Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fw: TheList 4478

The List 4478

To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits
This Day In Naval History - June 14
1777: John Paul Jones takes command of the Continental Navy sloop USS Ranger. While commanding Ranger, the ship receives the first official salute to the Stars and Stripes flag by the French fleet at Quiberon Bay.
1777 - Continental Congress adopts design of present U.S. Flag
1847 - Commodore Matthew Perry launches amphibious river operations by Sailors and Marines on Tabasco River, Mexico
1940 - Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Naval Expansion Act to construct ships to increase Navy's tonnage by 11 %
1985 - Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem, USN of Underwater Construction Team ONE was killed by terrorist hijackers of TWA Flight 847.
He later received a Bronze Star for his heroism.
Today in History June 14
The Peasants' Revolt, led by Wat Tyler, climaxes when rebels plunder and burn the Tower of London and kill the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Massachusetts passes the first compulsory education law in the colonies.
The U.S. Army is founded when the Continental Congress authorizes the muster of troops.
The Continental Congress authorizes the "stars and stripes" flag for the new United States.
Captain William Bligh of the HMS Bounty arrives in Timor in a small boat. He had been forced to leave his ship when his crew mutinied.
A group of settlers declare California to be a republic.
At the Battle of Pine Mountain, Georgia, Confederate General Leonidas Polk is killed by a Union shell.
The city of Philadelphia observes the first Flag Day.
Women in Norway win the right to vote.
President Warren G. Harding becomes the first president to speak on the radio.
Nicaraguan President Porfirio Diaz signs a treaty with the U.S. allowing American intervention in his country.
Representative Edward Eslick dies on the floor of the House of Representatives while pleading for the passage of the bonus bill.
German forces occupy Paris.
The Supreme Court rules that requiring students to salute the American flag is unconstitutional.
Boeing B-29 bombers conduct their first raid against mainland Japan.
Burma is liberated by the British.
The State of Vietnam is formed.
UNIVAC, the first computer built for commercial purposes, is demonstrated in Philadelphia by Dr. John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr.
Americans take part in the first nation-wide civil defense test against atomic attack.
A military triumvirate takes control in Saigon, South Vietnam.
Argentina surrenders to the United Kingdom ending the Falkland Islands War.
Gunmen hijack a passenger jet over the Middle East.
Congressman William Gray, an African American, is elected Democratic Whip of the House of Representatives.
Chechen rebels take 2,000 people hostage in a hospital in Russia.
From the Birth of the Army to Marines at Saipan by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
June 14, 1775: The American Continental Army is formed in Boston: thus June
14 becomes the official birthday of the U.S. Army. George Washington will be appointed commander in chief of the new army the following day.
June 14, 1777:  Two years to the day after the birth of the American Army, Betsy Ross's "Stars and Stripes" (adopted by the Continental Congress) replaces the Grand Union flag as the official national standard. In time, the anniversary of this day will become known as "Flag Day."
June 15, 1944: U.S. Marines under the command of Lt. Gen. Holland M.
"Howlin' Mad" Smith (a recipient of France's Croix de Guerre for his actions during the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I), begin hitting the beaches on Saipan, a Japanese territorial island in the Marianas chain.
In a battle that will continue into August – far longer if counting the tiny pockets of post-battle Japanese resistance – Smith's Marines and soldiers will destroy enemy forces under Lt. Gen. Yoshitsugu Saito.
A German naval attache in Tokyo, will purportedly write: "Saipan was really understood to be a matter of life and death. About that time they began telling the people the truth about the war. They began preparing them for whatever must happen. Before that they had been doing nothing but fooling the people."
Within days, the Japanese fleet will be decisively defeated in the great carrier battle of the Philippine Sea, also known as the "Marianas Turkey Shoot."
June 17, 1775: The battle of Bunker Hill (often referred to as the battle of Breed's Hill) opens when British Army forces and Royal Marines under the command of Gen. William Howe attack American forces under Gen. Israel Putnam and Col. William Prescott who have taken up position on the hills above Boston. The British will ultimately take Bunker and Breed's Hills, but British losses make it a pyrrhic victory.
According to the Library of Congress: "American troops displayed their mettle in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the siege of Boston, inflicting casualties on nearly half of the British troops dispatched to secure Breed's Hill (where most of the fighting occurred)."
June 18, 1812: The U.S. declares war on – what was known at that time as – "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland." It is the first time the U.S. has declared war on another nation. The War of 1812 is on.
