Saturday, August 3, 2019

TheList 5060



The List 5060 TGB


To All,

I hope that your week has been going well

Regards,

Skip


Today in Naval History

August 1

1801 The schooner, USS Enterprise, commanded by Lt. Andrew Sterett, encounters the Barbary corsair, Tripoli, west of Malta. After a three-hour battle, USS Enterprise broadsides the vessel, forcing Tripolis surrender.



1849 - Pope Pius IX and King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies, briefly visit USS Constitution and marks the first time that a Roman Catholic pope steps foot on American territory.



1921 A high-altitude bombsight, mounted on a gyroscopically stabilized base was successfully tested at Torpedo Station, Yorktown, Va. This test was the first phase of Carl L. Nordens development of an effective high-altitude bombsight, which became known as the Norden Bombsight.

1944 PBY aircraft attacked Japanese convoy, sink ammunition ship, Seia Maru, in Taliaboe Bay, Soela Island. Also on this date, USS Puffer (SS 268) damages Japanese oiler, Sunosaki, northeast of Borneo.

1946 President Harry S. Truman approves legislation establishing the Office of Naval Research (ONR), charging ONR to "...plan, foster and encourage scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance as related to the maintenance of future naval power, and the preservation of national security..."

1952 During the Korean War, USS Carmick (DMS 33) is fired on by enemy shore guns in the vicinity of Songjin lighthouse. Returning fire, Carmicks battery fire silences the guns.

1961 Adm. George W. Anderson, Jr., takes office as the 16th Chief of Naval Operations, serving until Aug. 1, 1963. During Adm. Anderson's tenure as CNO, he oversaw the U.S. Navy's quarantine of Cuba, thus enabling the Kennedy administration to compel the Soviet Union to remove its nuclear weapons from the island.



Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Multiple national outlets reported that a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed Wednesday in Death Valley National Park.

• Coverage of Vice Adm. Michael Gilday's confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate included discussion of USS Gerald R. Ford, SEALs, technology and the tensions in the Gulf.

• National media outlets are reporting on Secretary Spencer revoking awards given to members of the prosecution team in the Gallagher case following a tweet by President Trump.

• According to U.S. officials, Osama bin Laden's son Hamza bin Laden, the presumptive heir to Al Qaeda leadership, has been killed, reports the New York Times.





This day in History



1464

Piero de Medici succeeds his father, Cosimo, as ruler of Florence.


1664

The Turkish army is defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.


1689

James II's siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ends in failure. James' force had suffered some 8,000 casualties to the defenders' 3,600.


1740

Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" is performed for the first time.


1759

British and Hanoverian armies defeat the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.


1791

Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, frees all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in U.S. history. An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship in Cuban waters raised basic questions about freedom and slavery in the United States.


1798

Admiral Horatio Nelson routs the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile at Aboukir Bay, Egypt.


1801

The American schooner Enterprise captures the Barbary cruiser Tripoli. Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship, the Constitution, twice came close to oblivion.


1834

Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.


1864

Union General Ulysses S. Grant gives general Philip H. Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces. After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Virginia, suddenly collapsed.


1872

The first long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. is completed. Designed for natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to Titusville, Pennsylvania.


1873

San Francisco's first cable cars begin running, operated by Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company.


1880

Sir Frederick Roberts frees the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from Afghan rebels.


1893

A machine for making shredded wheat breakfast cereal is patented.


1914

Germany declares war on Russia.


1937

The Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany becomes operational.The Nuremberg Trial would later bring high-ranking Nazis to justice.


1939

Synthetic vitamin K is produced for the first time.


1941

The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.


1942

Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.


1943

Over 177 B-24 Liberator bombers attack the oil fields in Ploesti, Romania, for a second time.


1944

The Polish underground begins an uprising against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches Warsaw.


1946

President Harry S Truman establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.


1950

Lead elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea from the United States.


1954

The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel.


1957

US and Canada create North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).


1960

Singer Chubby Checker releases "The Twist," creating a new dance craze. The song had been released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters the previous year but got little attention.


1964

Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.


1966

Charles Whitman, shooting from the Texas Tower at the University of Texas, kills 16 people and wounds 31 before being killed himself.


1988

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh begins his national radio show.


2004

In Asuncion, Paraguay, a fire in the Ycua Bolanos V supermarket complex kills nearly 400 people and injures 500.


2007

The I-35W bridge at Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
























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Now that was one tuff Dodge....



So you went out and spent $40k - 60k on a new 4-wheel drive truck and put big off-road tires on it so you could get to work out in the oilfields. You could have just bought a 1920's era Dodge!



As this video demonstrates, our roads have come a long way in 94 years. One must wonder if many of our 4 wheel drive and ATV's could do as well as this old Dodge sedan did.

This is amazing old footage! and it just keeps going......



