Monday, July 23, 2018

TheList 4773

The List 4773     TGB

To All,
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
This day in Naval History
July 23
1943—USS George E. Badger (DD 196) sinks German submarine (U 613), enroute to mine waters off Jacksonville, FL, south of the Azores.
1943—TBFs (VC 9) from USS Bogue (AVG 9) breaks up a rendezvous between German submarines (U 527) and (U 648) south of the Azores. U-527 sinks at while U-648 escapes.
1948—During the Arab-Israeli War, USS Putnum (DD 757) evacuates the U.N. team from Haifa, Israel and becomes first U.S. Navy ship to fly the U.N. flag.
1950—USS Boxer (CV 21) sets the record of crossing the Pacific, bringing aircraft, troops and supplies for the Korean War, arriving at Yokosuka, Japan. She carries a load of 145 (P 51) and six (L 5) Air Force aircraft, 19 Navy aircraft, 1,012 passengers and 2,000 tons of additional cargo, all urgently needed for operations in Korea. In making this delivery, Boxer breaks all existing records for a Pacific crossing, steaming from Alameda, CA, to Yokosuka in 8 days and 16 hours. On her return trip to the U.S. on July 27, she cuts the time down to seven days, ten hours and 36 minutes.
1994—USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) is launched at New Orleans, Louisiana. Operated by Military Sealift Command, Patuxent is the 15th ship in the Henry J. Kaiser-class of underway replenishment oilers. 
2017—After a two-year restoration at historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, America's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution is refloated. Since entering dry dock on May 18, 2015, ship restorers from the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, and teams of Constitution Sailors have worked to bring Old Ironsides back to her glory
Thanks  to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national headlines include coverage of President Trump's tweet to Iran, the wiretapping of Carter Page, a former presidential advisor, by the FBI, and further analysis of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. President Trump issued a warning to Iran early this morning on Twitter reports the Wall Street Journal, tweeting that Iran would face severe consequences if it ever threatens the U.S. Israel facilitated the evacuation of the 'White Helmet' rescue workers from Syria over the weekend reports the New York Times. Additionally, USNI News reports on the USS Harry S. Truman's return to Naval Station Norfolk after a three-month deployment.
History July 23

Sir George Calvert arrives in Newfoundland to develop his land grant.

King Charles of England hands over the American colony of Massachusetts to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, one of the founders of the Council of New England.

Wealthy, non-church members in Massachusetts are given the right to vote.

The French garrison at Mainz, Germany, falls to the Prussians.

Irish patriots throughout the country rebel against Union with Great Britain.

William A. Burt patents his "typographer," an early typewriter.

German rebels in Baden capitulate to the Prussians.

Bill Anderson and his Confederate Bushwhackers gut the railway station at Renick, Missouri.

William Booth founds the Salvation Army.

The 14th Amendment is ratified, granting citizenship to African Americans.

Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer at the age of 63.

Japanese troops take over the Korean imperial palace.

The Ford Motor Company sells its first automobile, the Model A.

Soviet troops take Lublin, Poland as the German army retreats.

The Geneva Conference on Laos forbids the United States to invade eastern Laos.

Two astronomers, Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bopp in Arizona, almost simultaneously discover a comet.
With thanks to THE Bear at
Rolling Thunder Remembered 2 March 1965 - Operation Rolling Thunder - 1 November 1968


