Wednesday, June 26, 2019

TheList 5032

The List 5032 TGB

A bit of history and some tidbits..



Today in Naval History

June 26

1945 USS Bearss (DD 654), USS John Hood (DD 655), USS Jarvis (DD 799), and USS Porter (DD 800) sink three Japanese auxiliary submarine chasers and a guardboat and damage a fourth auxiliary submarine chaser south of Okekotan, Kurils.

1945 USS Parche (SS 384) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks gunboat Kamitsu Maru and freighter Eikan Maru seven miles of Todo Saki, southern Honshu.

1950 After North Korean invaded South Korea, USS Mansfield (DD 728) and USS De Haven (DD 727) evacuates 700 Americans and friendly foreign nationals from Inchon, Korea.

1962 U.S. Naval Facility, Cape Hatteras, N.C., makes the first Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) detection of a Soviet diesel submarine.

Thanks to CHINFO

Today in History June 26


Roman Emperor Julian dies, ending the Pagan Revival.


Peter the Hermit's crusaders force their way across Sava, Hungary.


The Seljuk Turkish army in Asia Minor is wiped out by the Mongols.


Former followers murder Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish Conqueror of Peru.


The French defeat an Austrian army at the Battle of Fleurus.


The Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.


Julia Gardiner and President John Tyler are married in New York City.


General Robert E. Lee attacks George McClellan's line at Mechanicsville during the Seven Days' campaign.


Jubal Early and his Confederate forces move into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.


The United States announces it will send troops to fight against the Boxer Rebellion in China.


Russia's nobility demands drastic measures be taken against revolutionaries.


Shah Muhammad Ali's forces squelch the reform elements of Parliament in Persia.


Russian General Aleksei Brusilov renews his offensive against the Germans.


General Pershing arrives in France with the American Expeditionary Force.


The Germans begin firing their huge 420 mm howitzer, "Big Bertha," at Paris.


A memorial to the first U.S. troops in France is unveiled at St. Nazaire.


After eight years of occupation, American troops leave the Dominican Republic.


The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter flies for the first time.


The U.N. Charter is signed by 50 nations in San Francisco, California.


The Soviet Union proposes a cease-fire in the Korean War.


A Kuwaiti vote opposes Iraq's annexation plans.


President John Kennedy announces "Ich bin ein Berliner" at the Berlin Wall.


The U.S. Justice Department issues a warrant for Daniel Ellsberg, accusing him of giving away the Pentagon Papers.


Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is convicted of election fraud.


Roy Campanella, legendary catcher for the Negro Leagues and the Los Angeles Dodgers, dies.


Thanks to Dennis. This story was in the list a couple of years ago but it is worth the repeat.

This is a great read

A REALLY SUSPENSEFUL read of about 20 minutes. Spare the time! You'll be glad you did. the "California Clipper" was the first commercial aircraft to circumnavigate the globe. The risks they had to take were unprecedented to avoid destruction by the Japanese after war was declared on Dec 5th. What started as a routine shuttle between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand (and back across the Pacific to S.F.) turned out to be a trip around the world to New York by returning home from the OPPOSITE DIRECTION to avoid Pacific hostile Jap fighters.


Written by John Bull, Writer and Historian - Aug 11, 2014

This Plane Accidentally Flew Around the World

After Pearl Harbor, the crew of Pan Am flight 18602 was forced to do the impossible


Thanks to Dutch

Great Aviation Quotes: Combat


From Pickett's Charge to Roosevelt's Rough Riders by W. Thomas Smith Jr.


This Week in American Military History

June 28, 1776: In what has been described as the "first decisive victory of American forces over the British Navy" during the American Revolution, the garrison at Fort Sullivan, S.C. (today Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island in Charleston harbor) under the command of militia Col. William Moultrie repulse Royal Navy forces under the command of Admiral Sir Peter Parker.

