Thursday, June 29, 2017

TheList 4489

The List 4489

To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History - June 29
1860 - The steamer USS Mystic, commanded by William E. LeRoy, captures the slaver, Thomas Achorn at Kabenda, Africa and sends her to New York.
1925 - Ships and men from 11th and 12th Naval Districts assist in relief after earthquake at Santa Barbara , CA
1950 - Truman authorizes sea blockade of the Korean coast
1950 - USS Juneau fires first naval shore bombardment of Korean Conflict James Madison (SSBN-627) completes conversion to Poseidon missile capability
Today in History June 29
Ferdinand III of Castile and Leon take Cordoba in Spain.
Massachusetts declares itself an independent commonwealth.
The British parliament passes the Townshend Revenue Act, levying taxes on America.
Union forces, falling back from Richmond, fight at the Battle of Savage's Station.
France annexes Tahiti.
Professor Frederick Treves performs the first appendectomy in England.
The British government officially protests Belgian atrocities in the Congo.
Russian troops intervene as riots erupt in ports all over the country, leaving many ships looted.
The Ukraine proclaims independence from Russia.
An earthquake ravages Santa Barbara, California.
Fascists in Rome add an hour to the work day in an economic efficiency measure.
Siam's army seizes Bangkok and announces an end to the absolute monarchy.
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, and Olympic National Park, Washington, are founded.
President Harry S. Truman authorizes a sea blockade of Korea.
The United States invites the Soviet Union to the Korean peace talks on a ship in Wonsan Harbor.
The Soviet Union sends tanks to Poznan, Poland, to put down anti-Communist demonstrations.
The U.S. Air Force bombs fuel storage facilities near Hanoi, North Vietnam.
Israel removes barricades, re-unifying Jerusalem.
U.S. troops pull out of Cambodia.
Israel invades Lebanon.
Stephen Furst, Flounder, Diabetic at 17

Stephen Furst performed in, directed and produced many movies and television shows, but he is best remembered for his first movie role in 1978 as the lovable, insecure and massively obese "Flounder" in the 1978 hit movie, National Lampoon's Animal House.  When Flounder pledges the Delta Tau Chi fraternity, the members are so disgusted that they throw beer cans at his application picture.  John Belushi plays Bluto Blutarsky, who alternately makes fun of Flounder and feels sorry for him.  The fraternity members consistently break college rules and are so out-of-control that the college wants to close down the fraternity. 
After his success in Animal House, Furst was sought after for comic roles based on his size and his ability to portray insecurity: the spinoff television series Delta House and movies such as Take Down, where he played a high school tuba player who was forced to join the wrestling team, and The Little Mermaid II, where he was the voice of the walrus, Dash.   He died at age 63 on June 17, 2017 from heart failure caused by diabetes brought on by the obesity that had made him famous.  
A Life with Diabetes
Furst was born on May 8, 1954, in Norfolk, VA.  Both of his parents had diabetes and Furst was overweight throughout his early years.  He wanted to act and got his first part in high school where he played the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.  When he was 17, his father died from complications of diabetes, and shortly after that Furst was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  His doctor told him that he needed to lose a lot of weight, but Furst didn't take his condition seriously enough to change his diet.  He was 5'10" and weighed 285 pounds.  
He went to Virginia Commonwealth University, starred in plays with his future wife, Lorraine Wright, and after they were graduated, they married and moved to Los Angeles.  To support himself while he sought acting roles, he worked as a pizza delivery driver and placed a picture of his face on his pizza boxes.   The pizza-box gimmick caught the attention of director Matty Simmons, who asked him to audition for the role of Flounder in Animal House.  A few years later his mother also died of diabetes, but that still didn't motivate him to lose weight because he had become famous as an insecure, overweight character actor and he knew that was his main attraction for future roles.  
At age 40, he stepped on a piece of glass and developed an infection that climbed up his leg and his doctors told him that they might have to amputate his leg to save his life.  At that time, he weighed 320 pounds and was taking regular insulin injections. While he was still in the hospital, his doctors tried to help control his diabetes by placing him on a calorie-restricted diet, but that wasn't enough for him, so he called a take-out restaurant to deliver Chinese food to him.  The hospital put him on lock down, confiscated his food and forced him to lose 12 pounds during the five-day hospital stay. He finally got the message and eventually dropped his weight down to 175 pounds.   He became a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.  