Thanks to Dutch R.
Stopping stolen valor: Uncle Sam cracks down on bogus veterans charities
finally - 
Stopping stolen valor: Uncle Sam cracks down on bogus veterans charities
Operation Donate with Honor seeks to expose fraudulent fundraisers
By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times - Thursday, July 19, 2018
For many donors, Help the Vets sounded like a great cause: The group said contributions would benefit disabled veterans by helping pay for medical care, assist with suicide prevention, even fund family retreats.
As it turned out, however, Help the Vets was a "sham charity" that primarily benefited its founder and president, Neil G. "Paul" Paulson, who raised $11 million over three years by misleading soft-hearted contributors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by federal and state authorities.
Fed up with charitable scams that exploit public sympathy for veterans, the Federal Trade Commission struck back Thursday by unveiling Operation Donate with Honor, a sweeping campaign aimed at exposing scammers who tug at donors' heartstrings with false promises of helping military personnel.
The public-relations effort was organized with the National Association of State Charity Officials and coordinated with law enforcement and charitable regulators in every state as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa.
"Americans are grateful for the sacrifices made by those who serve in the U.S. armed forces," said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a statement. "Sadly, some con artists prey on that gratitude, using lies and deception to line their own pockets. In the process, they harm not only well-meaning donors, but also the many legitimate charities that actually do great work on behalf of veterans and servicemembers."Separating real from fake charities has become a challenge as scam artists proliferate. In March, for example, four people were indicted in Indiana for allegedly raising and pocketing $125,000 for "Wounded Warrior" groups that had no connection to the well-known Wounded Warrior Project.
The FTC announced the consumer campaign along with legal actions against two organizations accused of soliciting donations under false pretenses: Help the Vets and Veterans for America.
Under a settlement agreement reached with the FTC and six states, Help the Vets will be banned from fundraising "for falsely promising donors their contributions would help wounded and disabled veterans."
Based in Florida, Help the Vets operated under at least five different fictitious names, including the American Disabled Veterans Foundation, Military Families of America, and Veterans Emergency Blood Bank, and falsely touted a "gold" rating from GuideStar.
"The varied business names also allowed fundraisers to solicit the same donor on multiple occasions for what appeared to be different charities," said the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando.
The promised "medical assistance" for "amputees and severely injured vets" turned out to be vouchers redeemable at one chiropractic clinic in Winter Garden, Florida.
Calls to the "24-7 suicide prevention hotline" went to Mr. Paulson's cell phone. As for the "family retreats," they consisted of timeshare vouchers for use chiefly in Mexico.
While thousands of vouchers were distributed from 2013-17, there was evidence that only two were redeemed. One of those was used by Help the Vets board president and veteran Sherwood Shoff.
What happened to the $11 million raised from 2014-16? While Help the Vets did donate some proceedings to the Red Cross and other legitimate charities, 95 percent of funds collected went to telemarketers, who took 85 to 90 percent of every dollar raised, as well as overhead expenses and Mr. Paulson.
"Help the Vets is not a legitimate charity," said the complaint. "It is dedicated neither to the public good nor to helping veterans. Rather, it has existed to benefit Paulson and the for-profit fundraisers he hired."
The settlement, which was filed the same day as the complaint and must still be approved by a judge, set up a $20 million judgment and banned Mr. Paulson and Help the Vets from seeking charitable contributions in Florida, California, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio and Oregon.
Mr. Paulson, who ran unsuccessfully for Orlando mayor in 2015, agreed under the settlement to pay $1.75 million, more than double what he received at Help the Vets, while the organization must turn over its remaining revenue, $72,000.
"It is reprehensible that anyone would prey on the good intentions of people trying to help our heroes and I will not let the immoral actions of a few bad actors taint the good work of our legitimate charities," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in a statement.
Doug Kilby, attorney for Help the Vets, said he was unable to comment on the ongoing legal matter.
"Because there is a lawsuit pending, we (as counsel for Help the Vets) are not able to comment on the matter," he said in an email.
In a separate complaint, the FTC charged Travis Peterson with soliciting donations on behalf of nine fake charities with names like Veterans of America, none of which was actually registered as a non-profit, even though they promised consumers that contributions were tax-deductible.
Mr. Peterson was accused of making millions of robocalls to convince contributors to donate items like cars and warcraft and then selling them for his own benefit.
"After Peterson receives the donated vehicles and watercraft, he typically sells them through online vehicle auction companies," said the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Utah. "In some instances, he sells donated vehicles for parts at a local junkyard."
Operation Donate with Honor released a video and ads listing nine legitimate-sounding veterans organizations followed with a warning: "They have all been sued for lying to donors."
"Don't depend on the name. Do your research. Then donate," says the ad.
Thanks to Dr. Rich and Dutch
Russia admits defeat on its 'stealth' F-35 killer by canceling mass production on the Su-57 fighter jet ...
I firmly believe this is more an admission that the plane just can't do what it was advertised to do - just as our F-35 is a terribly disappointing underperformer when looking at what was supposed to be the whole combat capability package - 
the Ruskies are smart to admit that an invincible all-seeing, all-doing aircraft just is a little much a stretch of our technological capabilities for the $$ - and look at all the $$ we've poured into the F-35 - how many other front-line combat aircraft might all that $$ have supported?  At what cost in readiness have we spent the fortune on F-35?