CLICK ON:



Oilfield Dodge1920



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Thanks to Admiral Cox and his Team at Naval History and Heritage Command

75th Anniversary of World War II

Central Solomon Islands Campaign: Kula Gulf, Kolombangara, Vella Gulf, PT-109 and Battles with No Names (A Case Study in Slowness to Learn)

The United States and Allies began advancing in earnest up the Central Solomon Island chain in the late spring and early summer of 1943 toward the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul—located just to the northwest of Bougainville and the northern Solomon Islands—and the ultimate objective of the Solomon Islands Campaign. The operation to capture Munda airfield on the island of New Georgia provoked several pitched naval battles between the U.S. Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy—the battles of Kula Gulf, Kolombangara and Vella Gulf—and a near continuous stream of lesser battles with no names, one of which included the loss of PT-109, commanded by future President John F. Kennedy.

Despite the great losses on both sides during the Guadalcanal campaign—which the U.S. Navy could replace and the Japanese could not—during the battles in the Central Solomons in June through August 1943, the Japanese navy showed it was still full of fight, aggressive, highly competent, and still had some surprises for the U.S. Navy—such as new passive radar detection capability which turned the U.S. Navy's use of radar to the Japanese advantage at Kolombangara. Although the U.S. Navy had learned and incorporated numerous lessons from the previous battles in the Solomons—for example, new or refitted ships now had something approximating a combat information center (CIC) to integrate radar with communications and weapons control—it still failed to understand the magnitude of the threat posed by the Japanese Type 93 oxygen torpedo. The torpedo, which after the war was known as "Long Lance," cost the light cruiser USS Helena (CL-50), several destroyers, and caused severe damage to other cruisers and destroyers. The Japanese destroyers' ability to reload their torpedoes during a battle also came as a rude and costly shock. Both navies struggled with command and control of their forces during night battles. For example, U.S. PT-boats accidentally gave the coup de grace to Vice Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner's flagship, the USS McCawley (APA-4), which had been crippled by a daylight aerial torpedo attack, mistaking it for a Japanese transport. In turn, the Japanese were surprised by minefields laid by U.S. destroyers converted to fast minelayers. U.S. PT-boats waged frequent combat with Japanese troop-carrying barges, which although slow, were heavily armed and armored and proved to be very tough targets.

Neither side committed battleships or even heavy cruisers to the fight in the Central Solomons, except for one Japanese attempt by heavy cruisers that was broken up by air attack. The Japanese carriers remained far away, although their air groups, operating from land bases, were committed to the fight, and their planes mostly lost. The United States used the fleet carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Saratoga (CV-3), sparingly, as they were the only ones left until new Essex-class carriers started coming on-line very late in 1943. Through it all, near-constant battles for air supremacy were waged over the Central Solomons (inspiring future mediocre TV shows like Baa-Baa Black Sheep) and by this time the degradation of Japanese pilot skills was readily apparent. Although aircraft losses were heavy on both sides, they were much greater for the Japanese.

By August 1943, the United States was in possession of key locations in the Central Solomons, and had bypassed several Japanese-held islands (the beginnings of the "island-hopping" strategy) and preparing to advance to Bougainville in the Northern Solomons. The campaign both ashore and at sea had proved even more costly than expected, because the Japanese Navy just didn't know how to quit. For more on the Central Solomon Islands campaign, please see attachment H-020-2.Be sure to click on this URL to get the full story on these engagements.

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Thanks to Shadow

CUNEO'S LONGEST NIGHT



Billy...

You were a round engine guy... here's a little story from my Grunt days. Fast movers aren't always the best choice.

A little background to this... About 12 years ago... one of my Grunt Buds reached out to me. He was my first Company Commander. In an email he asked about one of our Lieutenants who was killed after he'd left to return to the States. He asked me because I was on the same patrol when we got ambushed and Hartley was killed... happened right in front of me. Well he distributed it to others and one night our phone rang and my wife answered and this voice says... "Mrs. Stafford, you don't know me... but on the longest night of my life... the voice I kept hearing was your husbands... is he there"? Dan (my former C.O.) had given him my phone number. His name was Don Cuneo. What he was referring to was what happened a couple of days after Hartley was killed. We'd moved back to Dong Ha from Cam Lo and left behind a small force to guard what remained of a 105 battery until the last guns could be removed. They also were in the process of breaking down the camp and only had one row of concertina wire left around the perimeter. They were due to join us in a couple of days. Well, the night in question, all hell broke loose. When my wife told me what Don's opening words were… I. Used it to describe that night. By the way, I recently shared a book with "The Bear" on Heime Aderholt who had a hand in creating "Spooky"… a book we should all read. I found his thoughts and philosophy mirrored my own…. Maybe "The Bear" will give us some comments on his thoughts about it.



