds onto the decks. Working quietly and efficiently, they carried the chests to the rails, split them open, and dumped the tea into Boston Harbor.
The late-night raid came in response to the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament. That law gave the financially troubled East India Company, a British company, a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The Americans were already unhappy that Britain had placed a tax on their tea. Now, they told themselves, Parliament was dictating where they must buy their tea. In the colonists' eyes, tea had become a symbol of British oppression. So into the harbor went 342 chests.
In less than three hours, the Boston Tea Party was over. Their work done, the "Indians" swept the ships' decks, bid the crews farewell, and marched into the night whistling "Yankee Doodle." "Well, boys, you've had a fine pleasant evening for your Indian caper, haven't you?" a British admiral who had watched the entire episode called. "But mind, you have got to pay the fiddler yet!"
Indeed, Boston would be made to pay. George III was outraged at the act of defiance. "We must master them or totally leave them alone!" he declared. Parliament responded with the Intolerable Acts, which, among other measures, closed the port of Boston and required colonists to give lodging to British troops. Infuriated patriots viewed the reprisals as outright tyranny and turned their thoughts toward independence.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) took delivery of their first two F-35I 'Adir' stealth fighter aircraft on December 12th arriving in country at Nevatim AFB. Many dignitaries including US Secretary of Defense View More ›
Item Number:1 Date: 12/16/2016 AUSTRALIA - DESTROYER BRISBANE FACES SEA TRIALS AFTER LAUNCHING IN ADELAIDE (DEC 16/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Royal Australian Navy's second Hobart-class air warfare destroyer has been formally named and launched in Adelaide in South Australia, reports the Australian Dept. of Defense.   The Brisbane was christened and put into the water on Thursday. The destroyer will now begin outfitting prior to sea trials. Commissioning is anticipated in 2018.   The lead ship in the class, Hobart, is slated to begin her testing in early 2017.   The third and last ship, Sydney, will now move into her final position in the shipyard to complete assembly, said a departmental release.   The price tag for the program is Aus$9 billion (US$6.6 billion), noted the Australian Associated Press.   
Item Number:2 Date: 12/16/2016 BURKINA FASO - GUNMEN ATTACK MILITARY POST IN NORTH, KILLING 11 (DEC 16/REU)  REUTERS -- The army says gunmen have attacked a military post in northern Burkina Faso, killing 10 soldiers and a gendarme, reports Reuters.   Friday's attack occurred in the town of Nassoungou, about 19 miles from the Malian border, said the army.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   Burkinabe military posts have been the target of a newly formed militant group led by a fighter who was formerly loyal to Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is now the head of an Al-Qaida affiliate.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 12/16/2016 CAMEROON - BORDER SECURITY, BOKO HARAM AMONG ISSUES DISCUSSED BY SENIOR CAMEROONIAN, NIGERIAN OFFICIALS (DEC 16/CAMTRIB)  CAMEROON TRIBUNE -- The Cameroon/Nigeria Security Committee has just convened in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital, reports the Cameroon Tribune.   The talks, which began on Wednesday, has focused on the Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorist group, which remains a threat despite its reduced capacity.   Cameroonian officials noted that other security challenges include the length of the shared border and pirate activity in the Gulf of Guinea.   Another issue is the uncontrolled movement of cattle that has resulted in inter-community conflicts. Arms-smuggling, drug-trafficking, illegal immigration and banditry are other problems that the two nations share, said officials.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/16/2016 CAMEROON - CONFRONTATION WITH ARMED POACHERS LEADS TO MILITARY DEPLOYMENT TO LOBEKE NATIONAL PARK (DEC 16/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The Cameroonian military is deploying troops to help defend the Lobeke National Park following an attack by armed poachers earlier this month, reports the Voice of America News.   The park in southeastern Cameroon borders the Central African Republic.   The poachers fled across the border after a firefight with Cameroonian forest rangers, leaving behind carcasses of protected animals and tusks from at least 20 elephants, according to local officials.   Two rangers were killed in the fighting and many were wounded.   Wildlife officials said they then requested more assistance from the military. An agreement has been signed with the Defense Ministry for the deployment of troops to protect the park.   Rangers will also be trained to combat poachers, although there are no plans to arm them, said senior wildlife officials.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 12/16/2016 CANADA - SCOPE, NATURE OF FUTURE CANADIAN IRAQ MISSION UP IN THE AIR (DEC 16/CBC)  CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION -- The Canadian government will maintain its military mission in Iraq through 2017, but has not yet decided its size and scope, says Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, as reported by CBC News.   The Trudeau government committed to reviewing the deployment of Canadian special operations forces; helicopters; surveillance aircraft; an aerial tanker; and a military field hospital when it overhauled the counter-ISIS mission in February.   The assessment is to be completed by March 2017. However, the government has only proposed spending Can$41 million (US$31 million) for the operation, less than a third of what was spent to date in 2016.   Kurdish leaders have been asking Ottawa to provide specialized counterinsurgency training in anticipation for an expected guerrilla campaign once ISIS is driven from Mosul.   Canadian special operators have only been providing conventional combat training, say Kurdish commanders
