Friday, May 12, 2017

Fw: TheList 4454

The List 4454

To All,
I hope that you all have a great Mother's Day weekend.
This Day In Naval History - May 12
1780 - Fall of Charleston, SC; three Continental Navy frigates (Boston,
Providence, and Ranger) captured; and one American frigate (Queen of
France) sunk to prevent capture
1846 - U.S. declares war against Mexico
1975: SS Mayaguez, a tanker ship, is seized by Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Kampuchea, and is escorted to Koh Tang Island with her 39 crew. President Gerald Ford sends in Marines who meet heavy resistance, but after crew is found safe, they retreat, although three Marines are inadvertently left behind and killed.
1986 - Destroyer USS David R. Ray deters an Iranian Navy attempt to board a
U.S. merchant ship.
This Day In Naval History - May 13
1908: The Navy Nurse Corps is established by Public Law No. 115, though nurses have been volunteering onboard Navy ships prior to the Civil War.
1908 - Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, was officially established in the Territory of Hawaii as a coaling station for U.S. Navy ships transiting the Pacific Ocean.
1943 - Bureau of Navigation renamed Bureau of Naval Personnel
1945 - Aircraft from fast carrier task force begin 2-day attack on Kyushu airfields, Japan
1964 - Organization and deployment of world's first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise, USS Long Beach, and USS Bainbridge, to Sixth Fleet
This Day In Naval History - May 14
1801 - Tripoli declares war against the United States
1836 - U.S. Exploring Expedition authorized to conduct exploration of Pacific Ocean and South Seas, first major scientific expedition overseas.
LT Charles Wilkes USN, would lead the expedition in surveying South America, Antarctica, Far East, and North Pacific.
1845 - First U.S. warship visits Vietnam. While anchored in Danang for reprovisioning, CAPT John Percival commanding USS Constitution, conducts a show of force against Vietnamese authorities in an effort to obtain the release of a French priest held prisoner by Emperor of Annam at Hue.
1975 - Marines recapture Mayaguez, go ashore on Koh Tang Island and release the crew.
Today in History May 12
St. Stephen I begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
King Henry III flees Paris after Henry of Guise triumphantly enters the city.
The chief advisor to Charles I, Thomas Wentworth, is beheaded in the Tower of London
Charleston, South Carolina falls to British forces.
The Tule River War ends.
With a victory at the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi, Union General Ulysses S. Grant closes in on Vicksburg.
The last land battle of the Civil war occurs at Palmito Ranch, Texas. It is a Confederate victory.
Tunisia, in North Africa becomes a French protectorate.
In the Battle of Batoche, French Canadians rebel against the Canadian government.
The Airship Norge becomes the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.
The body of Charles Lindbergh's baby is found.
Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio by "Bill W.," a stockbroker, and "Dr. Bob S.," a heart surgeon.
The Nazi conquest of France begins with the crossing Musee River.
The Soviet Army launches its first major offensive of the war, taking Kharkov in the eastern Ukraine.
Axis forces in North Africa surrender.
The Berlin Blockade ends.
Viet Cong sappers try unsuccessfully to overrun Landing Zone Snoopy in Vietnam.
The U.S. merchant ship Mayaguez is seized by Cambodian forces.
The forgotten realities of World War II
Without the U.S. contribution, fascism would have won
By Victor Davis Hanson - - Wednesday, May 13, 2015
May 8 marked the end of World War II in Europe 70 years ago — a horrific conflict that is still fought over by historians.
More than 60 million people perished — some 50 million of them in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and China.
The prewar Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s had killed perhaps 20 million of its own citizens in purges, exiles, collectivizations, forced famines and show trials. Then it lost an estimated 25 million soldiers and civilians to the German army on the Eastern Front. Hitler's Germany by late 1942 had occupied almost 1 million square miles of Soviet ground.
The Soviet Red Army would eventually be responsible for three-quarters of Germany's World War II casualties, but at a cost of approximately 9 million dead of its own combatants. Nevertheless, the Allied defeat of the Axis powers is more complicated than just the monumental and heroic sacrifice of the Soviet soldier.
World War II started largely because the Soviet Union had assured Hitler that the two powers could partner up to divide Poland. With his eastern rear thus secure, Hitler then would be free to fight a one-front war in the West against the European democracies.