Shadow


CUNEO'S LONGEST NIGHT

Before I start… I was wrong about Hartley's first name… It was Bill (I knew that)… I

just screwed up, but at least I suspected I was screwing up… That's why the disclaimer.

Two days after the ill-fated patrol… The 105 Battery at Cam Lo was being re-located. As

was normal, when we moved out of a place, everything was being broken down, waste

and debris buried… wire was being rolled up, etc. The 105 cannons were being helo

lifted out as I recall… some may, have been towed.

On the day in question… I believe there were only three 105's still there, after the last

lift. Alpha had removed much of the wire surrounding the perimeter and I believe in most

places there was only one strand of concertina in place. We had a section of 81MM

mortars out there with them. I think the mess tent was still up, but a lot of others were

pulled down in anticipation of moving the next day or so. Thank God the Command

bunker was still up and functioning.

As the sun went down, it had been a day like so many others… Much busy work, no

contact with the enemy. I'm sure the Company was still thinking about Hartley's and the

others deaths. It takes a while to get such a loss out of your system… You don't show it

overtly… or even talk about it much…. But the thoughts are still there.

As routine as the day had been…. This was to be a night… unlike any other.

I'm gonna use times, based on a thirty some year memory… I don't have any official logs

or any other data to go by… So don't harangue me if I'm off an hour or two.

I believe it was around 0130 or so, that I received the call that Cam Lo was being hit.

Looking to the southwest, we could see the flares from the mortars. In the distance we

could also hear the rattle of heavy automatic weapons fire and explosions…

Occasionally, we could see tracers ricocheting in the air… It was immediately obvious,

that this was not an ordinary probe and mortar attack… like we'd become used to.

I came up on the radio as Permission 6… this was to let everyone know that the Battalion

Commander was up on the net. I had rigged my PRC-25 with a speaker when in the rear,

so Westerman could hear what was going on as soon as I did.

In the bunker at Cam Lo was Don Cuneo and one other radio operator… There may have

been another… I'm not sure. For the life of me I've wracked my brain and can't

remember the other RO's name. I apologize to him for leaving him out.

Their initial reports were startling… The perimeter had been breached and the bad guys

were running all over the place.

What we able to glean… in bits and pieces (These guys were running the company net

too and were incredibly busy)… was that the attack had started as a mortar barrage. Then

sappers, under the cover of their own mortars, came into the wire to blow it up and

provide lanes of access. They concentrated on the automatic weapons and machine gun

positions. I can't remember what officer was in the bunker… if there was one… But

Cuneo and the other RO were up to their asses in alligators.

Things were getting worse by the minute and they asked for all the help we could give.

Westerman… to his credit… asked Regiment for permission to mount a relief column on

6X's right away. Regiment nixed the idea… fearing an ambush of such a relief in the

dark. As horrible as it sounds… Alpha would be on its' own.

I kept talking to them and trying to assure them that we were doing everything we

could… That we'd be coming as soon as possible. We then got word that our mortar guys

had burnt up 2 tubes already. They were practically vertical… as I remember… and they

would fire two rounds of HE, then one of illum… as fast as they could.

About 45 minutes after the attack started, we got the first good news. The Regimental

FAC discovered that an AC-47 Gunship, call sign "Spooky"… was operating not far from

Cam Lo and had requested he be moved over to support Alpha. He got approval and help

was on the way. I called Don and told him "Spooky" was on the way.

"Spooky" was an old military version of the DC-3… Some genius (I mean that in a good

way) had come up with the idea to mount several 7.62 mini-guns (A modern version of

the Gatling Gun) on one side of the plane and it would go into a low orbit around a point

on the ground and lay down a withering amount of fire. They also carried a prodigious

amount of flares. It was the one weapon… that was probably conceived for just such an

occasion.

No one… who has ever witnessed one of these aircraft in action at night… will ever

forget it… It was not just a visual feast… but the noise assaulted your senses as well…

As long red tendrils of flame (tracers) unbroken… reached out from the plane to the

ground below… seconds later you'd hear this deep… guttural… brrrrruup, brrrrruup…

brrrrrrrruuup… as thousands of rounds of 7.62 went through the Gatlings. The sight and

sound were of another world… it was like a hose of fire. And that sound…. It is like no

other I've ever heard. No wonder it would later become affectionately known by the

grunts as… "Puff… the Magic Dragon".

It was surely an ancient, fire-breathing dragon of mythical proportions… breathing hell

fire …on the enemy down below

This next part, once again, I'm relating something I got from a conversation over 35

years ago. So bear with me if I'm a little off.

If I recall correctly, Don Cuneo was the primary FAC radioman… He was used to talking

to aircraft. He and the other RO were juggling two different radio nets and trying to keep

up with what was going on around them. "Spooky" presented an additional problem…

They couldn't communicate with him from inside the bunker. Now I don't know whether

this was because their outside antenna was destroyed… or not hooked up… or that the

sand bags just interrupted their signal… Regardless one of them had to go out into the

maelstrom.