The 12-plus hour battle begins around 9 a.m. when Parker's ships open fire on the fort: many of the British shells sinking harmlessly into the soft palmetto logs of which the fort is constructed. The ships, on the other hand, (some of which run aground on the harbor's shoals) are constructed of oak, which Moultrie's artillerists quickly shatter sending deadly splinters into the unfortunate British crews.

Moultrie is destined to become a Maj. Gen. in the Continental Army and a S.C. governor. And S.C. will forever be known as "the Palmetto State."

(AUTHOR NOTE: My five-times great grandfather, Capt. Thomas Woodward – commanding a company of S.C. Rangers on Moultrie's extreme left – helps thwart an attempt by Royal Marines to land on the island.) June 28, 1778: The Battle of Monmouth, N.J. is fought between Gen. George Washington's Continental Army (including the legendary Molly Pitcher) and British forces under Gen. Sir Henry Clinton. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle is a strategic victory for the Americans who prove they can go toe-to-toe with the British Army in a large pitched battle.

July 1, 1898: U.S. Army Lt. Col. (future U.S. pres.) Theodore Roosevelt leads several of his "Rough Riders" – a crack regiment of U.S. cavalry troopers during the Spanish American War – in the famous charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba.

For his actions, Roosevelt will receive the Medal of Honor. A portion of his citation reads: "Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt, in total disregard for his personal safety, and accompanied by only four or five men, led a desperate and gallant charge up San Juan Hill, encouraging his troops to continue the assault through withering enemy fire over open countryside.

Facing the enemy's heavy fire, he displayed extraordinary bravery throughout the charge, and was the first to reach the enemy trenches, where he quickly killed one of the enemy with his pistol, allowing his men to continue the assault."

July 3, 1863: Day-three of the Battle of Gettysburg: Confederate Maj. Gen.

George Pickett leads his ill-fated division against Union Army forces under the command of Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock positioned on Cemetery Ridge.

Said to be "the highwater mark of the Confederacy," Pickett's charge will fail.

Gen. Robert E. Lee – commanding general of the Army of Northern Virginia – had ordered the charge. Lee's subordinate (corps) commander, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, had argued against such a charge. But following Lee's orders, Longstreet directed Pickett to attack.

Years later, Pickett will be asked why his attack failed. His reply: "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."

Nobel prize-winning author William Faulkner will write, "For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position… ."

July 4, 1776: The American colonies – already at war with Great Britain – declare their independence.

July 4, 1802: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point opens its doors.

July 4, 1863: The Confederate city of Vicksburg, Mississippi falls to Union Army forces under the command of Maj. Gen. (future U.S. pres.) Ulysses S. Grant. It will be decades before the city celebrates the 4th of July again.


thanks to Hal

In the year 1812, the French invaded Russia, and on almost this same date, June 22, 1941, Hitler unleashed the German Army on Russia. It was Operation Barbarossa and it was evident that Hitler did not know much of Russia's history. And the results were about the same.

It was a secret between dictators, Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler, that they looked at the map of Europe and decided which countries each would occupy. Hitler proceeded to invade and occupy most all of Western Europe and when he felt that it was under control, he broke the pact and turned his army Eastward on the Russians. Again the Russians took all the livestock with them as they retreated and burned the fields and barns and houses to the ground, leaving nothing for the Germans to forage.

When Napoleon invaded, Typhus became a Russian ally. Nearly one-third of his army died of Typhus which is transmitted by infected lice. An army in the field in those days lived under the filthiest conditions.

The German army surrounded Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and for a thousand days, nothing came in and nothing got out. It wasn't long before all the pets and zoo animals were eaten by the starving Russians, and they even scraped off the wallpaper paste which was wheat-based for food. As people died, others did not have the strength to bury them and they were stacked like cordwood in the winter.

America provided weaponry for the Russians, make that the Soviet Army, and they began to push the Germans back.