  Item Number:6 Date: 12/16/2016 CHINA - LIAONING CARRIER BATTLE GROUP CONDUCTS INITIAL LIVE-FIRE DRILL (DEC 16/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- China's sole aircraft carrier battle group recently completed its first live-fire exercises, reports the Japan Times.   The carrier, Liaoning, alongside several destroyers and frigates, conducted the drill in the Bohai Sea "days earlier," said military sources on Thursday.   The maneuvers include training for reconnaissance and early-warning systems, air interception, sea assault, air defense and anti-missile exercises. More than 10 air-to-air, anti-ship and air defense missiles were tested, said a statement by the navy, as reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency.   Several carrier-based J-15 aircraft fired both air-to-air and anti-ship missiles at targets during the exercise, said the navy.   The drill was aimed at assessing the carrier's weapon functions and training quality
Item Number:7 Date: 12/16/2016 ECUADOR - ATTACK BY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ON MINE PROMPTS EMERGENCY DECREE (DEC 16/MCOM)  MINING.COM -- Following a confrontation by police in Ecuador and indigenous people, the government has declared a state of emergency, reports   The government of Ecuador sent troops to a remote jungle area after protests against a mining project left one policeman dead and several security officials injured, reports Reuters.   "Illegally armed groups" began protesting against the Chinese-owned copper exploration project on Wednesday in Morona Santiago province, said the government.   The local Shuar people accused the ExploraCobres mine and its Chinese owned of encroaching on their territory.   On Thursday, troops and police were dispatched to the site of the Panantza-San Carlos project operated by the ExplorCobres company. President Rafael Correa declared a 30-day state of emergency in the province, reported Reuters
  Item Number:8 Date: 12/16/2016 ESTONIA - NATO BATTLE GROUPS, SECURITY DOMINATE MEETING OF BALTIC DEFENSE MINISTERS IN TALLINN (DEC 16/BNS)  BALTIC NEWS SERVICE -- Battle groups were high on the agenda as the defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania met this week in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, reports the Baltic News Service.   During the biannual meeting on Wednesday, Estonian Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna, Raimonds Bergmanis of Latvia and Raimundas Karoblis of Lithuania discussed defense cooperation within the European Union; implementation of the decision's made at NATO's Warsaw summit in July; and the hosting of NATO battle groups, according to the Estonian Ministry of Defense.   Estonia will focus on resources allocated for defense when it assumes the E.U. presidency in the second half of 2017, said Tsahkna.   Bergmanis provided an overview of joint defense objectives for 2017, when Latvia will serve as the lead state for Baltic defense cooperation.   All three ministers agreed to simplify the procedures regulating the movement of allied forces in the Baltic states, noted a release from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense.   The importance of relations with the United States was also emphasized, said the release.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 12/16/2016 EUROPEAN UNION - BLOC TO KEEP SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA UNTIL MID-2017 (DEC 16/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- European Union leaders have agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine, reports Deutsche Welle.   The bloc's decision on Thursday in Brussels extends the sanctions for six months, until July 2017.   The sanctions against Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors have been in place since 2014 when Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine.   German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said earlier this week that they would support a continuation of the sanctions because Moscow had failed to abide by a peace deal.   The formal process for the extension will take place early next week.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 12/16/2016 GERMANY - YOUTH IN CUSTODY FOR 2 FAILED BOMB ATTEMPTS APPARENTLY DIRECTED BY ISLAMIC STATE (DEC 16/FC)  FOCUS -- German officials say a 12-year-old Iraqi-German boy, apparently directed by ISIS, has repeatedly tried to detonate homemade bombs in western Germany, reported the German magazine Focus.   The boy reportedly attempted two bomb attacks in the town of Ludwigshagen, according to Deutsche Welle. That is where the boy was born. He was "strongly radicalized" by an unknown ISIS member, the Focus magazine reported on Friday.   He attempted to place a backpack with a homemade nail bomb at a Christmas market on Nov. 26, but it did not detonate, according to Focus. The youth reportedly left a backpack containing a jar of explosives and nails outside city hall on Dec. 5.   Authorities were alerted in both incidents and dispose of the devices. The boy was identified and arrested by police. He was now at a youth detention center, according to the magazine