The Soviet Union only entered the war after it was double-crossed by Hitler in June 1941. Before the surprise German invasion, the Soviets had supplied Germany with substantial fuel, food and metals to help it bomb Great Britain into submission. For all practical purposes, Russia had been Nazi Germany's most useful ally.
Duplicitous Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin at one time or another both fought against and followed non-aggression arrangements with every Axis power — Germany, Italy and Japan. In contrast, the United States was the only major power of the war that did not start fighting until it was directly attacked.
The war in Europe was not just won with Soviet blood. When World War II started, America was isolationist and the Soviet Union collaborationist. After the fall of France in June 1940, Great Britain until June 1941 alone faced down the huge Nazi Empire that ranged from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara desert. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's steadfast leadership, Britain's superb air force and its indomitable Royal Navy ensured that even when outnumbered, isolated and bombed, England would be unconquerable.
Once the United States entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Axis cause was largely doomed. America mobilized 12 million soldiers — about the same number as did the Soviet Union, despite having a population of about 40 million fewer citizens.
American war production proved astonishing. At the huge Willow Run plant in Michigan, the greatest generation turned out a B-24 heavy bomber every hour. A single shipyard could mass-produce an ocean-going Liberty merchant ship from scratch in a week.
In just four years, the United States would produce more airplanes than all of the major war powers combined. Germany, Japan, Italy and the Soviet Union could not build a successful four-engine heavy bomber. America, in contrast, produced 34,000 excellent B-17s, B-24s and B-29s.
By 1944, the new U.S. Navy had become the largest in the history of civilization at more than 6,000 ships. Its B-29 heavy bomber program and Manhattan Project efforts together cost more $50 billion in today's dollars.
America sent troops throughout the Pacific islands, and to North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. The United States staged two simultaneous bombing campaigns against Germany and Japan while conducting surface and submarine campaigns against all of the Axis powers.
At the same time, the United States supplied the Soviet Union with 400,000 heavy trucks, 2,000 locomotives, 11,000 railcars and billions of dollars worth of planes, tanks, food, clothing and strategic resources. By 1943-44, the U.S. also supplied about 20 percent of Britain's munitions.
If the measure of wartime success is defined by quickly defeating and humiliating enemies at the least cost in blood and treasure, then America waged a brilliant war.
Of the major powers, only America's homeland was not systematically bombed. It was never invaded. While its 400,000 fatalities were a terrible cost of victory, the United States lost the smallest percentage of its population of any major power.
By late 1944, the American M1 rifle, B-29 heavy bomber, P-51 Mustang fighter, Gato-class submarines, Essex-class aircraft carriers and Iowa-class battleships were the best weapons of their class.
America did not win World War II alone. But without the United States, the war against Axis fascism would have been lost.
Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Today on Fighter Sweep
Watch: Russian Aircraft Over Moscow Practicing for Victory Day Celebration
Experience the sights of Russian military aviation as they practice for Moscow's Victory Day Parade Celebration. The Victory Day Parade marks the day the Allies were victorious over the Germans in View More ›
Thanks to Dr. Rich
Clever idea …
Looks like a great idea for someone w. a large laceration, who is a long way from help …
Thanks to  John
I wonder how long it took for her to accomplish such coordination and to make her feet work like another pair of hands.
Forwarded for your amazement
----Forwarded Message---
Woman Juggler
I never cease to be amazed at what some people can do. I cannot imagine you not being amazed as well.             Walt
For those of you who have a difficult time walking and chewing gum, you might try this to help your hand eye coordination!!
 This woman is absolutely amazing!
 I've never seen an act like this before or even dreamed anyone would ever do anything like this.

Thanks to Carl
(Did not know this!  Several photos on link!)
The American Confederacy is still alive in a small Brazilian city called Americana
May 7, 2017
When the American Confederacy lost the Civil War in May 1865, 10,000 Southerners fled the US for a small city in Brazil, where they could rebuild their lives and carry on their traditions.
Now, 150 years later, their story has been seemingly erased from the history books.
But deep in the heart of Brazil, descendants of these confederate expats gather annually to celebrate their controversial history and maintain their traditions and culture. In 2015, Vice's Mimi Dwyer attended the festival and revealed what life is like in the city called Americana.
Each year, the small Brazilian city of Americana throws a huge celebration to commemorate the 10,000 Confederates who fled the American South after their side lost the Civil War.