How Diabetes Damages the Heart
More than 60 percent of diabetics will suffer serious heart disease, which is their leading cause of death.  High blood sugar levels turn on your immunity which can punch holes in the linings of arteries. These holes bleed and clot and then plaques form over the clots.  A heart attack is not caused by narrowed arteries; it happens when a plaque breaks off from the artery, followed by more bleeding and clotting.  If the clots extend to completely block all blood flow through that artery, the part of the heart muscle served by that artery dies.   Heart muscle can live without oxygen for only about an hour and a half.  If the flow of blood is not restored in that time, heart muscle dies and is replaced by scar tissue that cannot contract and push blood through the body.  The heart can then beat irregularly or become so weak that it cannot push enough blood to meet the body's needs.  The brain can live for only about three minutes without blood flow, so three minutes after the heart stops pushing blood to the brain, the brain can die, the person stops breathing and the person dies.  Most diabetics die from congestive heart failure, which means that so much of their heart muscle has died that the heart becomes too weak to pump blood efficiently to the brain. 
Diabetes Causes Damage Throughout the Body 
Diabetes also damaged Furst's nerves leading to his eyes and other parts of his body. He had serious eye problems and had terrible burning in his feet.  When blood sugar levels rise too high, sugar can stick to the outer membranes of cells anywhere in your body.  Once stuck on a cell, sugar can never get off. It is converted by a series of chemical reactions to sorbitol that destroys the cell.
How Obesity Causes Diabetes
After you eat, blood sugar levels rise. To prevent blood sugar from rising too high, your pancreas releases insulin that drives sugar from the bloodstream into your liver.  However, if your liver is full of fat, your liver cannot accept the sugar and blood sugar levels rise even higher to cause diabetes.  To prevent or treat diabetes:
• Avoid overweight
• Severely restrict sugar added foods and drinks including fruit juices, fried foods, red meats and processed meats 
• Non-diabetics should eat lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Once you have been diagnosed as a diabetic,  follow your doctor's guidance on the use of fruits.  
• Try to exercise every day
• Keep blood levels of hydroxy vitamin D above 20 ng/ml.  (NOTE: This is considered critically low by vitamin D experts.  They recommend a minimum of 40 ng/ml and 60 is ideal. )
May 8, 1954-June, 17, 2017
Thanks to Dutch and the Bear….This also has treasure of facts and history.
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Dutch... instead of fake news, the White House has cranked up a new "factual"  source for those who still give a damn... bear
Thanks to Dutch R
Senate Armed Services Bill Directs Navy to Start a Preliminary Design Effort for a Light Carrier, Pluses Up Shipbuilding Totals Over Trump Budget
June 28, 2017 8:41 PMUpdated: June 28, 2017 9:07 PM
The Senate Armed Services Committee version of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act piles on more ships and aircraft over the Pentagon's request in a plan that spends more than $20 billion above the Trump administration's request, according to an executive summary of the legislation that the SASC issued on Wednesday night.
"By supporting $640 billion for defense, this legislation begins to address the readiness shortfall, crisis in modernization, and eroding military advantage by recapitalizing and reinvesting in our forces. This year's legislation also builds upon the sweeping reforms that Congress has passed in recent years," committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement.
"By continuing important efforts to reorganize the Department of Defense, spur innovation in defense technology, and improve defense acquisition and business operations, the NDAA seeks to strengthen accountability and streamline the process of getting our warfighters the equipment, training, and resources they need to succeed."
Specifically for the Navy, the SASC is adding $5 billion to the shipbuilding and conversion fund, bringing it to $25 billon. Included is language for the Navy to buy 13 ships in FY 2018, or funds for five more ships than the Pentagon's budget submission. Included is a third Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer for a total of $5.5 billion, and $3.1 billion for advance procurement of Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN-774).