At war's end, Russia had lost twenty-seven million civilians and soldiers. The Russian army killed about four million Germans. Allied forces made the decision to allow the Russians to take Berlin. It was get even time. Ninety-two thousand German soldiers and eighty-one thousand Russian soldiers died in that battle. Berlin was reduced to rubble and twenty-two thousand German civilians died in the battle. Whatever German soldiers who were left alive and captured were sent to slave labor camps, the gulags, in Siberia. Some were repatriated in 1953. But most had died.

You might not know this, but at war's end, the Soviet army liberated the German stalags and took twenty-five thousand, six hundred American Prisoners of War to the labor camps In the Soviet Union. None ever came home. General Patton knew this and wanted to go after them. The assignment to kill General Patton was given to OSS Agent Douglas Bazata. But that's another story....


Napoleon's Grande Armee invades Russia

Following the rejection of his Continental System by Czar Alexander I, French Emperor Napoleon orders his Grande Armee, the largest European military force ever assembled to that date, into Russia. The enormous army, featuring some 500,000 soldiers and staff, included troops from all the European countries under the sway of the French Empire.

During the opening months of the invasion, Napoleon was forced to contend with a bitter Russian army in perpetual retreat. Refusing to engage Napoleon's superior army in a full-scale confrontation, the Russians under General Mikhail Kutuzov burned everything behind them as they retreated deeper and deeper into Russia. On September 7, the indecisive Battle of Borodino was fought, in which both sides suffered terrible losses. On September 14, Napoleon arrived in Moscow intending to find supplies but instead found almost the entire population evacuated, and the Russian army retreated again. Early the next morning, fires broke across the city, set by Russian patriots, and the Grande Armee's winter quarters were destroyed. After waiting a month for a surrender that never came, Napoleon, faced with the onset of the Russian winter, was forced to order his starving army out of Moscow.

During the disastrous retreat, Napoleon's army suffered continual harassment from a suddenly aggressive and merciless Russian army. Stalked by hunger and the deadly lances of the Cossacks, the decimated army reached the Berezina River late in November, but found their way blocked by the Russians. On November 27, Napoleon forced a way across at Studenka, and when the bulk of his army passed the river two days later, he was forced to burn his makeshift bridges behind him, stranding some 10,000 stragglers on the other side. From there, the retreat became a rout, and on December 8 Napoleon left what remained of his army to return to Paris. Six days later, the Grande Armee finally escaped Russia, having suffered a loss of more than 400,000 men during the disastrous invasion.



Berlin Airlift: When American power was unstoppable
65th anniversary marks saving of German city from Soviet strangulation

By Thomas V. DiBacco

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

West Berlin children at Tempelhof Airport watch fleets of U.S. airplanes
In this era of increasing diplomatic friction with Russia over Ukraine, it would be well to remember that April 30 marks the 65th anniversary of the first, and most unbelievable, successes of American and Western foreign policy marking the beginning of the Cold War.

That was the first sign on April 30, 1949, that the Soviet Union started to ease its Berlin blockade of Western power access to the city by permitting limited canal traffic. A formal agreement ending the blockade came on May 4. It had been a 328-day siege, coming to an end thanks to the massive airlifting of supplies to the beleaguered city.

After World War II, Germany was divided into four temporary zones occupied by the United States, Great Britain, France and Soviet Union. Berlin was located 100 miles inside the eastern-located Soviet zone, and it, too, was divided into four zones, but essentially two as a result of Western powers merging their boundaries, a situation that also mirrored the larger geographical zones. Postwar agreements looked forward to a unified Germany, and Western powers initiated, first in 1947, an economic-aid program named after Secretary of State George Marshall and second in 1948, currency reform that would stabilize Germany's almost worthless existing monetary system.