June 20, 1941: The U.S. Army Air Corps is reorganized as the U.S. Army Air Forces (the World War II predecessor to the post-war U.S. Air Force).
From Barrett Tillman some history about the Marianas campaign:
June 12: Task Force 58 began the air superiority phase of the campaign with fighter sweeps and bombing Jap(anese) facilities
June 15: US phibs ashore on Saipan
June 19: The Great Marinas Turkey Shoot (over 300 Japanese planes splashed) and US sub sink two CVs.
June 20: "The mission beyond darkness" with over 200 TF58 strikers catching the retreating Japanese Mobile Fleet.  Avengers sink one CV; c. 80 US aircraft lost mostly to fuel exhaustion.
It was a moonless night and formations broke up; many pilots returned solo.  Night fighters helped guide some strays home.  Actually, Mitscher did not initiate the Turn On The Lights Order.  It was begun by one of his TF commanders, RADM Jocko Clark.  But Mitscher let things get out of hand when DDs and other escorts illuminated.  Many planes went in the water making approaches on boats without flat decks.  (Mitscher is/was over-rated; the policy of a blackshoe for an aviator commander was proven with Arleigh Burke as TF-58 COS.)
Full details in "Clash of the Carriers" by Barrett Tillman
Thanks to Al
Monday Morning Thoughts for Flag Day
Tuesday, June 14 is Flag Day
The History of Flag Day
     The first celebration of the U.S. flag's birthday was held in 1877 on the 100th anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. However, it is believed that the first annual recognition of the flag's birthday dates back to 1885 when school teacher, B.J. Cigrand, first organized a group of Wisconsin school children to observe June 14—the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag's birthday. Cigrand, now known as the 'Father of Flag Day,' continued to publically advocate the observance of June 14 as the flag's birthday, or Flag Day for years.
     Just a few years later the efforts of another school teacher, George Balch, led to the formal observance of Flag Day on June 14 by the New York State Board of Education. Over the following years as many as 36 state and local governments began adopted the annual observance. For over 30 years Flag Day remained a state and local celebration.
     In 1916, the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 became a nationally observed event by a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson. However, it was not designated as National Flag Day until August 3rd, 1949, when an act of Congress designated June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
     Today, Flag Day is celebrated with parades, essay contests, ceremonies, and picnics sponsored by veterans' groups, schools, and groups like the National Flag Day foundation whose goal is to preserve the traditions, history, pride, and respect that are due the nation's symbol, Old Glory.
I Am Your Flag by James M. Fillmore
     I am your Flag. I have been kicked, trampled, burned, and shot full of holes. I have fought battles, but I prefer the untroubled air of a world at peace.
     I am your Flag. I represent the freedom of humanity, and I shall fly high, thundering in silence for the whole world to hear. My gentle rustling in the breeze sounds out the warning to all who would bury me forever that below stands a population dedicated to liberty.
     For those who have perished for my right to freedom of flight, for those who will die, and indeed for those who will live, I stand as a symbol of freedom-loving people.
     I have been carried into battle in faraway lands, always for the cause of freedom. I am blood-stained, torn, and many times wearied and saddened by the thousands who have paid the supreme sacrifice.
     Do not let it all be for nothing. Tell me the brave has died for a worthwhile cause. Be proud of what I represent, and display me for all to see.
     Whether you call me "Old Glory," Stars and Stripes," or "Star Spangled Banner," I shall fly forever as a symbol of your freedom, as I did for your ancestors, and I shall for your heirs.
It's the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves others with respect for the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag. 
No Refuge Could Save by Dr. Isaac Asimov
     I have a weakness--I am crazy, absolutely nuts, about our national anthem.
     The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I'm taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can.
     It shakes me up every time.
     I was once asked to speak at a luncheon.  Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem--all four stanzas.
     This was greeted with loud groans.  One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting.  "Thanks, Herb," I said.
     "That's all right," he said.  "It was at the request of the kitchen staff."
     I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas.
     Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before--or had never really listened.  I got a standing ovation.  But it was not me; it was the anthem.
     More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas.  Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause.  And again, it was the anthem and not me.
     So now let me tell you how it came to be written.
     In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas.  We were in the right.  For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country.  Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon.  In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia.  If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated.  It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.
     At first, our seamen proved better than the British.  After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message "We have met the enemy and they are ours."