Both totals, in line with House proposals, include money set aside for "economic order quantities" that would help shipyards by long-lead materials that support a multi-year procurement deal for the destroyers and the attack boats.
The SASC bill also calls for $1 billion for an additional amphibious warship in the FY 2018 budget – either the first next-generation LX(R) amphibious dock landing ship replacement or the 14th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD-17). The mark also included $661 million for a new Expeditionary Sea Base; $250 million for a T-ARC cable ship; and $509 million for eight Ship to Shore Connectors, five more than the administration asked for.
Absent from the executive summary provided to the public on Wednesday is any mention of the Littoral Combat Ship ship construction. USNI News understands the SASC bill will align with the original presidential budget submission that just asked for one hull in the Fiscal Year 2018 shipbuilding plan, though the administration requested a second ship the day after submitting its budget request to Congress. The bill called for removing $94 million from LCS and the mission module procurement line.
In aviation, the bill almost doubled the Pentagon's request for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets fighters to 24 for $1.9 billion. The SASC calls for $2.3 billion for 13 P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft. The bill also calls for $2.9 billion to buy 24 F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters for the Marine Corps and $1.4 billion for ten F-35C Navy variants.
Among one of the largest departures for the SASC, their bill sets aside $30 million for the Navy for a preliminary design effort to create a light carrier for the service.
McCain has been a constant and consistent critic of the Ford-class carrier program and for years has called for an alternative look to the $13-billion price tag for the next-generation hulls. Included in the series of studies the committee asks the Navy to undertake is the question of light carriers' ability to distribute aviation assets throughout a battlespace.
The most likely scenario would be a modified version of the America-class big-deck amphib that would add two catapults to launch aircraft, similar to World War II-era straight-deck escort carriers. The idea would be to give deployed amphibious ready groups greater ability to field a wider variety of logistics and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft that would give the groups a better ability to project power, Bryan Clark, author of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (CSBA) fleet study, told USNI News earlier this year. The Navy has said it has been looking at alternatives to the larger 100,000-ton carriers but a serious public study has not emerged.
While the SASC mark added more ships and aircraft, it also trimmed from other programs. The language wants the Navy to hold the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier – Enterprise (CVN-80) – at a cost cap of $12 billion, claws back $100 million in funding from the three-ship Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000), and cuts $225 million in funding for the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) line, which USNI News understands was tied to FY 2016 funding for the first Flight III destroyer that has yet to be spent.
Thanks to Carl…cool video of Fitters doing their thing.

How Did a 30-Year-Old Jet Dodge the Pentagon's Latest Missile?
The AIM-9X Sidewinder failed to bring down an aging attack jet.
Jun 26, 2017
Item Number:1 Date: 06/29/2017 CHINA - DEFENSE MINISTRY DOWNPLAYS REPORTS ABOUT POSSIBLE CHINESE BASE IN PAKISTAN (JUN 29/REU)  REUTERS -- The Defense Ministry in Beijing says that reports of Chinese plans to build a military base in Pakistan are speculation, reports Reuters.   The Pentagon's latest annual report on China's military development, released earlier this month, noted that Pakistan was a possible location for a future Chinese military base.   On Thursday, a Defense Ministry spokesman was asked in Beijing at a monthly news briefing if China would set up a naval base in the Pakistani port of Gwadar. China has invested heavily in that port.   "Talk that China is building a military base in Pakistan is pure guesswork," the spokesman said, without elaborating