thanks to Doctor Rich 
Russia admits defeat on its 'stealth' F-35 killer by canceling mass production on the Su-57 fighter jet
Russia's Su-57 fighter jet. Only 12 have been ordered, and no more orders are coming. Dmitry Terekhov/Flickr
·        Russia announced earlier this month that the Su-57, its proposed entry into the world of fifth-generation stealth fighters, will not see mass production.
·        The jet had some promising capabilities in combat, but design and production difficulties made it a difficult project with limited export potential.
·        This move represents a failure for Russia to manage its huge defense budget and breadth of projects and to find buyers for its version of a jet meant to take on US stealth fighters.
Russia announced earlier this month that the Su-57, its proposed entry into the world of fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft, will not see mass production.
"The plane has proven to be very good, including in Syria, where it confirmed its performance and combat capabilities," Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Russian TV on July 2, as The Diplomat reports.
But despite Russia's non-stop praise for the plane and dubious claims about its abilities, Borisov ultimately said, "The Su-57 is considered to be one of the best aircrafts produced in the world. Consequently, it does not make sense to speed up work on mass-producing the fifth-generation aircraft.""
Justin Bronk, a combat aviation expert at the Royal United Services Institute, told Business Insider that Borisov's comments "could be charitably described as an unreasonably optimistic reason why they stopped production."
Basically, Borisov said the plane is so much better than everything out there, they don't need to build it, which Bronk finds unlikely.
Instead, Russia will stick to what it's good at with upgraded fourth generation aircraft in service instead of the Su-57, which originally was meant to replace the older fighters.
The Su-57, a plane meant to function as a killer of US F-35 and F-22 stealth jets with an innovative array of radars, saw a brief period of combat over Syria, but the deployment only lasted days and didn't pit the jet against any threats befitting a world class fighter.
Initially proposed as a joint project with India, the Su-57 hit trouble when neither side could agree on how to split the production and technological development. After 11 years in the program, India withdrew, leaving Russia to go it alone with a weak economy.
Now, India has been discussed as a potential buyer of the F-35 in another blow to Russia's dream of developing its own fifth-gen fighter.
Su-57 was never really fifth-generation, and never really stealth
Russian Embassy via Twitter
A senior stealth scientist recently told Business Insider that though the jet claimed a stealthy profile, it had glaring and obvious flaws. A 2016 report from IHS Janes stated the jet was fifth generation "in name only."
But the Su-57 carries a massive payload, and was slated to one day carry nuclear weapons. Like the Su-35 before it, had super maneuverability beyond that of any US jet.