Item Number:11 Date: 12/16/2016 IRAQ - ISIS SET UP 'INDUSTRIAL' AMMO SUPPLY CHAIN NEAR MOSUL, SAYS REPORT (DEC 16/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- A new report by an arms-monitoring group says that the Islamic State group in Mosul in northern Iraq was able to manufacture tens of thousands of mortar rounds, rockets, bombs and ammunition in preparation for the offensive by Iraqi security forces, reports the Voice of America News.   The industrial-scale enterprise has been producing weaponry to a standard similar to that of national army, according to the London-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) organization.   The production system is characterized by firm quality control and high levels of technical precision and is managed centrally, the CAR said.   A team of CAR researchers was embedded with Iraqi forces as they advanced into eastern Mosul in October and November, gaining access to half a dozen production facilities.   "Within a six-day period, CAR investigators documented more than 5,000 rockets and mortar rounds in various stages of production," said a report published on Dec. 14.   CAR researchers also noted that ISIS leaders provided highly structured courses on the use of weapons, including where and how improvised explosive devices should be planted and the use of more complex arms, such as anti-tank guided weapons.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 12/16/2016 NETHERLANDS - AMERICAN TANKS, ARTILLERY RETURNING TO STORAGE DEPOT IN REOPENED BASE (DEC 16/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The U.S. Army has reopened a Cold War-era storage facility in the Netherlands as part of Washington's efforts to reassure allies and to deter Russia in Europe, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The former Eygelshoven military base was reopened on Thursday and will be restocked with M1 Abrams main battle tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Paladin artillery and other weaponry.   The site was opened in 1985 as part of a defense buildup. It was closed in 2006 as the U.S. military pulled back from Europe.   The base was turned over to the U.S. in September, noted the Dutch News.   The latest U.S. defense budget included a US$3.4 billion spending plan to boost European defense, covering the reopening or creation of five equipment storage sites in the Netherlands, Poland and Belgium and two in Germany.   Having prepositioned stocks will give U.S. leaders more options to respond to potential crisis, said Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army Europe
  Item Number:13 Date: 12/16/2016 POLAND - DEAL FINALIZED FOR 96 K9 SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZERS FROM S. KOREA (DEC 16/YON)  YONHAP -- Hanwha Techwin in South Korea has announced receiving a US$260 million contract to build 96 self-propelled howitzers for the Polish military, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The K9 howitzers will be delivered to Polish state firm Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) from 2017 to 2023, according to a statement from Hanwha on Thursday.   In 2014, Hanwha Techwin received a US$71.3 million contract for 24 K9s for HSW. Those deliveries were completed in October, said company officials.  
Item Number:14 Date: 12/16/2016 SOUTH KOREA - FOLLOWING NEW PACT, JAPANESE DEFENSE OFFICIALS SHARE INFO WITH SEOUL ON N. KOREA (DEC 16/YON)  YONHAP -- South Korea's Defense Ministry says Japanese and South Korean defense officials have made their first direct exchanges of classified information on North Korea's missile and nuclear programs, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The intelligence was shared during a meeting on Friday between senior officials in Seoul at the same time as a three-way security dialogue with the U.S. was taking place, said a ministry spokesman.   The exchange was a result of the new General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) signed last month, said the spokesman.   The GSOMIA covers the sharing of information on Pyongyang's missile and nuclear program as well as other military activity
  Item Number:15 Date: 12/16/2016 SYRIA - ALEPPO EVACUATION STOPS, BUT VIOLENCE DOESN'T (DEC 16/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The on-again, off-again evacuation of civilians from remaining rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo has stopped, reports the New York Times.   Evacuations, brokered by Turkey and Russia, from the besieged areas began on Thursday after delays.   More than 8,000 people were bused out before the operation ended on Friday morning.   No reason was given for the halt, said the World Health Organization's representative in Syria.   At least 50,000 civilians are trapped in a small section of the city, noted the Daily Mirror (U.K.). Meanwhile, there are reports that troops are moving from door to door, executing people. Gunfire and bombing have been heard.   Syria's state news agency SANA accused rebels of attempting to smuggle weapons out of the area and firing on evacuation convoys.   Opposition groups said pro-government militias had blocked the evacuation to protest the continued rebel siege of two Shi'ite villages in Idlib province. As part of the agreement, those villages were supposed to be evacuated.   A Syrian government source cited by Agence France-Presse said the deal was suspended because rebels were "leaving Aleppo with hostages."  