     However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually.  New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.
     Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack.  The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England.  The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west.  The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York.  If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two.  The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.
     The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D.  C.  Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor.  If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.
     On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner.  Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release.  The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait.  It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.
     As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry.  Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets.  They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying.  But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell.  Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.
     As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it.  He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, "Can you see the flag?"
     After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night.  Called "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," it was published in newspapers and swept the nation.  Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" --a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range.  For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.
     Now that you know the story, here are the words.  Presumably, the old doctor is speaking.  This is what he asks Key:
> Oh!  say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
> What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
> Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
> O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
> And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
> Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
> Oh!  say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
> O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
     "Ramparts," in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort.  The first stanza asks a question.  The second gives an answer:
> On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist of the deep,
> Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
> What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep.
> As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
> Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
> In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
> 'Tis the star-spangled banner.  Oh! long may it wave
> O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
     "The towering steep" is again, the ramparts.  The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure.
     In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph.  In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.  (During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung.  However, I know it, so here it is)
> And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
> That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
> A home and a country should leave us no more?
> Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution.
> No refuge could save the hireling and slave
> From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
> And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
> O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
     The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling:
> Oh!  thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
> Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
> Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n-rescued land
> Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
> Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
> And this be our motto--"In God is our trust."
> And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
> O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
     I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes.  Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears...and don't let them ever take it away.
The Pledge of Allegiance by Senator John McCain
     As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.
     This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.
     One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old.
     At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.
     As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.
     Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt.
     Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
     I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important and meaningful event.
     One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.
     That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.
     The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.
     As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could.  After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance to our flag and country.
     So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.
     You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country
> "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I Watched the Flag Pass by One Day by unknown author
> I watched the flag pass by one day,
> It fluttered in the breeze.
> A young Marine saluted it,
> And then he stood at ease.
> I looked at him in uniform
> So young, so tall, so proud,
> With hair cut square and eyes alert
> He'd stand out in any crowd.
> I thought how many men like him
> Had fallen through the years.
> How many died on foreign soil
> How many mothers' tears?
> How many pilots' planes shot down?
> How many died at sea
> How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
> No, freedom isn't free.
> I heard the sound of Taps one night,
> When everything was still,
> I listened to the bugler play
> And felt a sudden chill.
> I wondered just how many times
> That Taps had meant "Amen,"
> When a flag had draped a coffin.
> Of a brother or a friend.
> I thought of all the children,
> Of the mothers and the wives,
> Of fathers, sons and husbands
> With interrupted lives.
> I thought about a graveyard
> At the bottom of the sea
> Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
> No, freedom isn't free.
The Pledge of Allegiance
     The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day. Now, more than ever, listen to the meaning of these words.
     "I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester  and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you.  If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?" 
I--me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge--dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance--my love and my devotion.
To the flag--our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever  she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given  her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!
United--that means that we have all come together.
States--individual communities that have united into 48 great states.  Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and  purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to  a common purpose, and that's love for country.
And to the republic--a state in which sovereign power is  invested in representatives chosen by the  people to govern. And government is the people  and it's from the people to the leaders, not from  the leaders to the people.
For which it stands, one nation--one nation, meaning "so  blessed by God"
Indivisible--incapable of being divided.
With liberty--which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's  own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice--the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all--which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine."
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...UNDER GOD. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?  God Bless America! "
Did you know…
Why the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the American flag 13 times?  You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust."
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" on September 14, 1814.  The song officially became the United States national anthem in 1931.
Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877, the centennial of the U.S. flag's existence. After that many citizens and organizations advocated the adoption of a national day of commemoration for the U.S. Flag. Flag Day was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
June 14, 2006 marks the 27th anniversary of the first National Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance. Please take a few moments at 7 p.m. to recite the Pledge. The current words, adapted over the years from the original written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy.
     The kindergarten teacher was showing her class an encyclopedia page picturing several national flags.  She pointed to the American flag and asked, "What flag is this?"
     A little girl called out, "That's the flag of our country!"
     "Very good!" the teacher said.  "And what is the name of our country?"
     "Tis of thee," the girl said confidently.