Item Number:2 Date: 06/29/2017 EUROPEAN UNION - SANCTIONS EXTENDED FOR 6 MORE MONTHS ON RUSSIA (JUN 29/CEU)  COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -- The Council of the European Union (CEU) has prolonged the E.U. economic sanctions on Russia for an additional six months.   The council, in this case made up of the foreign ministers of the 28 member states, unanimously extended the measures, which target specific sectors of the Russian economy, until Jan. 31, 2018, said a CEU release.   The CEU negotiates and adopts new E.U. legislation, adapts it as necessary and coordinates policies among the member states.   The heads of state and government of the member states endorsed the move last week and the council officially took action on June 28.   The CEU acted after an update from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements between Ukraine and Russia.   The E.U. initially imposed sanctions on Moscow on July 31, 2014, for one year in response to Russia's destabilizing activities in Ukraine. The package targets the financial, energy and defense sectors as well as dual-use goods, the council release said.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 06/29/2017 GERMANY - DISCOVERY OF WWII BOMB PROMPTS EVACUATION OF NEARBY PRISON IN REGENSBURG (JUN 29/DPA)  DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR -- Authorities have evacuated a prison in the southeastern German city of Regensburg because a World War II-era bomb has been found nearby, reports DPA.   The 225-kilogram (500-lb) aerial bomb was found during construction work Wednesday.   The ordnance will be disarmed Saturday, said police.   Local media says the 109 inmates and residents in the area will be taken to safer quarters. This is the fifth World War II bomb found at that particular building site, reported local media.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 06/29/2017 GERMANY - NEW ORDER, WORTH US$415 MILLION, COVERS 2,460 FUTURE SOLDIER SYSTEMS (JUN 29/RHEINAG)  RHEINMETALL AG -- The German Bundeswehr has awarded Rheinmetall a contract for advanced soldier systems to equip 68 infantry platoons, reports the German defense firm.   The 370 million euro (US$415 million) deal covers the supply of Future Soldier-Expanded System (IdZ-ES) equipment for delivery between 2018 and late 2020, said Rheinmetall in a Wednesday release.   The order covers enough systems for more than 2,460 soldiers.   The IdZ-ES includes systems that allow troops to detect, recognize and identify targets.   A battery-powered core computer, worn on the soldier's back, controls all of the devices and sensors carried and provides power supply management, access control and monitoring, the soldier information system for map and situation display, navigation, reporting, exchange of reconnaissance and target data, processing sensor data and operator interfaces, noted Rheinmetall officials.   All tactical information can be displayed on the control and display unit (BAG) or on the OLED helmet display.   The system has been in service in Afghanistan since 2013, noted Rheinmetall.  
 Item Number:5 Date: 06/29/2017 IRAQ - RUINS OF HISTORIC MOSQUE NOW IN GOVERNMENT'S HANDS (JUN 29/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Iraqi forces have confirmed that they regained control of the badly damaged Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, reports Newsweek.   The 850-year-old mosque was captured from Islamic State fighters Thursday, a ministry spokesman said on state media.   In 2014, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the terror group's caliphate in front of the mosque. ISIS fighters blew up part of the mosque a week ago when government forces began closing in.   Iraqi special operations forces entered the mosque's compound and surrounding streets after a dawn assault, said a military statement.   A special operations officer earlier warned that the site will have to be cleared of explosives planted by ISIS, noted France 24
Item Number:6 Date: 06/29/2017 ISRAEL - IDF STRIKES SYRIAN TARGETS AFTER 4TH SPILLOVER INCIDENT IN WEEK (JUN 29/HA)  HAARETZ -- The Israeli military said that it hit Syrian government targets in response to a mortar round that landed Wednesday in Israeli-held territory in the Golan Heights, reports Haaretz.   The mortar round that hit Wednesday on the Golan was the fourth such errant fire within the week.   The Israeli army declared an area near the border in Golan Heights a closed military zone on Tuesday.   The mortar shell from Syria on Wednesday landed in an open area of the Golan Heights, causing no injuries. It fell while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in nearby Katzrin at a ceremony, noted the Jerusalem Post.   The IDF said it "targeted the Syrian military position that fired the mortar" in the village of Samadanieh al Sharqiyah in Quneitra province.  