The Soviets balked at both notions. Recognizing that West Berlin could produce only about a quarter of its food needs and even less of its energy requirements, they began on June 24, 1948, to block all rail, road and canal access from the west. The goal, of course, was to gain total control of the city because the Western powers, it was thought, would give up under such total blockage — or risk war. That was unlikely, given that the latter had only 22,600 troops in their Berlin section. The Soviets in their zone, on the other hand, numbered 1.5 million soldiers. Worse, at the start of the Soviet blockade, West Berliners had only 36 days of food supplies and 45 days of coal.

Gen. Lucius D. Clay, head of the U.S. Occupation Zone, set forth both the dilemma and solution: "There is no practicability in maintaining our position in Berlin, and it must not be evaluated on that basis. We are convinced that our remaining in Berlin is essential to our prestige in Germany and in Europe. Whether for good or bad, it has become a symbol of the American intent."

Hence began the largest military-diplomatic relief effort in history, as impressive as the D-Day invasion in terms of its boldness and tenacity. Operation Vittles, as the airlift was dubbed by Americans, was meticulous in terms of its planning, calculations and results. Some 1,990 calories for each of the 2.2 million West Berliners were set as the minimum daily requirement, necessitating 1,534 tons per day in food and 3,475 tons of coal and gasoline for fuel and electricity. Although Soviet fighters boasted that they would challenge the airlift, the threat was hollow. Some 400 Western-supplied cargo planes — flying stacked above each other in a 20-mile wide air corridor — arrived every three minutes at first two, then three airfields in West Berlin. On Saturday, April 16, 1949, a day before the end of Lent, a record 1,398 planes landed in what was called the Easter Parade, averaging one every 61.8 seconds.

The daily food supplies varied from 640 tons of flour to 109 tons of meat and fish, from 19 tons of powdered milk to five tons of whole milk for children, the latter dubbing the planes "candy bombers" because of their always dependable supply of sweets.

And not only were supplies brought in, but manufactured goods made by West Berliners filled returning planes. Some 175,000 ill West Berliners, including young children, were also airlifted out during the period as a result of a severe winter. The total statistical accomplishments were breathtaking: From June 24, 1948, to May 12, 1949, when the Soviets capitulated and opened up all routes to the city, more than 278,000 flights had taken off, and 1,592,787 tons of supplies had been airlifted, equal to about 1,000 pounds per West Berliner. To make certain that sufficient surpluses were built up for West Berliners, air deliveries continued until Sept. 30, 1949. To be sure, there were losses during the airlift period. Seventeen American and eight British aircraft had crashed, with 70 resulting deaths. The pilots represented not only traditional occupation-zone powers, but also Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans.

As for Americans at home, the era of the airlift was no picnic. A railroad strike, demobilization problems, short supplies, and high prices made for public unrest. Still, a national poll on Sept. 15, 1948, indicated that 85 percent backed the airlift policy, with only 7 percent opposed and 8 percent undecided.

Thomas V. DiBacco is professor emeritus at American University.



A repeat but so what…….

One of my favorites from back in the day

Thanks to Ritch for this one. It does contain strong languages but for us that were in Vietnam flying it is a riot and a sign of the times when the press was not our friend and the ROE was a joke that got a lot of guys killed. I have heard many recordings over the years but this is the best.

What the Captain means is...

The classic 1966 interview with video. Contains "strong" language



A revisit to Cam Ranh Bay:




Thanks to Dutch. If you have never seen this be sure to read it. Well worth your time.

Viet Nam To/For Those Who Were There

Just me but I think the greatest disgrace of that fall day in November 1965 was that not one senior officer did the right thing – not one took a stand against Johnson – not one of them spoke out – no, everyone to a man held his silence, assuring their expected smooth, cushy road to their retirement. For that silence, the lives of some tens of thousands of American Fighting Men were squandered in SEA and some two million Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao and Montagnard men, women and children were slaughtered outright or during imprisonment while millions more were forced to flee as refugees from their own lands.