I keep thinking… in my mind… that they flipped to see who was going out (That may be

legend… but I also think I remember them using something like a C-Ration lid for a

coin). What ever… Don got the nod… Probably because he was the FAC RO. What

happened next would make a great action movie scene.

The bunker had the typical "L" shaped entry. Cuneo crawls out and sits with his back

against the bunker, radio and pistol between his legs, next to the entrance. He gets

"Spooky" on the radio and starts directing flares and suppression fire around the

perimeter… based on information being yelled back and forth from those inside the

bunker. Shit is flying everywhere… By this time, Alpha had been completely over-run.

In the middle of all this, Don is sitting there… when this NVA with an AK-47 comes

running around the bunker and stops… about two feet from Don, he's right next to him.

(I'm sure at this point… Don's heart probably went up into his throat) At the same instant

GySgt Weinbar comes running around the other side of the bunker with his M-14 about

15 feet from Don. (Weinbar was a real character, red headed with a handle bar mustache

at the time, very well liked by all) Evidently, neither Weinbar or the NVA had noticed

Cuneo sitting there… But they had seen each other…

Don was about to be witness to a modern version, of the shoot out at the OK Corral…

Weinbar reacts immediately and raises his M-14 and fires an entire magazine (20 rounds)

at the NVA, who was standing next to Don. The NVA almost simultaneously, fires his 30

round magazine… at Weinbar… Both of them completely missed at point blank range…

In the twilight of the flares they're staring at each other in disbelief… When Cuneo

reaches out and shoots the NVA from about a foot away.

Weinbar nods, reloads and goes off looking for more infiltrators. I'm sure I've left out a

nuance or two… but again, I'm trying to re-construct a conversation from long ago. The

next morning I remember seeing one of the dead NVA near the bunker and he was

wrapped in TNT charges… I wondered if this was the guy Don shot, but I never asked

him. But if he was… I've often wondered if the whole belt would have gone off if Don

had hit the TNT.

The fight raged on until just before dawn, when the NVA finally withdrew… Because of

the valiant efforts of Don Cuneo, his fellow RO's and a whole host of Alpha's grunts…

who kept their heads and wits about them… when it appeared their world was coming to

an end… They prevailed in the end.

I hate body counts… But in this case it should be noted… When we arrived there just

after dawn… Over 87, enemy dead lay within Alpha's perimeter… Only God knows…

how many lay in the area around them… cut down by "Spooky". Three Marines died that

night, one of them possibly by our own folks because of the way he was dressed…

(Shorts and T-shirt with no helmet.) Two of the Marines were from the 105 battery… A

sapper had dropped a satchel charge into their foxhole.

In front of one of the machine guns laid 12 bodies, between the gun and the wire… less

than 10 feet away. Another group lay on the wire itself. There were other scenes similar

to this, all around the perimeter. This was in close, savage fighting.

Alpha requited themselves for Hartley's death two days before… against an

overwhelming force. One lone company of Marines… against a Regiment of NVA

Regulars. As far as I'm concerned… They were hero's all.

A short note about the NVA… Through documents we were able to prove this was part of

the same outfit, which had ambushed us two days before. One of the NVA dead was

carrying a wooden rifle… just a silhouette of the real thing. We were told this was in

punishment for having lost his real rifle… and that to make up for it… he had to

participate in the assault and capture a real weapon to replace the one he lost. There were

a lot of weapons captured here… far more than normal. Virtually all the weapons were

brand-new… some still had preservative on them.

Many of the sappers had blocks of TNT… each was wrapped in oil paper and tied with

bamboo in an intricate pattern… They could run along and pull one from their belt and it

armed the fuse as they pulled it away. They dropped them in foxholes and tents all over

the compound… One can conjure up visions of Jim Brown in the Dirty Dozen… running

along and dropping grenades in pipes. Except this time, it was the bad guys doing it.

I'd also like to comment about the mindset of those of us who were watching and

listening… from miles away… and helpless to do anything… other than to stay calm, reassure

and try to think of any and everything we could to help. It is an agonizing,

frustrating experience.

In reality, we did what little we could… But these men prevailed because they were

warriors… They had the mettle, the courage and the will to see it through. I have often

joked about the fact that on the longest night of Cuneo's life…. The voice he kept

hearing… was mine… I thank God it was not the last...

I'm still proud of you… Marine.

More later… Shadow



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Thanks to Dutch

Azar busts borders for affordable medicine

Policy challenges drug companies

BY TOM HOWELL JR. THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Trump administration opened the door Wednesday to allowing Americans to import drugs from Canada and other foreign markets, reversing longstanding U.S. policy as President Trump searches for ways to make good on his campaign promise to bring down prices.