They settled in Americana in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, which remains a sort of enclave for the long-dead expats' descendants.
Item Number:1 Date: 05/12/2017 AUSTRALIA - TURKISH GOVERNMENT AGREES TO EXTRADITE AUSTRALIAN ISIS RECRUITER, SAYS TURNBULL (MAY 12/AAP)  AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS -- A top Australian Islamic State militant should be extradited from Turkey within months, says Australia's Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, as reported by the Australian Associated Press.   Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, was arrested close to the Syrian-Turkish border in November 2016. He has been held in a Turkish maximum-security prison.   Ankara has agreed to a request to extradite him, Turnbull said, as noted by Reuters.   "We should be getting him back within months but it has obviously got to go through the Turkish processes," Turnbull said on Friday. Prakash will face trial in Australia, he said.   Prakash, an Australian of Fijian and Cambodian descent, left Australia for Syria in 2013. He had been a senior ISIS recruiter and linked to terror plots in Australia, reported the BBC
Item Number:2 Date: 05/12/2017 BRAZIL - MARINES ORDER BATTLE MANAGEMENT, COMMUNICATIONS, EW SYSTEMS FROM ISRAELI FIRM (MAY 12/ELBIT)  ELBIT SYSTEMS -- The Brazilian marine corps has awarded Elbit Systems a contract to provide command, electronic warfare, radio and communication systems, reports the Israeli defense firm.   The two-year, US$40 million contract covers a variety of battle management system applications; command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems for artillery; solder C4I systems; and advanced electronic warfare capabilities, said an Elbit release on Wednesday.   The systems involved will be fielded in fixed and mobile command centers, in vehicles and in dismounted configurations in an effort to improve the operational effectiveness of Brazilian marines, noted the press release.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 05/12/2017 IRAQ - ISIS MOVE TO INSTAGRAM PROVES SHORT-LIVED (MAY 12/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A media outlet affiliated with the Islamic State temporarily established an Instagram account, reports the BBC.   On May 11, the Nashir News Agency, a propaganda arm of ISIS, promoted the new social media account via the Telegram messaging app.   The account was an experiment in spreading information on ISIS, said the news agency, which also set up two accounts on Facebook to spread news on the terror group.   The Instagram account, which posted a stream of official ISIS propaganda, was reportedly seen by about 100 users before being shut down. The Facebook accounts were also banned.   Instagram said it deleted the account for violating its guidelines, adding that it "has zero tolerance for terrorists, terrorist propaganda or the praising of terror activity
Item Number:4 Date: 05/12/2017 IRAQ - SHI'ITE MILITIAS SEEK TO REGAIN ISIS-HELD BORDER AREA WITH SYRIA (MAY 12/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- A senior Iraqi official says pro-government Shi'ite militias are making a push to regain control of areas west of Mosul from the Islamic State terrorist group, reports Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan).   The Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi), backed by Iraqi army helicopters, began an offensive early Friday aimed at the ISIS-held towns of al-Qairawan and Baaj, close to the border with Syria, said a senior commander.   The paramilitary force has continued its siege of Tal Afar, east of those towns, the commander said.   The militia hopes to achieve its objectives within the next 48 to 82 hours. Several villages have already been captured, he said.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 05/12/2017 ISRAEL - HAMAS ANNOUNCES ARREST OF KILLER OF ITS MILITARY COMMANDER, STILL BLAMES MOSSAD (MAY 12/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Hamas says it has arrested the person responsible for the killing of one of its top commanders in March, reports the Los Angeles Times.   The militant group, which controls Gaza, also repeated its claim that the assassination was the work of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, noted Newsweek.   Mazen Faqha, a commander in Hamas' military wing, was shot and killed outside his home in Gaza City on March 24. Hamas blamed Israel for Faqha's death.   Danny Yatom, a former Mossad chief, attributed the attack to an internal power struggle.   On Thursday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that a person had been arrested for the assassination, without identifying the suspect.   "All the evidence we have ... indicates the perpetrator committed this crime based on orders from the Israeli occupation," he said. Haniyeh said the suspect had confessed.   Gaza's Interior Ministry will release more details of the arrest and confession later, said Haniyeh
Item Number:6 Date: 05/12/2017 ISRAEL - SPEAKING IN SEOUL, AMBASSADOR PUSHES FOR STRONGER DEFENSE, MILITARY COOPERATION WITH S. KOREA (MAY 12/YON)  YONHAP -- Israel is looking to improve bilateral defense cooperation with South Korea, says its envoy in Seoul, as reported by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   "The cooperation between our two countries is good, but I think the potential is much higher .... I believe that joint ventures between the Israeli high-tech industry and the Korean industry can yield excellent products which will compete very successfully in the world markets," said Chaim Choshen on Thursday during an event to celebrate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.   In the area of defense equipment, Israel can offer "some great solutions," Ambassador Choshen said, apparently referring to the growing threat of North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles.   Choshen also expressed support for a free trade agreement currently being negotiated.   The ambassador also invited newly elected President Moon Jae In to visit Israel.  