Have a great week,
Item Number:1 Date: 06/14/2017 BELARUS - SERBS, RUSSIANS, BELARUSIANS COMPLETE SLAVIC BROTHERHOOD DRILLS AT BRESTSKY TRAINING RANGE (JUN 14/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Military personnel from Belarus, Russia and Serbia are wrapping up the active phase of the Slavic Brotherhood exercise at the Brestsky Training Range in Belarus, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The exercise has included a number of firsts, said Lt. Gen. Nikolai Ignatov, the first deputy commander of the Russian airborne forces, who is observing the drills.   A multinational tactical battalion group practiced an anti-terrorist operation for the first time, including the liberation of vital infrastructure, which had been rigged to explode by the mock terrorists, the general said.   During the simulated operation, Belarusian and Serbian airborne and reconnaissance forces attacked the mock terrorists at a hydropower facility from several directions.   A team of divers was deployed by an Mi-8 helicopter to conduct covert inspections and remove mines laid by the militants, said Ignatov.   The next phase of the exercise involved searching for the base camp of the mock terrorist group and preventing an attack on a city, the general said.   More than 1,000 personnel from Belarus, Russia and Serbia are taking part in the drills, which runs to June 14
Item Number:2 Date: 06/14/2017 CHINA - COUNTERTERRORISM, ORGANIZED CRIME ON AGENDA OF HIGH-LEVEL SECURITY DIALOGUE WITH GERMAN OFFICIALS (JUN 14/XIN)  XINHUA -- Top Chinese and German officials have just held their first high-level security dialogue in Beijing, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Wang Yongqing, the Chinese secretary-general of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, co-chaired the meeting with Klaus-Dieter Fritsche, Germany's state secretary of intelligence.   Tuseday's talks covered counterterrorism, transnational organized crime, international and regional security issues.   The officials agreed to cooperate in combating terrorism, illegal migration and organized crime. Communication is also to be enhanced.   A second high-level meeting is scheduled for Berlin in 2018
Item Number:3 Date: 06/14/2017 COLOMBIA - WITH 2ND TRANCHE HANDED OVER, FARC DOWN TO 40 PERCENT OF ITS REGISTERED WEAPONS (JUN 14/CR)  COLOMBIA REPORTS -- The FARC rebels have now surrendered about 60 percent of its declared weapons to United Nations monitors as part of a peace deal with the Colombian government, reports Colombia Reports.   The group began handing its weapons last week, giving up 30 percent. Another 30 percent was surrendered on Tuesday, two days ahead of schedule, said the U.N.   The U.N. has received 4,406 of the weapons registered by the FARC. Another 7,000 weapons -- 40 percent -- remain. They are due to be turned in on June 20.   The weapons are to be stored at 26 locations around the country
  Item Number:4 Date: 06/14/2017 FINLAND - SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE UPGRADES TERRORISM THREAT LEVEL (JUN 14/YLE)  YLE NEWS -- Supo, Finland's intelligence service, has raised the assessment of the nation's terrorism threat, reports Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Co.   The level was raised Wednesday from "low" to the next step, "elevated," citing recent attacks in Russia and Sweden. The agency uses a scale with four levels – low, elevated, high and severe.   "The most significant terrorist threat in Finland is still posed by individual actors or small groups motivated by radical Islamist propaganda or terrorist organizations encouraging them," said a Supo statement, as reported by Reuters.   The agency pointed at foreign fighters who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State and gained significant positions.   There are about 350 individuals linked to terrorist activities, representing an 80 percent increase since 2012, said the agency
Item Number:5 Date: 06/14/2017 INDIA - MILITARY'S NAG ANTI-TANK MISSILE PASSES DESERT TEST (JUN 14/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- India's military says it has successfully test-fired a new version of an anti-tank guided missile, reports the Times of India.   The Prospina, or Nag, missile was launched Monday at a desert range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, according to India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).   The third generation of the "fire-and-forget" missile was tested at a 4-km (2.5 mi) range. It will now begin user acceptance trials for the army, said officials.   The system conducted successful night trials last year, but was found to have problems in hot desert conditions.   The Nag is equipped with "many advanced technologies including the imaging infrared radar seeker with integrated avionics, a capability which is possessed by few nations in the world," said officials
Item Number:6 Date: 06/14/2017 IRAQ - ISIS FIGHTERS WITH SUICIDE VESTS MAKE DESPERATE COUNTERATTACK IN MOSUL (JUN 14/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- Iraqi police say Islamic State fighters with suicide vests counterattacked against security forces in Mosul on Wednesday, reports the Washington Post.   The fighters deployed seven car bombs around 3 a.m. local time against police forces near Mosul's Old City, one of the few remaining ISIS strongholds, said a police commander.   At the same time, 25 fighters wearing suicide vests attacked from behind police lines after sneaking down the Tigris River. They were provided vehicles by "sleeper cells," the commander said.   The terrorists briefly took control of the Dawasa and Dendan neighborhoods before being ousted by mid-morning, said the commander.   "The enemy has used the last card in this attack, which means this is the best they can do," said another police official.   Iraqi and U.S. military officials estimate that up to 1,000 ISIS fighters still remain in about one square mile in Mosul