Item Number:7 Date: 06/29/2017 ISRAEL - MOSSAD LAUNCHES FUND TO INVEST IN NEWEST INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING TECHNOLOGY (JUN 29/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- Israeli's intelligence agency has announced that it is starting up a fund to gain access to the newest technology, reported the Times of Israel.   The Mossad's project was announced on June 27.   The investment fund is looking for start-ups involved in new intelligence-gathering techniques, reports Reuters. This includes robotics, miniaturization and encryption, said a government statement on Tuesday.   Other potential avenues include new automated methods of gleaning information from documents and increasing stealth, noted Reuters.   The fund, dubbed Libertad, will give grants of up to 2 million shekels (US$570,000) per project in exchange for non-exclusive rights to the technology. The developers would retain the rights to their product and sell it, according to a fund statement.   "Anyone" with an incorporated company can apply, suggesting that foreign companies could take part, said the statement.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 06/29/2017 ITALY - DURING MEETING IN ROME, NIGERIAN, ITALIAN OFFICIALS AGREE TO COOPERATE AGAINST PIRATES, TERRORISTS (JUN 29/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- The governments of Italy and Nigeria have agreed to formalize enhanced defense and military cooperation, reports the Vanguard (Lagos).   Nigerian Defense Minister Mansur Dan-Ali met on June 26 with his Italian counterpart, Roberta Pinnoti, in Rome to discuss the agreement.   The draft technical agreement, to be finalized in the near future, is expected to facilitate the exchange of information and experience on technical matters involving the preparation and conduct of naval counter-piracy and oil platform protection operations, said Dan-Ali.   The accord will also create a mechanism for joint counter-piracy and maritime security exercises in international waters and the territorial waters of Nigeria, the Nigerian defense minister said.   Dan-Ali also requested humanitarian assistance from Italy to help those in his country displaced by the conflict with the Boko Haram terrorist group
Item Number:9 Date: 06/29/2017 NATO - THOUSANDS OF ADDITIONAL TROOPS HEADING TO AFGHANISTAN, SAYS NATO HEAD (JUN 29/TN)  TOLONEWS -- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that the alliance will send more troops to Afghanistan to help train local forces fight against the Taliban, reports TOLO News (Afghanistan).   Fifteen nations within the alliance have pledged additional contributions to the Resolute Support train and advise mission, said Stoltenberg. He made his comments on June 29 ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.   "Our military authorities have requested a few thousand more troops for the Mission in Afghanistan and today, I can confirm that we will increase our presence in Afghanistan," he said.   NATO has 13,500 troops in Afghanistan currently -- about half from the United States. U.S. officials have been discussing sending 3,000-5,000 additional forces, noted the Washington Examiner.   The secretary-general said additional troops will support Afghanistan's special operations forces, develop its air force and train officers. NATO troops will not return to a combat role, he stressed
Item Number:10 Date: 06/29/2017 NIGERIA - NEW MILITANT GROUP PUTS OFF ATTACK ON OIL FACILITIES IN NIGER DELTA (JUN 29/NAIJ)  NAIJ -- A militant group in Nigeria's Niger Delta region that threatened attacks against oil facilities has changed its mind, reports Naij (Nigeria).   A previously unheard of group that calls itself the New Delta Avengers announced earlier this month it would fight for more proceeds from crude oil sales for the region, reported Reuters. The group seems to be named for the Niger Delta Avengers, which was active last year.   The group accused Gobv. Ifeanyi Okowa of failing to develop oil producing areas of the state and favoring the northwest.   On June 28, the New Delta Avengers said that it had cancelled its planned attack on June 30.   The decision was made to give a community leader a chance to achieve a peaceful resolution, said the group.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 06/29/2017 NORTH KOREA - PYONGYANG GETTING CLOSER TO BEING ABLE TO MAKE HYDROGEN BOMBS, SAYS U.S. EXPERT (JUN 29/YON)  YONHAP -- An American nuclear expert says that North Korea has the ability to produce tritium domestically, a basic element for producing hydrogen bombs, although he said there is no evidence that Pyongyang has tried to weaponize yet, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   "The evidence is quite clear that North Korea is able to produce tritium, which is necessary for a hydrogen bomb to create fusion. So you need tritium when you are going to have hydrogen bombs," Siegfried Hecker, a professor at Stanford University, told journalists in Seoul on Tuesday.   North Korea claimed it used a hydrogen bomb in its fourth nuclear test in January 2016. That has not been confirmed, and Western experts have been skeptical of the claims.   Hecker also said that the North is building at least one more tritium production facility at an old nuclear installation, citing commercial satellite photos.   It takes much more than tritium "to weaponize a hydrogen bomb," said Hecker. "I don't believe they can do that yet," he said, as quoted by the Daily Express (U.K