T OFFICE IN ROME; NO INJURIES REPORTED (MAY 12/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- Police are investigating Friday's explosion outside a post office in central Rome, reports the Independent (U.K.).   The blast on Friday damaged a car in the Via Marmorata area, said police. No casualties were reported.   Two devices were found near parked cars in the area, reported state broadcaster RAI.   Police said there was no evidence of terrorism, saying the blast was likely "an act of protest," or a "demonstrative act, showing it could be done."   Similar blasts in recent years have been blamed on or claimed by anarchists.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 05/12/2017 IVORY COAST - MUTINEERS, AT LEAST SOME OF THEM, APOLOGIZE, WITHDRAW FINANCIAL DEMANDS (MAY 12/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Thousands of Ivorian troops who mutinied in January have made an apology to President Alassane Ouattara in a ceremony broadcast on national television, reports Agence France-Presse.   Early in January, about 8,400 soldiers, mostly former rebels, seized control of Ivory Coast's second-biggest city, Bouake, demanding bonuses and higher pay.   They demanded 12 million CFA francs (US$19,575) for each soldier. The government gave each 5 million francs (US$8,150) in January and was expected to deliver the remainder this month, said rebels.   On Thursday, a ceremony was held at the presidential palace in Abidjan. Rebels said they apologized and were giving up all their financial demands.   Other mutineers who had stayed in Bouake said that they had not been informed of the deal ahead of the announcement, reported Reuters.  
ROM BRITISH ARMY COURSE (MAY 12/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- A British training team in Nigeria recently completed its work with 25 Nigerian army instructors, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.   The four-week course was run by the British Military Advisor Train the Trainer Team (BMATT).   The training was held at the Nigerian army depot in Zaria in the northern part of the country and focused on combating contemporary security challenges, reported the paper on May 10.   The training covered counter-improvised explosive device operations; basic life-saving; urban combat; and other skills, Nigerian army officials said.   
  Item Number:10 Date: 05/12/2017 NORTH KOREA - PYONGYANG DEMANDS EXTRADITION OF 'ASSASSINATION' PLOTTERS (MAY 12/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A top North Korean official says his government will seek the extradition of what it calls a CIA plot to assassinate its leader, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Meanwhile, the North Korean mission to the U.N. called the "plot" a "declaration of war."   Prosecutors in North Korea released a list of people who allegedly were involved in the purported plot against Kim Jong un, reports South Korea's Yonhap news agency.   North Korean state media last week claimed a terrorist group backed by the CIA and South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) had infiltrated North Korea to kill Kim with a biochemical substance.   On Friday, the North's Central Public Prosecutors Office released a list of four suspects, including Lee Byong Ho, South Korea's spy chief. The office demanded that the U.S. and South Korea extradite the suspects.   According to the North, the CIA and NIS bribed a North Korean timber worker in Russia and turned him into a terrorist.   The NIS has called the charge "groundless." The CIA and the White House declined to comment.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 05/12/2017 NORWAY - U.S. MARINES SEE LARGER ROLE POSSIBLE FOR BASE IN VAERNES (MAY 12/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- Marine Corps leaders say they are considering expanding the service's presence in Norway, reports   About 285 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., arrived at Vaernes Garrison in central Norway in January for the first iteration of the Marine Rotational Force-Europe.   The trial period for the various deployments is one year.   The mission aims to improve the ability of U.S. troops to fight in Arctic conditions and strengthen partnerships with NATO allies through collaborative training and exercises, according to Marine and Norwegian officials.   The service has an allocated force posture of about 650 personnel for Europe, all of which could be stationed in Norway, said Maj. Gen. Niel Nelson, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.   Nelson anticipates that Norwegian legislators will decide before year-end on whether to host more Marines, potentially increasing the role of Vaernes.   In addition to cold-weather training, the Vaernes facility is near to a series of caves maintained by the Norwegian military that store enough equipment for a force of more than 4,600 troops. The use of that equipment for training in Europe has increased "exponentially" over the last two years, officials said.   Not only could Vaernes become the Corps' hub in Europe, the facility could become the site of much smaller, temporary training elements rotating through the region, said Nelson.  