  Item Number:16 Date: 12/16/2016 SYRIA - AS KURDS CLOSE IN ON RAQQA, ISIS SENDS SUICIDE BOMBERS AGAINST YPG (DEC 16/ARA)  ARA NEWS -- Islamic State suicide bombers have attacked Kurdish defense positions west of Raqqa, the group's Syrian stronghold, reports ARA News (Syria).   Bombers made four simultaneous attacks Wednesday against checkpoints manned by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) near the town of Ain Issa, said locals.   No information on casualties was immediately available.   The YPG is a significant part of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance fighting ISIS.   The ISIS attacks came days after the SDF launched the second phase of an operation against Raqqa.   The bombings are intended to impede the progress of the U.S.-backed group, said an unnamed SDF officer
  Item Number:17 Date: 12/16/2016 SYRIA - KREMLIN ANTICIPATES SYRIAN COUNTERATTACK ON PALMYRA (DEC 16/TASS)  TASS -- The Russian military claims that the situation close to the Syrian city of Palmyra has stabilized after the Islamic State seized it earlier this week, reports Tass (Russia).   ISIS fighters gained controls of the city on Dec. 11, pushing pro-government forces to the outskirts.   Syrian troops, backed back Russian airstrikes, have countered repeated ISIS attacks and are preparing a counterattack, said a Russian military official on Thursday.   The defense line against ISIS is in the area of the town of Tyas and Tyfor airbase, he said.   Syrian army reinforcement have been sent to Palmyra, reported SANA. Improved weather conditions have allowed airstrikes to hit militant convoys and ISIS positions, said the state-run news agency.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 12/16/2016 USA - MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY GOES BACK TO RAYTHEON FOR MORE WORK ON SM-3 BLOCK IIA MISSILES (DEC 16/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., a contract modification to guidance upgrades for SM-3 missiles, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $68 million deal covers the guidance electronics unit engineering proposal Phase II under the SM-3 Block IIA contract.   The project involves work to design and test the guidance electronics unit software that is to be integrated with the Block IIA missile, said a Pentagon release on Wednesday.   The award brings the total contract value to $1.96 billion.   The work, to be performed in Tucson, is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.  
Item Number:19 Date: 12/16/2016 USA - ROBOTIC SWARMING BOATS SHOW OFF CAPABILITIES AGAINST MOCK ENEMIES (DEC 16/ONR)  OFFICE OF NAVAL RESEARCH -- The Office of Naval Research not long ago held a test of the capabilities of unmanned autonomous swarming boats in the southern part of the Chesapeake Bay.   The rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) were equipped with a unique combination of software, radar and other sensors to allow them to collectively perform patrol missions with only remote human supervision, the ONR said in a release on Dec. 14.   The tests in October focused on harbor defense, said Cmdr. Luis Molina, the military deputy for ONR's Sea Warfare and Weapons Dept.   The autonomy technology, known as Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS), is relatively inexpensive and could reduce the costs of some dull, dirty or dangerous tasks currently performed by manned boats, said the ONR.   The latest version of the system includes new capabilities, such as the ability for multiple unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to collaborate on task allocation; the development of additional USV behaviors and tactics; and advances in automated vessel classification from imagery, noted the release.   During the demonstration, the robotic boats were assigned to patrol a large area of open water. When an unknown vessel entered the area, the networked USVs collaboratively determined which patrol boat would approach the unknown vessel, classify it as harmless or suspicious, and communicate with other boats to assist in tracking and trailing the unknown vessel while others continued to patrol the area, noted the ONR. Information was supplied to a human supervisor throughout the mission.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 12/16/2016 YEMEN - AQAP BLASTS RIVAL ISIS FOR DEADLY ADEN ATTACK (DEC 16/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Al-Qaida's Yemen branch has publicly condemned the Islamic State for a suicide attack last week in southern Yemen, reports Agence France-Presse.   The bombing in the port city of Aden on Dec. 10 killed 48 soldiers and injured 29, according to health officials. ISIS claimed responsibility.   Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a statement on Thursday that blasted the attack in Aden and said it was not involved.   The statement was issued at the request of the tribe that lost many of its members in the attack, said AQAP.   "We see [Islamic State] as a deviant group... that has shown its enmity towards Ansar al-Sharia [an alias for AQAP] and other Islamic groups," said the statement.   AQAP is dedicated to fighting "Americans and their allies," not Muslims, the group said.


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