Pharmaceutical companies were spooked. They feared a dent to their bottom line and warned of safety concerns.

But the government said consumers could see real savings and said the global market has improved enough to have confidence that products sold elsewhere are the same as what is available in the U.S.

"The landscape and the opportunities for safe linkage between drug supply chains has changed," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II said. "That is part of why, for the first time in HHS's history, we are open to importation."

He outlined two pathways for bringing in the drugs.

One proposed rule would allow states, drug wholesalers and pharmacists to seek federal approval of plans to import drugs from Canada that are safe versions of drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The second route, through draft guidance, would let companies bring in versions of drugs they sell abroad and use a special national code to offer U.S. consumers lower prices than what their current distribution contracts require.

It's a notable evolution for a Republican administration. For years, Republicans have looked askance at drug importation, citing safety concerns, and the powerful pharmaceutical lobby has kept the idea at bay.

"We can be convinced," Mr. Azar said. "We're saying here's the criteria, here's the road map."

The Department of Health and Human Services said it is committed to implementing the plan quickly and promises updates in the coming months.

The price of prescription drugs is a top concern for voters, so pressure had been mounting in state capitals to look abroad.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican and Trump ally, pushed for a state law on Canadian importation and nudged the White House to support the plan, which dovetails with the president's belief that U.S. consumers are being gouged by the prescription drug industry.

Stories of consumers paying 10 times more for insulin in the U.S. than what they get across the border in Canada have angered policymakers on both sides of the aisle.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, made a highly publicized trip this week from Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, to prove the point. He brought with him a dozen or so Americans who need insulin to treat diabetes.

Mr. Sanders held up a vial he said would have cost about $340 with a prescription in the U.S. but is sold over the counter for about $30 in Windsor, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Mr. Trump says other nations are "freeloading" on American consumers, whose higher costs ostensibly subsidize the industry's research and development of cures for diseases.

The president has floated plans to force prices under Medicare to levels on par with those of other developed nations.

Some of Mr. Trump's other ideas have run aground.

A federal judge blocked his push to force pharmaceutical companies to disclose list prices in TV ads, and he recently withdrew a plan to pass drug rebates directly to Medicare recipients, fearing it would increase the premiums for Medicare's prescription drug benefit program.

Mr. Azar said the administration will press on.

"We heard about the pain Americans are feeling at the pharmacy counter," he said. "We learned that this was impacting Americans' health, and we're taking action."

The FDA has experience with foreign inspections, and other industrialized nations don't have problems with drug safety, said Gerard Anderson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"The main challenge will be making sure that the suppliers are legitimate. How do you know the mail order company is safe?" he said.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main industry lobby that opposes the plan, focused on that issue, saying importation could jeopardize safety or exacerbate the opioid crisis.

"The administration's importation scheme is far too dangerous for American patients," PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl said. "There is no way to guarantee the safety of drugs that come into the country from outside the United States' gold-standard supply chain. Drugs coming through Canada could have originated from anywhere in the world and may not have undergone stringent review by the FDA."

Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said he welcomes importation but added that federal regulators must keep a close eye on incoming products.

"The key for me is whether this plan preserves the Food and Drug Administration's gold standard for safety and effectiveness," Mr. Alexander said. "Millions of Americans every day buy prescription drugs relying on the FDA's guarantee of quality."

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire Democrat, said the plan is a long time coming but the test will be whether consumers end up paying less.

"There is no reason why they should be paying more than our neighbors to the north for the same medications," she said. "This plan is a good initial step to help drive down costs. I hope that the administration will make it clear that savings from drug importation need to be passed along to patients, rather than pocketed by pharmacies and distributors."

Trump officials said their plan is structured to help a broad swath of patients. For instance, people who rely on biologics such as insulin cannot rely on demonstration projects from states or companies, though the administration says those drugs can flow through the second pathway, which allows companies to use special pricing codes.

Mr. Azar said he has spoken with Canada's health ministry to try to ease fears about the plan north of the border.

Canadian pharmacy and health care groups said they are worried that importation could sap their own supplies.

"While we recognize the priority that American governments have placed on reducing the costs of prescription medicines in the U.S.," they wrote on July 25, "we are concerned that the legal and policy frameworks that they have adopted may not address the root cause of their domestic concerns and will likely result in increased drug shortages in Canada."









Copyright (c) 2019 Washington Times , Edition 8/1/2019

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Some news from around the world

USA—Search For Pilot Ongoing After Super Hornet Goes Down Fresno Bee | 08/01/2019 A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet has crashed in eastern California, reports the Fresno Bee. The jet went down on Wednesday at the edge of Death Valley National Park, near China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, said Navy officials. Witnesses said the plane hit a canyon wall in the park, which is popular with tourists, reported the War Zone website. The pilot was assigned to the Strike Fighter Squadron 151 (VFA-151) based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., reported USNI News. Another jet flying with the Super Hornet was not in formation at the time of the mishap and was unaffected. At least seven people on the ground suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A search for the pilot is ongoing. Strike Fighter Wing Pacific did not indicate if the pilot ejected before the crash.