Item Number:7 Date: 06/14/2017 ISRAEL - ELBIT SHOWS OFF PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM WITH 'BACK IN TIME' MODES (JUN 14/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- Elbit Systems is making public a new airborne video surveillance system that collects high-resolution intelligence over broad areas, reports Defense News.   The Israeli company is going to reveal the SkEye at the Paris Air Show (June 19-23).   The SkEye covers around 30 square miles (80 square km) at a time and allows operators to zoom in and out over up to 10 specific points of interest, while going "back in time" to analyze events from ongoing or previously recorded missions.   "For the first time, there's a capability to go back in time. And it's not the playback option that you've come to know," said Yair Ganor, the senior director for business development and marketing for Elbit's wide area persistent surveillance products.   "Today, we're completely changing the paradigm of aerial surveillance; we're no longer in the world of viewing regions of interest through video soda straws," he said. "We've added a unique layer of intelligence collection on top of existing electro-optical systems to record and analyze events over very wide areas," said Ganor.   The system eliminates the need for authorities to launch multiple aerial platforms to monitor an area of interest and set specific areas of priority, said Ganor.   The SkEye is operational and has been installed on Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 unmanned aeral vehicles as well as DHC-6 and Cessna 208B manned aircraft, according to Elbit officials
Item Number:8 Date: 06/14/2017 NIGER - ABANDONED BY TRAFFICKERS IN SAHARA, 92 MIGRANTS SAVED BY TROOPS (JUN 14/RFI)  RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE -- Nigerien troops have rescued more than 90 stranded migrants in the Sahara Desert, reports RFI.   The army in Niger said its soldiers found 92 migrants without food or water about 180 km (111 mi) west of Dirkou. Traffickers had abandoned the group, said the army.   The migrants were mostly women and children from Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal who were trying to reach Libya before attempting to cross to Europe. One child reportedly died.   The rescued migrants were handed over to the International Organization for Migration, said aid officials
  Item Number:9 Date: 06/14/2017 PAKISTAN - DUTCH SHIPBUILDER TO BUILD 1,900-TON OPV IN KARACHI (JUN 14/APP)  ASSOCIATED PRESS OF PAKISTAN -- The Pakistani government has signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Damen for the local construction of a multipurpose offshore patrol vessel (OPV), reports the Associated Press of Pakistan.   The deal was signed on Monday at Pakistan's Ministry of Defense Production by officials from the Pakistani navy, Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) and Damen, said a release from the ministry.   The OPV will displace about 1,900 tons with an overall length of 295 feet (90 m) and a top speed of 20 knots.   The ship will be optimized for surface warfare, air defense, maritime security, combat search-and-rescue, helicopter and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 06/14/2017 PHILIPPINES - U.S. TROOPS HELPING WITH INTEL NEAR MARAWI, SAYS MILITARY (JUN 14/REU)  REUTERS -- The Philippine military has acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the ground near Marawi City, where there has been fighting for more than three weeks, reports Reuters.   The Americans are not involved in the fighting against the Islamists, said a Philippines military spokesman on Wednesday.   U.S. troops are providing technical assistance and "operating to provide information on situation awareness to our troops," he said.   "I do not know the exact number and the specific mission. They are allowed to carry rifles for self-defense. But they are not allowed to fight, they only provide support," the spokesman said.   The Philippine military previously said that a contingent of U.S. special operations troops were deployed from a contingent base in the southern city of Zamboanga.   An official in Washington said the U.S. has been providing a P-3 surveillance plane and intelligence gathered from a drone. The drone reportedly crashed Saturday.   Fighting began in Marawi on May 23 when security forces raided an apartment in search of Abu Sayyaf leader Insilon Hapilon. The militants then called for reinforcements from the Maute Group, who seized hostages and areas of the city.   As of Wednesday, about 290 people have been killed, including 206 militants, 58 soldiers and 26 civilians, said officials. About 100 militants and an estimated 300-600 civilians are said to be trapped