By all means, the Su-57 appeared a next-level dogfighting jet capable of taking out the US's best fighters in close combat, but its failure to integrate stealth meant that getting in close with an F-35 or F-22 seemed an unlikely bet.
Bronk said Russia must have looked at the program and realized that it didn't have the potential, even with upgrades and maturation, to ever work out to be worth the price. At around $40 million a unit, Russia's Su-57 is less than half the price of an F-35, but considerably more expensive than its other jets.
"Russia is more or less admitting defeat in building a feasible fifth-generation fighter," said Bronk.
For that price, according to Bronk, Russia can just put the fancy radars and missiles on its older planes in greater numbers, as the Su-57's airframe was never really stealth in the first place.
Russia is currently working on new tanks, submarines, and nuclear weapons, all of which tax its already large defense budget. With other projects going forward, it appears the Su-57 has become the first casualty of the budget crunch.
As the US's F-35 starts to come on line in significant numbers, and China's J-20 stealth jet deploys in earnest, it looks like Russia is getting left behind in the world of top-class militaries.
thanks to Shadow - 
Which is an indication to me… that the guys running their fighter/attack aircraft design programs have come to the conclusion that "Stealth" is an overrated concept and takes less money and research to defeat it, than the cost of trying to make it work! Think "Common Sense" is the correct definition of their conclusions. All the super mumbo/jumbo High-Tech crap thrown into the F-35 is nothing but perfume on a pig… we have sacrificed maneuverability, ordinance load, range, loiter time and maintainability... to the alter to "Stealth". My parents simple advice rings in my ears… "Just because you can do something… Doesn't mean you should". And is empirical proof that Eisenhower's warning of the Military/Industrial complex's ability to run amok... was sage advice indeed.
I remind everyone… if technology was the answer to overcoming sheer numbers… we'd all be speaking German today. Think about that. We are at such a disadvantage when it comes to numbers of aircraft and weapons systems vis a vis the Russian's and ChiCom's… it's scary.
Well-Run Business
From the net, courtesy of JC …
A Well-Run Business
Me:  I was doing an overnight at a hotel away from home. I took my computer down to the bar to do some data entries. 
I sat down at the bar and I asked the bartender, 'What's the Wi-Fi password?'
Bartender: 'You need to buy a drink first.'
Me:  'Okay, I'll have a beer.'
Bartender:  'We have Molson's Canadian on tap'
Me:  'Sure. How much is that?'
Bartender:  '$8.00.'
Me:  'Here you are.  OK now, what's the Wi-Fi password?'
Bartender: 'youneedtobuyadrinkfirst - No spaces and all lowercase.'
Thanks to Paul  and Bio….I read his book
Quest for perfect afterburner photo
h/t Bio 2010
Thanks to Richard
Subject: Fw: This man first broke the sound barrier — in secret
You may be interested to know that this was the same George Welch who flew one of the two P40 Tomahawks from the remote Haleiwa field which attacked and scored on the Japanese second wave at Pearl Harbor...
Interesting stuff here...the book will be released on July 24th