USA—Treasury Slaps Sanctions On Iranian Foreign Minister U.S. Treasury Dept. | 08/01/2019 The Treasury Dept. has imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. On Wednesday, the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) implemented the measures. The sanctions were pursuant to Executive Order 13876, which sanctioned Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on June 24. The order also authorizes measures against others associated with Khamenei. Zarif was sanctioned for acting on behalf of Khamenei, said a Treasury release. As a foreign minister, Zarif also oversaw activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which coordinates overseas operations. The move means that all of Zarif's assets in the U.S. will be frozen and U.S. entities forbidden from doing business with him. Zarif said the restrictions could have no effect, since he has no property or interests outside of Iran, reported BBC News. The Trump administration said it would grant travel visas to the top diplomat on a case-by-case basis, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the decision as "childish." Separately, National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the Washington would renew sanctions waivers that allow Russia, China and European countries to cooperate with Iran on civilian nuclear projects, reported the Guardian (U.K.).



USA—Son Of Bin Laden Dead, Say U.S. Officials Nbc News | 08/01/2019 U.S. officials say that the son and likely successor of Al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden is dead, reports NBC News. The officials did not indicate the details of Hamza bin Laden's death, including the time and location. The U.S. played a role in the operation that killed him, which occurred within the last two years, according to the New York Times. Hamza was believed to be groomed to succeed his father after the elder bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid in May 2011. The younger Al-Qaida leader was believed to by operating from somewhere along the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border. He first appeared in Al-Qaida propaganda in 2005. His last public statement was released by Al-Qaida in January 2018. The State Dept. offered a $1 million bounty for information on his whereabouts in February.



USA—Egypt, South Korea And Canada Cleared For Major Weapon Sales Defense News | 08/01/2019 The sale of approximately US$1.5 billion in weapons to Egypt, South Korea and Canada has been approved by the State Dept., reports Defense News. The sales must now be cleared by Congress and go through the final negotiating process between the purchasers and the equipment manufacturers. The largest proposed sale is to South Korea, which is seeking to obtain logistics support for its RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk high-altitude drones. The estimated value of the contract with Northrop Grumman is US$950 million. Egypt's purchase consists of technical support for its naval vessels, including former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, fast missile craft, coastal mine hunters and 23-meter and 28-meter fast patrol craft. VSE Corporation will be the prime contractor for the deal, which is estimated to be worth US$554 million. Canada is looking to acquire Link 16-enabled radios for use onboard its aircraft, including CF-18 fighters and CC-130J transports. The possible deal covers 152 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems-Joint Tactical Radio Systems for US$44 million from Viasat and Data Link Solutions.



USA—Egypt, South Korea And Canada Cleared For Major Weapon Sales Defense News | 08/01/2019 The sale of approximately US$1.5 billion in weapons to Egypt, South Korea and Canada has been approved by the State Dept., reports Defense News. The sales must now be cleared by Congress and go through the final negotiating process between the purchasers and the equipment manufacturers. The largest proposed sale is to South Korea, which is seeking to obtain logistics support for its RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk high-altitude drones. The estimated value of the contract with Northrop Grumman is US$950 million. Egypt's purchase consists of technical support for its naval vessels, including former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, fast missile craft, coastal mine hunters and 23-meter and 28-meter fast patrol craft. VSE Corporation will be the prime contractor for the deal, which is estimated to be worth US$554 million. Canada is looking to acquire Link 16-enabled radios for use onboard its aircraft, including CF-18 fighters and CC-130J transports. The possible deal covers 152 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems-Joint Tactical Radio Systems for US$44 million from Viasat and Data Link Solutions.



United Kingdom—5 Eyes Countries Seek Access To Encrypted Communications Guardian | 08/01/2019 The Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance has called for greater cooperation from tech firms, including granting law enforcement access to encrypted material, reports the Guardian (U.K.). Tech firms are deliberately designing their systems in a way that blocks access even in cases involving allegations of a serious crime, ministers from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand said in a statement following two days of talks in London. Encrypted data hinder spying, which Western governments say can complicate investigations and prosecution of those involved in child sex abuse or terrorism. Firms should design in an ability to provide law-enforcement with usable, readable data sets when such information is appropriately and legally requested, the statement said, as quoted by Reuters. Tech firms maintain that inserting such "backdoors" into their systems would weaken their security, leaving them at greater risk for attacks by malicious cyber actors.