LUCHISTAN BOMB AGAINST CONVOY OF SENATE DEPUTY LEADER (MAY 12/GEOTV)  GEO TV -- The death toll from an explosion on Friday in southwestern Pakistan has reached 25, reports GeoTV (Pakistan).   More than 35 were injured, according to Reuters.   The blast occured in the town of Mastung, about 50 km (30 mi) south of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.   The attack apparently targeted the convoy of Sen. Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, reported Al Jazeera. Haideri is the deputy chairman of the Parliament's upper house.   Haideri told Reuters he received minor injuries and said he believed he was the target. Someone sitting next to the senator and his driver were killed, said a district official.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 05/12/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - RIYADH SHOWS OFF SAQR-1 ARMED DRONE WITH RANGE OF 1,550 MILES (MAY 12/SAUDIPA)  SAUDI PRESS AGENCY -- Saudi Arabia's national science agency has debuted an indigenously developed armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), reports the Saudi Press Agency.   The Saqr-1 was unveiled Wednesday in Riyadh by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).   The air vehicle features a Ka-band satellite communication system and has a range of more than 1,550 miles (2,500 km), say officials.   The drone can be armed with a range of missiles and guided bombs, said Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, the president of KACST.   The Saqr-1 can fly at altitudes of 20,000 feet (6,100 m) and has an endurance of 24 hours.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 05/12/2017 SOMALIA - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN LONDON BACKS SOMALIA'S EFFORTS (MAY 12/REU)  REUTERS -- Meeting in London, the government of Somalia and its international supporters have concluded an agreement aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the Somali army, reports Reuters.   The document was signed Thursday at a conference attended by representatives from more than 40 nations. It covers international support for the training of Somalia's army and police so they can take over duties being made by African Union forces against the Al-Shabaab militant group, reported the BBC.   A separate agreement in April between Somalia's federal government and its member states covers unifying their forces into a national army and police.   The two agreements are aimed at improving the national army, which is considered poorly equipped and underfunded.   Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who took office in February, urged the international community to lift an arms embargo on Somalia to give national forces an advantage over Al-Shabaab.   Meanwhile, the U.N. said that it was seeking US$1.5 billion in aid to help Somalia deal with a severe drought. More than 6 million Somalis, or half the population, are in need of assistance, said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
  Item Number:15 Date: 05/12/2017 SWEDEN - RUSSIA'S 'DESTABILIZING' ACTIONS PROMPT MORE DEFENSE SPENDING, COOPERATION WITH U.S., SAYS SENIOR OFFICIAL (MAY 12/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The state secretary for defense in Sweden says his country sees the United States as an important partner as tensions with Russia increase, reports Defense News.   "Europe and the U.S. must stand together in defending the agreed principles and laws of the European security order, including the respect for democracy, human rights and rule of law," said Jan Salestrand on Wednesday during a U.S.-Sweden defense industry seminar in Washington, D.C.   The Kremlin continues to engage in hybrid warfare and has increased its "military exercises and intelligence activities," he said. Moscow has become "more provocative, unpredictable and destabilizing," said Salestrand.   Accordingly, Stockholm plans to boost defense spending by 11 percent over five years and has introduced conscription for men and women. The government also formalized defense cooperation with the U.S. last year.   The additional defense spending is designed to strengthen resilience against cyber attacks and provide air defenses for a new mechanized battle group for the strategic island of Gotland, among other investments, said Salestrand.   Other plans include upgrading tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and procuring new mortars, as well as new communication equipment, trucks and other gear for its soldiers, he said.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/12/2017 SYRIA - MOVE AGAINST RAQQA PLANNED FOR JUNE, SAYS SDF (MAY 12/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces says it is prepared to launch its assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa next month, reports Agence France-Presse.   The SDF, which is made up of Kurdish and Arab militias, has been involved in a multi-phase operation to gain control of Raqqa since November. In a major milestone this week, the SDF captured the key Syrian town of Tabqa and a nearby dam.   On Friday, a SDF commander said that the assault on Raqqa would begin soon, "at the start of the summer." She later specified that the offensive would begin in June based on "military and tactical consideration."   Another commander indicated that the U.S. would provide support "in the form of specialized weapons, armored vehicles or others," though saying that equipment had not yet arrived.   The White House earlier this week authorized the direct arming of the Kurdish People's Protection Unit, the main element of the SDF. Turkey views the group as a terrorist group, and the move has raised tensions between those allies