Item Number:12 Date: 06/29/2017 SOUTH KOREA - NAVY ORDERS 4 NEW PATROL BOATS TO OPERATE NEAR NORTHERN LIMIT LINE (JUN 29/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean navy has ordered four 200-ton high-speed patrol boats intended to upgrade capabilities along the maritime border with North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   On June 28, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that it had signed a US$223 million contract with Hanjin Heavy Industries for four Gumdoksuri-class boats. They are to be delivered in 2020.   The new boats will replace the aging 170-ton Chamsuri-class patrol boats that are now operating along the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, said the DAPA.   The latest version of the Gumdoksuri class is armed with 130-mm guided rockets, a 76-mm gun and the K-6 remote fire-control system.   The first boat of the Gumdoksuri-B design is scheduled to be delivered at the end of this year, with three more to follow by late 2019
  Item Number:13 Date: 06/29/2017 SYRIA - ASSISTED BY KURDISH PARTNERS, U.S. MARINES POUND ISIS TARGETS IN RAQQA WITH ARTILLERY (JUN 29/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- U.S. Marines have been providing around-the-clock artillery support for the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS in its de facto capital of Raqqa in eastern Syria, say fighters on the ground, as reported by the Military Times.   The support has become of increasing importance as Kurdish fighters from the SDF have hit heavy resistance as they approach the city center, say Kurdish combatants.   A monitoring group, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claims that U.S. artillery and airstrikes in the city has caused dozens of civilian casualties of late.   U.S. Central Command officials emphasize that the coalition has "strict targeting processes" to ensure that the platforms and munitions used "are most appropriate for the specific target and mission."   Commanders from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) call in airstrikes by relaying coordinates to U.S. special operators, who relay the target to the Marine artillery unit, said several Kurdish fighters.   The Marines are equipped with the M982 Excalibur precision-guided munition, which is fired from the 155-mm M777A2 lightweight howitzer. The Excalibur round allows the unit to reduce collateral damage while hitting targets at ranges of nearly 20 miles (32 km).   YPG commanders are equipped with Samsung tablets that have satellite imagery that can be used to coordinate strikes while also marking the location of friendly forces in the area, an unnamed source told the paper. The tablet can also display the feeds of overhead drones to assist in verifying targets for artillery strikes.  
Item Number:14 Date: 06/29/2017 SYRIA - WARNING AGAINST SYRIA APPARENTLY WORKED, SAY U.S. OFFICIALS; DAMASCUS CALLS IT JUSTIFICATION FOR U.S. ATTACK (JUN 29/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A U.S. warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad apparently stopped a potential chemical weapons attack by Damascus, say U.S. officials, as reported by the New York Times.   On Monday, the White House said that the U.S. had seen "potential preparations" for a chemical weapons attack by the Assad government. The Trump administration said Assad would "pay a heavy price" if he went through with an attack.   Intelligence indicated that preparations were underway at Syria's Shayrat airfield for a chemical strike, said officials. That is the same base from which the regime launched an attack in April. That attack used lethal chemicals that killed civilians, said U.S. officials.   Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday morning that it appeared that Assad had taken the warning "seriously." "They didn't do it," he said.   On Thursday, the Assad regime said the White House warning was just an excuse to justify another U.S. attack on Syria, noted Reuters
Item Number:15 Date: 06/29/2017 THAILAND - WASHINGTON GIVES NOD TO SALE OF 4 BLACK HAWK HELICOPTERS (JUN 29/BANGPOST)  BANGKOK POST -- The U.S. government has agreed to sell four Black Hawk helicopters to the Thai army, says a top Thai officer, as reported by the Bangkok Post.   The pending sale of the aircraft was canceled after Thailand's military coup in 2014, which prompted the U.S. to downgrade diplomatic and military ties.   The purchase will now proceed under the U.S. Dept. of Defense's Foreign Military Sales program, said Gen. Chalermchai Sitthisat. The deal requires the approval of the U.S. Congress, he said on Thursday.   The army already operates 12 Black Hawks, he noted.   Chalermchai did not say how much the helicopters would cost. The purchase will be covered by the 2017-2019 military budget, reported Reuters