  Item Number:11 Date: 06/14/2017 QATAR - FOREIGN MINISTRY WITHDRAWS QATARI PEACEKEEPERS FROM DJIBOUTI-ERITREA BORDER (JUN 14/IANS)  INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE -- Qatar has pulled its peacekeeping troops from the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, where there has been a longstanding dispute, reports the Indo-Asian News Service.   In 2010, Qatar brokered an agreement between Djibouti and Eritrea as part of an attempt to resolve a decades-long border conflict.   On Wednesday, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said it had withdrawn all of troops deployed in Djiboutian territory, without giving a reason. About 450 troops had been deployed in the border area, reported Newsweek.   Last week, Saudi Arabia and several Arab and African nations cut diplomatic and travel ties with Doha, accusing Qatar of funding terror groups.   On Monday, Eritrea expressed support for Saudi Arabia, saying the move was "one initiative among many in the right direction that envisages full realization of regional security and stability
  Item Number:12 Date: 06/14/2017 SOUTH KOREA - N. KOREAN SOLDIER WALKS ACROSS DMZ, DEFECTS (JUN 14/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean military says that a North Korean soldier has crossed the mutual border and defected, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   On Tuesday, the soldier crossed the military demarcation line (MDL) in the middle sector of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and approached a South Korean guard post, said the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.   The DMZ is heavily mined.   South Korean soldiers spotted the defector and guided him to the guard post after determining his intent to defect, the JCS said.   There was no exchange of fire, officials said.   This is the first time since Sept. 29, 2016, that a North Korean soldier has defected across the border.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 06/14/2017 SOUTH KOREA - POPULAR MUSICIANS DECLINE TO PLAY FOR U.S. TROOPS; BLUE HOUSE CALLS ACTION 'REGRETTABLE' (JUN 14/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The presidential Blue House in South Korea called the recent boycott by a number of popular artists of a government-backed concert for U.S. troops "regrettable," reports Agence France-Presse.   "We find it regrettable that the event prepared as a token of gratitude and farewell has been disrupted," said a presidential spokesman on Wednesday.   Scores of K-Pop stars were scheduled to perform on Sunday in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, to mark the 100th anniversary of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division. K-Pop is an abbreviation of the Korean popular music genre.   The event coincided with the 15th anniversary of the deaths of two South Korean high school girls who were killed by a U.S. military vehicle in the city. Activists campaigned against the event.   A U.S. Army Band and a traditional Korean music ensemble were among the few who performed.   The 2nd Infantry Division was the first U.S. unit to be deployed to South Korea during the Korean War. The 2nd ID is expected to be relocated to Pyeongtaek City next year.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 06/14/2017 TUNISIA - FIRST DECLARED IN 2015, STATE OF EMERGENCY TO STAY AT LEAST ANOTHER 4 MONTHS (JUN 14/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Tunisia's government has again extended the state of emergency that has been in place since 2015, reports Agence France-Presse.   "President Beji Caid Essebsi decided on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency for four months starting from Thursday," said his office on Facebook.   The emergency state was imposed in November 2015 after a bombing in Tunis that killed 12 presidential guards. This status gives more powers to the police and allows the banning of strikes and meetings and press controls.   "It's better to be vigilant" following attacks claimed by the Islamic State in the U.K., said one government source
  Item Number:15 Date: 06/14/2017 TURKEY - AIR FORCE HITS PKK MILITANTS IN VAN PROVINCE, N. IRAQ (JUN 14/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish air force says it has killed at least 20 militants from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in counterterrorism operations in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, reports the Anadolu Agency.   Turkish fighter aircraft targeted PKK militants in the Zap and Hakurk regions in northern Iraq and the Gevas district in Turkey's eastern Van province, said a statement from the Turkish General Staff on Tuesday.   The militants were preparing to attack Turkish border posts, the statement said.   Sixteen PKK fighters were killed in Iraq, while four were killed in Van province, said the General Staff
Item Number:16 Date: 06/14/2017 UKRAINE - FIGHTING HAS ESCALATED IN EAST IN RECENT MONTHS, SAYS U.N. AGENCY (JUN 14/OHCHR)  OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS -- The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been escalating over the last few months as it enters its fourth year, according to the latest figures from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).   From Feb. 16 to May 15, 2017, the U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) recorded 36 conflict-related civilian deaths and 157 injuries, a 48 percent increase from the previous reporting period, which ran from Nov. 16, 2016 to Feb. 15, 2017.   During the latest period, there were daily cease-fire violations and repeated use of small arms and light and heavy weapons, says the OHCHR report, which was published on Tuesday.   Since the start of the fighting in mid-April 2014 to mid-May 2017, at least 10,090 people, including 2,777 civilians, have been killed and at least 23,966 injured, the report says. More than 1.6 million people have been displaced by the fighting.   This is a conservative estimate, noted the OHCHR.  