United Kingdom—Final Tide-Class Tanker Delivered To Royal Fleet Auxiliary Royal Navy Press Release | 08/01/2019 The fourth and final Tide-class tanker has entered service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, reports the British Royal Navy. The Tideforce was welcomed into the fleet during a dedication ceremony on Monday in Dorset. Over the last 13 months, the tanker has been fitted out with military equipment, including IT systems and defensive weaponry. The Tideforce joins the Tidespring, Tiderace and Tidesurge in active service. The support vessels were acquired to support the navy's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. Each tanker can deliver 53,000 cubic feet (1,500 cubic m) of fuel an hour, equivalent to 400,000 gallons. The vessels are also expected to conduct shipping lane patrols and humanitarian-relief missions.



Germany—Government Hesitant To Join Maritime Security Mission In Strait Of Hormuz Deutsche Welle | 08/01/2019 The U.S. has formally asked Germany to take part in the European coalition being formed by the U.K. to protect shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, reports Deutsche Welle. On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin confirmed the request that Germany join France and the U.K. to help secure the strait and combat Iranian aggression. The request has been met with significant opposition in the German government and parliament. Berlin has concerns about President Trump's Iran policy and does not want to be potentially dragged into a shooting war, reported Defense News. "Taking part in the American strategy of maximum pressure is out of the question," said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. France, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have expressed interest in taking part in a European-led force proposed by the U.K. last week.



Russia—Upgraded Airborne Assault Vehicle Begins Trials Tass | 08/01/2019 A BMD-2M fitted with an upgraded combat module has started state trials, reports the semi-official Tass news agency (Russia). The upgrade was developed by the Instrument Design Bureau (KPB) and is designated the Bereg combat module. The modernization includes a one-seat turret. It eliminates the commander's seat and sight while maintaining the same armament as the Berezhok combat module on the BMP-2 armored vehicle. The gunner is equipped with a sight with a stabilized field of view, automatic target tracker and two stabilizer calculators, according to a defense industry source. The defense ministry previously announced in 2018 that 600 BMD-2s would be upgraded with new weapons and digital reconnaissance and control systems while maintaining its airdrop capability. The modernization is slated to begin in 2021.



China—Personnel For Second S-400 Regiment Complete Training Tass | 08/01/2019 Approximately 100 military personnel from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) have completed a training course on the S-400 air defense system, reports Russia's Tass news agency. The training course for maintainers began in March and was completed in July, a military source said on Wednesday. China became the first export customer of the S-400 air and missile defense system in 2014 when it signed a contract with Russia for two regimental-size equipment sets. The first regiment was delivered in the spring of 2018. The second set is currently being prepared for delivery.



Taiwan—Chinese Warship Collides With Freighter, Flees Taiwan News | 08/01/2019 The Taiwanese Coast Guard Administration says a Chinese warship has collided with a Taiwanese freighter, reports the Taiwan News. An unidentified warship struck the bulk carrier Yutai No. 1 on Wednesday about 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Kinmen, a Taiwanese island just over a mile (2 km) off the coast of mainland China, reported the semi-official Central News Agency. Two coast guard ships were dispatched to respond. The hull of the freighter was damaged but there were no reports of injuries among the crew. After escorting the damaged ship back to port, the Taiwanese coast guard vessels were able to establish contact with the Chinese warship suspected of involvement in the incident. Darkness prevented visual identification. Chinese officers said their ship was damaged and needed to return to port in Xiamen. It refused a request to submit to an inspection. A source told the China Times (Taiwan) that the Chinese ship was one of two patrolling the area that night. They included a Kunlunshan-class (Type 071) amphibious transport dock that was commissioned late last year and an unidentified cruiser. The ship involved in the collision may have been the cruiser, said the source.



Japan—Flights Of F-35 Resume After Deadly Crash Kyodo News Agency | 08/01/2019 The Japanese Defense Ministry says it is lifting flight restrictions on it is F-35 jets, reports the Kyodo news agency (Tokyo). The F-35As are scheduled to return to the air on Thursday afternoon. The jets have been grounded since a fatal crash in April. New safety measures and additional inspections have been implemented to improve safety, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said on Thursday. Pilots have also received additional training, he said. Night training will not resume for the time being. Japan still plans on acquiring a total of 105 F-35s, said the minister. The decision to lift the grounding order came after the ministry received approval from the heads of local governments to resume flights. On April 9, an F-35A from Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan went down during a training flight. A preliminary report in June blamed the crash on spatial disorientation. A final report is due soon.