  Item Number:16 Date: 06/29/2017 USA - HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY FROM MILITARY PERISCOPE (JUN 29/MP)  MILITARY PERISCOPE -- The editorial offices of Military Periscope will be closed for an Independence Day break as of June 30.   We will be back on duty on July 5.   Have a great holiday.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 06/29/2017 USA - ISIS TAKING ITS TERROR TO ASIA, SAYS PACOM CHIEF (JUN 29/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The head of U.S. Pacific Command says that Islamic State-linked militants returning to Asia from the Middle East are seeking to open new fronts, reports Fox News.   Militants may be losing battles in Iraq and Syria, but their supporters are still ready to fight, Adm. Harry Harris said on Wednesday in Brisbane, speaking before the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Harris identified the ongoing conflict in the southern Philippines as an example, noted the Wall Street Journal.   "Marawi is a wake-up call for every nation in the Indo-Asia Pacific," the admiral told the ASPI audience. "These terrorists are using combat tactics that we've seen in the Middle East to kill in the city of Marawi, in Mindanao, the first time ISIS-inspired forces have banded together to fight on this kind of scale."   Islamist militants, including several foreign fighters, attacked Marawi on May 23. The resulting fighting with the government's security forces caused more than 300,000 people fleeing the city.   The militants are also attempting to indoctrinate those that remain in Marawi, said Harris.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 06/29/2017 USA - SKIPPER OF PENNSYLVANIA BALLISTIC-MISSILE SUBMARINE LOSES JOB (JUN 29/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The blue crew commander of a U.S. Navy Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine has been relieved of duty after six months in the post, reports the Navy Times.   Cmdr. Steven Everhart was removed as commander of USS Pennsylvania (SSBN-735) on June 23 by Capt. Mark Schmall, the head of Submarine Squadron 17, due to a loss of confidence in Everhart's ability to command, said a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in an email to the paper on Monday.   An investigation launched about a month ago led to questions about Everhart's leadership. The spokesman did not provide any more information on the probe because it is ongoing.   Everhart took command of the blue crew for the Pennsylvania on Jan. 13. (Blue and gold crews alternate manning the boats to maximize the utilization of submarines
Item Number:19 Date: 06/29/2017 USA - SLIPPING RELIABILITY FOR F-35 HAS PENTAGON WORRIED (JUN 29/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- A new report from the Pentagon's testing office say operations and support costs for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will increase significantly without an improvement in reliability, reports Bloomberg News.   The aircraft and its parts are not as reliable as expected and it takes longer for repairs to be made, according to a presentation by the director of operational testing for defense officials and congressional aides.   About 20 percent of the jets must wait for spares in depots, because suppliers are unable to keep up with expanding production while also repairing returned parts, notes the assessment.   The availability of spare parts for the 203 F-35s in service "is getting worse, affecting fly rates" and pilot training, says the May 8 presentation obtained by Bloomberg.   Reliability metrics related to "critical failures have worsened over the last year" as improvement "has stagnated," says the assessment.   These trends will likely result in significant long-term life-cycle costs, hurting the planned budgets of the services, acknowledges the DoD's testing office
Item Number:20 Date: 06/29/2017 YEMEN - HEAVY FIGHTING CONTINUES IN MARIB PROVINCE; GOVERNMENT SHAKES UP MILITARY COMMAND (JUN 29/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least 20 people have been killed in recent fighting between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels in Marib province, reports Agence France-Presse, citing a military source.   Heavy fighting in Sarwah, the last district in Marib controlled by the Houthis, left six soldiers and 14 rebels dead, said the source on Thursday.   The government has been fighting to retake the district since last year. The area includes the main road to Houthi-held Sanaa, Yemen's capital.   Separately, the Yemeni government announced on June 28 a shake-up of its military command and named new governors for Hadramawt, Shabwa and Socotra.

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