Yes, as Sparky says, the times of today are déjà vu all over again, what with our feckless president and his perfumed princes and princesses bumbling all about again squandering the lives of American Fighting Men and Women and fomenting havoc throughout Iraq, Syria and their environs, bring Iran into the nuclear weapon world and stabbing our best ally in the region, Israel, in the back - all for their own politik … yes politik is still stronger than American Blood … they have no shame…..

Thanks to Sparky -

As many of us are products of the time, the Viet Nam War era, I share this as another insight into how we came to this tragic involvement. To all the Viet Nam vets, thanks for your commitment and sacrifices despite the politics that seemingly neutered our ability to win outright. I salute and admire your service. And, without becoming political, it is Deja vu all over again…it would appear. Thanks for sharing Doug.


This is one of those rare insights to a critical turning point for America. This was the briefing to Lyndon Johnson that sealed the fate of more than 55,000 lives of American soldiers and wasted the vast treasure of the USA. The story is short and so compelling, you will not forget it.

Click here: The Day It Became The Longest War <>


Thanks to Dutch R. It might keep you from flying on an Airbus. I have always preferred the other guy.

Photos are at the hyperlink –

Thanks to Lurch -

Another "Sully" hero. I'm sure some of you know this guy.

The untold story of QF72: What happens when 'psycho' automation leaves pilots powerless?

The captain of the imperilled Qantas flight reveals his horrific experience of automation's dark side.

The untold story of QF72: What happens when 'psycho' automation leaves pilots powerless?

For the first time, the captain of the imperilled Qantas Flight 72 reveals his horrific experience of automation's dark side: when one computer "went psycho" and put more than 300 passengers at risk.

By Matt O'Sullivan

Updated12 May 2017 — 3:22pmfirst published at 1:30pm


Some news from around the world

United Nations—Security Council Approves Political Mission For Haiti Miami Herald | 06/26/2019 The U.N. Security Council has approved a political mission to Haiti to replace the current mission focused on justice, human-rights and police issues, reports the Miami Herald. On Tuesday, the council approved the measure with 13 positive votes and two abstentions -- China and the Dominican Republic. Under the plan, the U.N. Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) would immediately succeed the U.N. Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) following the end of its mandate on Oct. 15. The new mission would have an initial mandate of 12 months, similar to other U.N. missions, officials said. The special representative for BINUH would assist the Haitian government in planning elections; training Haitian police; reducing gang violence; monitoring human rights; improving prison oversight; and strengthening the justice sector, reported the U.N. News. Current U.N. involvement in Haiti began in 2004 with the ouster of the President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

USA—SpaceX Demonstrates Falcon Heavy For Air Force Space News | 06/26/2019 SpaceX has successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket carrying two dozen small satellites as part of a mission to demonstrate the rocket's capabilities for the U.S. Air Force, reports Space News.Early Tuesday morning, a Falcon Heavy rocket lifted 24 satellites, weighing a total of 8,160 pounds (3,700 kilos), into three separate orbits. Payloads on the mission included satellites from the Dept. of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA and the private sector.The launch was the Falcon Heavy's third successful mission and brought the rocket one step closer to certification by the Air Force to launch national security payloads. The Air Force also planned to use the launch to gain experience with reusable boosters.
Falcon Heavy previously launched a SpaceX demonstrator mission in February 2018 and placed a communication satellite for Arabsat into orbit in April.SpaceX claims the Falcon Heavy has the ability to lift twice the payload mass of the Delta IV Heavy, which is currently the largest rocket available for national security missions.