Subject: This man first broke the sound barrier — in secret
This man first broke the sound barrier — in secret
On Oct. 14, 1947, Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier — or so history tells us.
According to a new book, World War II hero and civilian test pilot George Welch most likely achieved that feat two weeks prior, and the proof lies with the women at local bar (and rumored brothel) the Happy Bottom Riding Club.
Before he headed into the clouds on Oct. 1, Welch reportedly told Happy Bottom hostess Millie Palmer to listen out for a shockwave that would roll through the club.
"And then he went out [into the sky] and pointed [his plane] at the club, knowing that if he could break Mach 1, that's where the sound would go," says Dan Hampton, author of "Chasing The Demon: A Secret History of the Quest for the Sound Barrier, and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered It" (William Morrow), out now.
In World War II, Welch earned a Medal of Honor and a Distinguished Service Cross flying for the US Army Air Force, which wouldn't become a stand-alone military branch until 1947. By then, he was a civilian test pilot for aircraft manufacturer North American Aviation.
Yeager, who also served in the war, held the same job, but for the Air Force. Both men worked in a tight-knit community centered around California's Edwards Air Force Base, where the Happy Bottom was their local bar — and possibly more.
Everyone at Edwards wanted to know who'd be the first to break the sound barrier. For the brand-new US Air Force, it was crucial that their test pilot, Yeager, be the one to smash it, to help the new military branch prove its worth.
On this point, the first secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington, left no ambiguity. "Symington put out a directive to North American Aviation saying that the sound barrier will be broken first by the US Air Force," says Hampton. "The subtext was, I don't care if you do it, but if you do and it gets publicized, you can say goodbye to these billion-dollar contracts."
Welch was testing a jet fighter called the XP-86 for North American, while Yeager flew a rocket-powered F-1 for the Air Force. Throughout September 1947, it became clear to all at Edwards that one of these men would soon break Mach 1, even though Welch was forbidden by his employer from doing so.
In fact, Welch could have broken the barrier anytime he wanted; he just couldn't record it, document it or discuss it publicly in any way. And this, says Hampton, is exactly what he believes happened.
Welch told club hostess Palmer to "be his data recorder . . . to listen for a 'sharp boom like a clap of thunder' and to write down the time and the reactions around her," writes Hampton.
On the morning of Oct. 1, 1947, Welch took the XP-86 up to 35,000 feet for what was supposed to be a standard test flight.
"Eyes darting around the cockpit, George let the airspeed jump to 320 knots then he rolled left, the stick hard against his leg and dropped the nose into a 40-degree dive," Hampton writes. "Leaning forward, he stared through the clear canopy and pointed directly at the only green area visible: [the] Happy Bottom Riding Club."
After landing, Welch called Palmer to find out what she heard.
"She told him that the sound was exactly how he described and it shook the walls," writes Hampton, who adds that many in the area reported the same.
"It comes from a lot of people," he says. "Windows were broken and other things that happen when the sound barrier has been exceeded. Everybody knew it had been done."
Thirteen days later, Yeager went into the record books.
Hampton, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who fought in Kosovo, Iraq and the first Gulf War, is still trying to definitively prove that Welch — who died in 1954 after crashing at 1.55 Mach speed — accomplished this feat. Meanwhile, he says that Yeager, who is still alive at 95, is dismissive of his claims.
"He wanted to be the one that did it, and he has always said, and he has a point — show me the evidence," Hampton says. "Well, I think he knows very well that there is no evidence, because if [there] was, it was destroyed long ago, so he feels pretty safe in saying stuff like that. He wants to be remembered, understandably so, as the guy that did this first, but I don't think he did it.
"I keep hoping somebody will read this book and say, 'My dad worked for North American and took some papers out of there 50 years ago, and here they are.' But it hasn't happened yet," adds Hampton.
"All I can do is present both sides and say look, based on what I know about these guys and the circumstances and the airplanes, there's no reason why George Welch wouldn't have done this."
Item Number:1 Date: 07/23/2018 AFGHANISTAN - AT LEAST 23 DIE IN SUICIDE ATTACK ON RECENTLY RETURNED MILITIA LEADER (JUL 23/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least 23 people have been killed and 107 wounded in a suicide bombing targeting a controversial militia leader in Kabul, reports Agence France-Presse.   The attack on Sunday targeted supporters of Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was returning from self-imposed exile in Turkey.   Guarded by government troops and loyal mercenaries, Dostum's convoy exited through the main exit of the Kabul International Airport, reported Tolo News (Kabul). The bomb detonated just as his convoy passed.   The suicide bomber was on foot outside the airport gates, said police officials cited by BBC News.   The Uzbek leader was traveling in an armored car and was uninjured in the attack.   The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility in a statement published through its affiliated Amaq news agency.   Dostum had been living in Turkey since May 2017, when he fled Afghanistan amid accusations that he ordered his followers to kidnap, rape and torture a political rival in northern Afghanistan.   The militia leader claims that he was in Turkey for a medical procedure.  