Japan—Trump Administration Seeks Fivefold Increase In Support For U.S. Troops Asahi Shimbun | 08/01/2019 U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has proposed that Japan significantly increase its funding for U.S. forces deployed to Japan, reports the Asahi Shimbun. Bolton put forward the fivefold increase during talks earlier this month with Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Shotaro Yachi, the head of the National Security Council secretariat. Bolton's offer is seen as a potential starting point for what are expected to be difficult negotiations over host-nation support. Negotiations for the next period beginning in fiscal 2021 are set to start in 2020. Japan already pays a relatively high portion of the costs of stationing U.S. forces in the country. A 2004 U.S. Dept. of Defense report indicated that Japan covered approximately 74.5 percent of the costs. The current subsidization agreement runs from fiscal 2016 to fiscal 2020. Under the agreement Japan will pay a total of US$8.7 billion. Despite the relatively high costs absorbed by Japan, Trump has criticized Tokyo for taking advantage of the security alliance. Bolton made a similar proposal when he visited South Korea after his trip to Japan. The U.S. obtained an increase from US$812 million to US$878 million for 2019 and is looking for Seoul to boost its funding again in 2020.



Burma—Military Declines To Participate In Debate Over Amendments That Would Restrict Its Role In Politics Irrawaddy | 08/01/2019 Burmese lawmakers appointed by the military have withdrawn from a planned debate on proposed constitutional amendments that would reduce the military's role in government, reports the Irrawaddy (Burma). On Tuesday, the Parliament began a series of debates on proposed constitutional amendments, including some that would reduce the military's role in politics, reported Reuters. Of the 121 lawmakers registered for the debate, 78 were military appointees and 27 were from the proxy United Solidarity and Development Party. The ruling National League for Democracy nominated five, with various smaller parties making up the rest. A multiparty committee drew up more than 3,700 potential changes for debate, ranging from minor shifts to more radical modifications, including eliminating a clause that prevents the NLD leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from holding the presidency. The proposed changes also include gradually reducing the number of military representatives in Parliament over 15 years. The ban on presidential candidates having foreign spouses or children is seen as specifically targeting Suu Kyi, who had two children with her late British husband. The military holds an effective veto, since constitutional amendments require a 75 percent majority to pass and the military is guaranteed 25 percent of the seats in parliament.



Yemen—Dozens Killed In Attacks On Security Forces In Aden Al Jazeera | 08/01/2019 A pair of deadly attacks have killed dozens of security personnel in Aden, the largest city in southern Yemen and its temporary capital, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). On Thursday, Houthi rebels attacked a parade at Al Jalaa camp with a Qasef-2K drone and a medium-range ballistic missile, reported the Houthi-run Al Masirah television. Witnesses reported explosions behind the stand where the ceremony was taking place, reported Reuters. At least 32 people were killed and dozens injured in the attack, according to medical and security sources. Brig. Gen. Muneer al-Yafee of the Security Belt's First Support Brigade, an Emirati-backed force, was said to be among the dead. Other sources said as many as 40 died in the attack. A Houthi spokesman claimed the ceremony was in preparation for a new offensive. Meanwhile, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside of a police station in Aden's Omar Al Mokhtar neighborhood. A car, a bus and three motorcycles carrying explosives targeted the police station during morning roll call, senior police officials said. Ten people were killed and 16 injured, according to the Doctors Without Borders medical charity. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Separately, the rebels claimed to have struck a "military target" in Dammam, eastern Saudi Arabia, with a long-range ballistic missile. There were no immediate reports of casualties.



Sudan—Army Blames Local Security Forces For Deaths Of Student Protesters Reuters | 08/01/2019 The Sudanese army says local security forces were responsible for killing child protesters in Al Obeid earlier this week, reports Reuters. On Monday, forces responsible for guarding the Sudanese French Bank in the central city opened fire on the demonstration, Lt. Gen. Jamal Aldin Omar Ibrahim said on Thursday, as reported by the state-run SUNA news agency. The guards were part of government security forces. Six people, four of them students between the ages of 14 and 16, were killed in the attack. The students were demonstrating against the rising cost of fuel and bread shortages. Opposition groups led by the Sudanese Professionals' Association (SPA) have called for additional protests on Thursday. The deaths interrupted ongoing talks between the civilian opposition and ruling transitional military council, which has held power since the April 11 ouster of longtime leader Omar Bashir.



Rwanda—Border With DRC Closed After 2nd Ebola Death In Goma British Broadcasting Corp. | 08/01/2019 Rwanda has closed several border crossings with the Democratic Republic of Congo amid concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus in the Congolese city of Goma, reports BBC News. The decision announced on Thursday came a day after a second death linked to the virus was confirmed, reported Reuters. The border needed to be closed to prevent unnecessary crossings into the densely-populated city, said the mayor of the Rubavu district in western Rwanda. Congolese authorities criticized the decision, which runs counter to World Health Organization recommendations. Many people cross the border daily to work in the city of more than 2 million. People are expected to continue to travel into the DRC using unofficial crossings. More than 1,800 people have died and 2,700 have been infected since the outbreak began a year ago. Attacks on healthcare workers by militant groups have hindered relief efforts.


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