USA—Marines Plan Upgrades, Training Changes To Boost Mission-Capable Rate Of Osprey Tiltrotor Marine Corps Times | 06/26/2019 The Marine Corps is taking steps to address the low mission-capable rate of its MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, reports the Marine Corps Times.The Osprey currently has a mission-capable rate of around 60 percent, up from just above 50 percent during fiscal 2018, according to Marine officials. The issue has been attributed to personnel shortfalls, including a lack of experience, and a growing fleet.The service faces issues in future staffing as it continues to stand up new MV-22 squadrons, while maintaining only a single MV-22 initial training squadron, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) at New River, N.C.Marine officials say options are being considered to increase training capacity at the unit to produce more Osprey personnel.In addition, older Block B MV-22s will be brought up to the Block C standard to reduce airframe variants and standardize maintenance. Squadrons equipped with Block C aircraft already report 80 percent mission-capable rates.Block C features an upgraded weather radar, improved electronic warfare systems and enhanced cockpit displays. The service is also looking at improving the engine nacelle with a new wiring harness, which will make it easier to maintain.

Estonia—Order Placed For Spike Anti-Tank Missiles Globes Online | 06/26/2019 The Estonian government has signed a contract with EuroSpike for Spike anti-tank missiles, reports the Globes newspaper (Tel Aviv). Eurospike, jointly owned by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and German firms Rheinmetall and Diehl Defense, was formed to market the Israeli-developed missile in Europe. The 40 million euro (US$45 million) deal covers deliveries over seven years, with the first missiles to be handed over to the Estonian army at the start of 2020. The number of missiles to be procured can be increased based on Estonia's operational needs, sources said.

North Korea—Efforts Continue To Revive Talks With U.S. Cable News Network | 06/26/2019 The U.S. and North Korea are quietly talking in the hopes of holding a third summit to address Pyongyang's nuclear program, reports CNN. Responding to written questions, South Korean President Moon Jae In said on Wednesday that representatives from both countries have been discussing a third summit. The comments came after the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency denounced Washington's decision to extend sanctions against North Korea, reported Reuters. Talks between the two sides have not progressed publicly since a February summit in Vietnam ended without an expected deal. Reports earlier this week indicated that President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had exchanged letters without providing details.

Japan—Amid Bilateral Tensions, S. Korea Unlikely To Be Invited To Fleet Review Yonhap | 06/26/2019 Japan is not expected to invite South Korea to a planned fleet review in October, according to Japanese media cited by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) plan to invite Australia, China and the U.S. to the review but not South Korea, the Yomiuri Shimbunreported on Wednesday. A South Korean official said the decision was up to Japan. Japan holds such reviews every three to four years. The last was held in 2015. Ties between the two nations have been strained by historical grievances and lingering distrust following a December incident in which Japan says one of its maritime patrol aircraft was targeted by a South Korean destroyer. Seoul denies locking its fire-control radar onto the passing patrol plane. Japan did not attend multinational maritime drills held in South Korea last April. The review is scheduled for Oct. 14 in Sagami Bay, near Tokyo.

Taiwan—Carrier Passes Through Taiwan Strait On Way To Qingdao Central News Agency (Taiwan) | 06/26/2019 The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning has sailed through the Taiwan Strait on her way to her homeport of Qingdao following a deployment in the South China Sea, reports the semi-official Central News Agency (Taipei). On Tuesday, China's sole aircraft carrier passed through the 100-mile (180-km) wide body of water, said the Taiwanese Defense Ministry. The ship was monitored through its transit, the military said, as reported by the Taiwan News. The Liaoning was accompanied by the guided-missile destroyers Shijiazhuang and Xining; the Jiangkai II-class frigates Daqing and Rizhao; and the supply ship Hulun Lake, reported the South China Morning Post. On June 11, the Liaoning passed through the Miyako Strait on its way to the exercise. The Liaoning previously transited the strait in November 2017 and March 2018.

Cambodia—Beijing Hands Over Mine-Clearance Equipment China Military Online | 06/26/2019 The Chinese government has donated mine-clearance equipment and humanitarian aid to Cambodia, reports China Military Online.The gear was handed over on Monday in a ceremony in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.The total value of the equipment and aid was estimated at US$725,000.The equipment is part of ongoing assistance from China to support efforts by the international community to remove uncleared mines throughout Cambodia.Past support from China has included personnel training as well as mine-clearing equipment and materials.