Item Number:17 Date: 06/14/2017 USA - COLONEL ATOP MARINE CORPS ENGINEER SCHOOL LOSES JOB (JUN 14/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The commander of the Marine Corps Engineer School at Camp Lejeune, N.C., has been fired, reports the Marine Corps Times.   Brig. Gen. Jason Bohm, the head of Marine Corps Training Command, relieved Col. Daniel O'Hora on June 6 because of a "loss of trust and confidence in his ability to serve in command," said a statement on Monday from Training Command.   The Marine Corps has opened an investigation, which is ongoing, said the statement, without specifying what prompted the dismissal.   Lt. Col. Gregory Marchlinski, the command's executive officer, is serving as temporary commander until a replacement is named.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 06/14/2017 USA - IKE, GEORGE H.W. BUSH CARRIERS GET NOD TO CARRY STINGRAY UNMANNED REFUELING TANKERS (JUN 14/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has decided that the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) will be the first two carriers to field the service's planned MQ-25A Stingray refueling drone, reports USNI News.   Both carriers will receive upgrades, including the control stations and data links needed to control the unmanned tanker, said a spokeswoman for Naval Air Systems Command.   It is not clear when the modernization will take place. Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, wants to accelerate the fielding of the tankers, possibly putting them aboard the carriers as soon as 2019.   There is high demand for the MQ-25A to help alleviate the burden on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet, which currently conducts aerial refueling missions.   A Navy spokesman on Monday said that the MQ-25A program was "too pre-decisional" to comment on when the new capability might be introduced
Item Number:19 Date: 06/14/2017 USA - WASHINGTON SANCTIONS ISIS MEMBERS FOR CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE (JUN 14/STATE)  U.S. STATE DEPT. -- The U.S. State Dept. has named a member of the Islamic State and an Indonesian terrorist group as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs).   Marwan Ibrahim Hussayn Tah al-Azawi is an Iraqi leader of the Islamic State terrorist group who has been connected to the development of chemical weapons for use against Iraqi security forces, said a release from State on Monday.   The State Dept. designated Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) as an SDGT. The Indonesia-based terrorist group was formed in 2000 by Abu Bakar Bashir, the leader of designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and SDGT, Jemaah Islamiya.   The group has conducted attacks in Indonesia, including claiming a May 2012 attack on a book launch by Canadian author Irshad Manji, in which three people were injured.   MMI also has links to the Nusra Front, the Al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, said the State Dept.   Separately, the Treasury Dept. designated Attalla Salman Abd Kafi al-Jaburi as an SDGT. An Iraq-based member of ISIS, he is a senior leader in charge of factories producing improvised explosive devices, explosives and the development of chemical weapons.   This is the first time that Treasury has imposed sanctions on an ISIS member for using chemical weapons, said the department
Item Number:20 Date: 06/14/2017 USA - WHITE HOUSE ALLOWS MILITARY TO SET TROOP LEVELS IN AFGHANISTAN (JUN 14/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis now has the authority to set troop levels in Afghanistan, say Trump administration officials cited by the New York Times.   Under the decision made by President Trump on Tuesday morning, the Pentagon and military commanders will have more freedom to deploy forces and carry out operations, said one official.   Units will be able to deploy at their proper strength to improve cohesion, according to an unnamed official quoted by the Washington Post.   The move will allow the Pentagon to carry our campaigns without interruption and respond more quickly to battlefield changes, say officials. The situation in Afghanistan is similar to the authority granted to the Pentagon in Syria and Iraq.   Mattis told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday,"We are not winning" in Afghanistan.   Mattis is believed to be in favor of sending several thousand more American advisers to help Kabul against the Taliban and Islamic State, noted the New York Times.

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