Item Number:17 Date: 05/12/2017 TURKEY - COMPANIES FROM INDONESIA, TURKEY UNVEIL JOINTLY DEVELOPED MEDIUM TANK AT ISTANBUL EXPO (MAY 12/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish firm FNSS and Indonesia's PT Pindad are showing off for the first time a joint developed medium tank at the IDEF exhibition in Istanbul, reports the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The Kaplan MT is "a very effective solution to today's asymmetric warfare conditions exposed which many armies are exposed to," he said, adding that the "conditions require easy and fast deployment, high mobility, low visibility, high firepower, and yet low cost," said Nail Kurt, the chief executive of FNSS.   The joint tank program was launched three years ago.   The vehicle is equipped with a CMI Cockerill 3105 turret with a 105-mm gun. It is powered by a diesel engine coupled to an automatic transmission.   The tank has a six-wheeled anti-shock suspension system, which provides excellent mobility, according to an FNSS release.   The Kaplan MT requires a crew of three: commander, driver and gunner.   Once the Indonesian army qualifies the tank, it will be ready for serial production, said Kurt.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 05/12/2017 USA - CIA ANNOUNCES NEW CENTER IN LANGLEY TO DEAL WITH N. KOREA (MAY 12/HILL)  THE HILL -- The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency announced the establishment of a mission center focused on the threats of North Korea's weapons programs, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   "Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea," said CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a Wednesday statement.   A veteran CIA operations officer has reportedly been named to lead the mission center as the assistant director of Korea, although the agency did not reveal his name.   The agency has 10 similar centers, noted CNN.   However, the latest one in Langley, Va., is the first to be focused on a single country, noted Agence France-Presse. It brings together resources from a number of units to collect and analyze information on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile technology.   Meanwhile, North Korea is apparently preparing for its sixth nuclear test.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 05/12/2017 USA - MATTIS EMPHASIZES U.S. COMMITMENT TO BALTICS (MAY 12/BALTIMES)  BALTIC TIMES -- During a visit to the capital of Lithuania, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis says his nation is prepared to deploy additional defense systems in the Baltic states to deter Russia, reports the Baltic Times.   Mattis made his comments on Wednesday in Vilnius following a meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.   "The specific systems that we bring are those that we determine necessary," Mattis said. "I think any buildup of Russian combat power in an area where they know and we all know they are not threatened by anything that we are doing in Lithuania or elsewhere in the democratic countries. Any kind of buildup like that is simply destabilizing."   Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are short on air defense capabilities, which NATO could take steps to fill, according to some officials.   Major wire-story accounts this week cited U.S. defense officials saying that Patriot air defense systems might be deployed to the region before large-scale Russian-Belarusian Zapad drills this fall.   Questioned at a press conference, both the U.S. defense secretary and the Lithuanian president cited the importance of defensive weapons without mentioning specific systems.   Lithuania currently operates just short-range air defense systems, but has decided to procure the Norwegian medium-range NASAMS.   Mattis is on a visit to the Baltic states to demonstrate the U.S. determination to defend the small countries from potential threats from Russia
  Item Number:20 Date: 05/12/2017 USA - RUDDER GETS NOD AS NEXT MARINE DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR AVIATION (MAY 12/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- Maj. Gen. Steven Rudder has been nominated to serve as the next chief of Marine aviation, reports the Marine Corps Times.   If confirmed by the Senate, Rudder would receive a third star and succeed Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, who is expected to retire in July, said service officials.   Rudder is currently the director of the U.S. Pacific Command's strategic planning and policy directorate at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.   Davis has served as deputy commandant for aviation (DCA) since June 2014. During this period, Marine aviation has experienced major readiness challenges, many the result of previous decisions.   Budget cuts, years of continuous operations and the loss of experienced maintainers have contributed to the problems.

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