Afghanistan—2 U.S. Troops Killed In Ambush In East New York Times | 06/26/2019 At least two U.S. troops have been killed in eastern Afghanistan, reports the New York Times. The servicemembers were killed on Wednesday during a military operation, according to a statement from the U.S.-led Resolute Support mission. A Taliban spokesman said that the troops were killed in an ambush by the militant group in Wardak province. Nine U.S. personnel have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year. Representatives from the Taliban and U.S. are scheduled to hold another round of talks on Saturday in Qatar. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Kabul that the administration hoped to reach a peace deal by Sept. 1, ahead of presidential elections set for Sept. 28, reported the Tolo News (Afghanistan).

Kazakhstan—Multinational Steppe Eagle Drills To Prepare Troops For Lebanon Mission Stars And Stripes | 06/26/2019 The U.S. Army is leading the multinational Steppe Eagle exercise in Kazakhstan, reports the Stars and Stripes. The peacekeeping drills began on June 20 at the Chilikemer Training Area near Almaty in southeastern Kazakhstan. U.S. and British troops have been leading Kazakh and Tajik personnel in training on responding to roadside bombs and searching for arms caches. Some American and British troops have also been participating in the drills, along with Kyrgyz medical personnel. Troops from the Kazakh army's peacekeeping battalion are preparing for an upcoming deployment to Lebanon. Prior to the exercise, a U.S. C-130 landed in Almaty, the first American military aircraft to arrive in the country in recent years. The training will also allow Kazakhstan to show off recent renovations to the training area as part of a bid to attract more international peacekeeping exercises.

Israel—Palestinian Officials Push Back On U.S. Peace Plan Reuters | 06/26/2019 Palestinian leaders have criticized the newly announced U.S. peace plan for the region, reports Reuters. At a news conference on Wednesday, senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi called the proposal "divorced from reality." Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza against the plan. The conference to discuss the plan began on Tuesday in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Formulated by President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, the roadmap calls for US$50 billion in investment in Palestinian areas and surrounding states, including the construction of a transportation corridor connecting the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It does not include a comprehensive political settlement, though further details may be revealed following Israeli elections in October. The investment-first approach has won the backing of U.S. regional partners, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Palestinian leaders have come out strongly against the plan, which they call "pointless" without a political solution to the decades-long conflict.

Israel—Defense Ministry Halts Work on Arms Exports Amid Labor Dispute Jerusalem Post | 06/26/2019 The Israeli Defense Ministry's workers committee has announced a stop to work that facilitates defense exports as part of an ongoing labor dispute, reports the Jerusalem Post.
The work-stoppage was announced after workers committees from the ministries of defense, finance and economy were unable to come to an agreement over a proposal from the finance and economy ministries to tax "representation fees."The defense ministry workers committee on Tuesday said that negotiations had not been held in "good faith" and halted work on defense export projects until the finance ministry was prepared to hold "genuine" talks.Representation fees are levied by the ministry of defense on entities registered to receive a defense marketing or export license and are used to fund working meetings with foreign officials. The fees support work by diplomats and ministry representatives in securing defense exports abroad.Israel exported US$7.5 billion worth of defense equipment in 2018, according to defense ministry figures.

Ethiopia—Suspected Coup Leader Killed By Security Forces in Amhara State Voice Of America News | 06/26/2019 The alleged leader of the failed coup attempt in Ethiopia on Saturday has been killed by security forces, reports the Voice of America News.Gen. Asamnew Tsige, the security chief for the Amhara region, was attempting to flee from security forces in Bahir Dar, the capital of Amhara state, when he was shot and killed.Experts believe Asamnew, a known Amhara nationalist, attempted the coup because he was going to lose his position after trying to form a militia.Asamnew was released from prison last year after being jailed in 2009 following a failed coup attempt.The Amhara state regional president, one of his advisers and the army chief of staff were killed on Saturday in separate attacks that were believed to be linked.

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