Item Number:2 Date: 07/23/2018 CHINA - LARGE UUVS UNDER DEVELOPMENT TO USE AI (JUL 23/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China is working on autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) that can exceed current capabilities at a lower cost, reports the South China Morning Post.   The submarines will employ artificial intelligence (AI) and are expected to enter service in the early 2020s.   Officials at the Shenyang Institute of Automation, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, confirmed the ongoing research on extra-large unmanned underwater vehicles (XLUUV) earlier this month.   The XLUUVs will use the same docks as manned submarines and have a large, reconfigurable cargo bay capable of holding large payloads, including various weapons and sensor systems.   As part of a plan to augment traditional naval capabilities with AI, the craft will be capable of reconnaissance, mine placement and even suicide attacks, according to scientists working on the project.   Attack decisions will still be made by human commanders.   The subs are likely to figure prominently in Chinese efforts to control the South China Sea and western Pacific Ocean, the researchers said.   Researchers are competing directly with similar prototypes under development in the U.S. and Russia
  Item Number:3 Date: 07/23/2018 INDIA - INDIGENOUS VIKRANT CARRIER SLATED FOR SEA TRIALS IN 2020 (JUL 23/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The Indian navy expects to launch sea trials of its first domestically built aircraft carrier by early 2020, reports the Press Trust of India.   The Vikrant aircraft carrier project was reviewed by Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra and senior defense officials at the Cochin Shipyard in Kerala state on July 19.   The shipyard is focusing on outfitting and testing activities as the program enters its final phase, officials said.   The Vikrant was launched in August 2013. The main propulsion plant, power generation equipment, deck machinery and auxiliary equipment have been integrated.   The fitting out of aviation equipment, navigation and communication equipment, weapons and sensors is progressing, including onboard testing, said the officials.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 07/23/2018 IRAQ - GUNMEN ATTACK REGIONAL GOVERNMENT BUILDING IN ERBIL (JUL 23/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- Kurdish security forces have killed three gunmen who attacked a government building in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, reports Rudaw (Erbil).   The attackers stormed the building in Erbil on Monday morning, taking at least two hostages before holing up on the building's top floor.   Security forces launched an operation to reclaim the building. By midday, all three gunmen were reportedly dead and security forces were sweeping the building to check for explosives and hidden fighters.   One of the hostages was injured in the fighting. The man, an employee at the building, later died of his wounds, reported Babylon FM (Erbil).   Four members of the security forces were wounded during efforts to retake the building.   Governor Nawzad Hadi called the incident a "terrorist attack." A deputy governor denied reports of a suicide bombing targeting the building, reported TRT World (Turkey).   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Initial reports suggested the attackers were members of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS
Item Number:6 Date: 07/23/2018 ISRAEL - DAVID'S SLING AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM SEES ITS 1ST TEST (JUL 23/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- Israel has used its David's Sling air defense system for the first time against tactical ballistic missiles fired from Syria, reports the Jerusalem Post.   On Monday, Israeli air defenses launched the interceptors in response to two SS-21 ballistic missiles launched from southeastern Syria, the military said.   Initial reports suggested the missiles would land in northern Israel, near the Sea of Galilee.   The first missile was ordered to self-destruct over the southern Golan Heights after the system determined one of the missiles would not hit Israeli territory.   It was unknown whether the second missile was intercepted by the David's Sling, the newspaper said.   The rockets crashed in Syrian territory and were part of the internal fighting there, said the Israeli military, as cited by Ynet News.   The Israeli Defense Forces are currently reviewing the incident to assess the performance of the new system.   The new air defense platform entered service in April 2017 and is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles
Item Number:7 Date: 07/23/2018 ISRAEL - NEW BARAK TANK OPTIMIZED FOR GUERRILLA WARFARE (JUL 23/HA)  HAARETZ -- The Israeli military has unveiled the latest variant of its Merkava Mk 4 main battle tank, reports Haaretz (Israel).   The Barak tank is the latest version of the Merkava tank series, which has traditionally focused on conventional warfare, reported Agence France-Presse.   The new vehicle is optimized for irregular conflict. The army believes adversaries in the region are unlikely to fight a full-scale war with Israel and have designed the Barak to defeat ambushes and localized attacks, officials said.   "The enemy won't necessarily be states and armies, but rather an enemy that uses people," said Brig. Gen. Guy Hasson, the head of the army's armored corps.   The tank will be equipped with a battle computer that will process data received from onboard sensors; provide soldiers a real-time picture of the situation; and propose a plan of action. The computer will also be able to identify enemy forces and automatically aim the tank gun.   Tank commanders will be outfitted with a specialized helmet that can access the tank's sensors to provide a full view of its surroundings.   The vehicle will be networked with other tanks as well as other ground forces and the air force.   The Barak is scheduled to be operational by 2020
  Item Number:9 Date: 07/23/2018 PAKISTAN - VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO TARGET CANDIDATES AHEAD OF ELECTIONS; 3 DIE IN SUICIDE BOMBING (JUL 23/PAKTODAY)  PAKISTAN TODAY -- At least three people have been killed in an attack targeting a Pakistani parliamentary candidate in northern Pakistan, reports Pakistan Today.   On Sunday, a suicide bomber hit the car of Ikramullah Gandapur as he returned to his home in Dera Ismail Khan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, reported Geo News (Pakistan).   Gandapur and one of his guards later succumbed to their wounds.   The former provincial agriculture minister was a member of opposition leader Imran Khan's Tahrike-e-Insaf party (PTI).   Gandapur's brother was also killed by a suicide bomber in October 2013.   In a statement, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.   "Ikram Gandapur was wanted for having been responsible for the killing of tens of Taliban members," said a TTP spokesperson quoted by Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Gandapur is one of hundreds of people who have been killed in attacks targeting candidates ahead of Pakistan's general elections on July 25
  Item Number:10 Date: 07/23/2018 SOMALIA - AL-SHABAAB CLAIMS 27 SOLDIERS KILLED IN ATTACK SOUTH OF KISMAYO (JUL 23/GAROWE)  GAROWE ONLINE -- Militants from the Al-Shabaab militant group have launched a major attack on an army base in southern Somalia, reports Garowe Online (Somalia).   At dawn on Monday, the attackers launched their operation with a truck bomb at the gate of the base in Saguni village, which is 31 miles (50 km) south of Kismayo.   The truck bomb was destroyed before reaching its target, said witnesses.   In a statement, Al-Shabaab claimed to have killed 27 government soldiers and wounded 30. Other witnesses said that three government troops and seven Al-Shabaab fighters were killed.   The group often inflates casualty counts.   The militant group claimed the battle was a rout, with soldiers fleeing into the jungle.   A Somali military officer in Kismayo told Reuters that the military was sending reinforcements to the area.   Al-Shabaab attacked the same base in June, injuring seven soldiers, noted Radio Shabelle (Somalia
  Item Number:14 Date: 07/23/2018 USA - BOEING RACKS UP CHINOOK HELICOPTER WORK (JUL 23/RW)  ROTOR & WING -- The Pentagon has awarded Boeing several contracts for its Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, reports Rotor & Wing International.   A $131 million contract awarded on July 11 covered four MH-47G Block II helicopters, with an estimated completion date of 2020. The deal launched production of the Block II helicopters for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Production is slated to run for around a decade, the magazine said.   A $264 million deal followed on July 18 for engineering support for MH-47 aircraft operated by SOCOM.   Finally, on July 19, the Dept. of Defense announced a $181 million contract with Boeing for six CH-47F Block I helicopters for the U.S. Army. The deal includes options for up to 150 aircraft for domestic or Foreign Military Sales customers. Work under that contract is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022
Item Number:16 Date: 07/23/2018 YEMEN - SUSPECTED U.S. DRONE STRIKE KILLS 3 MILITANTS (JUL 23/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- At least three suspected militants have been killed and one injured in what is believed to be a U.S. drone strike in central Yemen, reports Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.   The unnamed group was holding a meeting in the Rawda district, Marib province, when it was struck, a security officer told the news agency on Monday.   The identities of the suspected militants have not yet been released.   There has been no official statement from the U.S. on the operation.   U.S. strikes in Yemen typically target fighters from Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has thrived in the chaos of the ongoing war between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels.

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