Thursday, August 15, 2019

TheList 5070

The List 5070 TGB

To All,

I hope that your week has started well.



Today in Naval History

August 13

1777 A spar torpedo made by David Bushnell is used unsuccessfully against HMS Cerberus, off New London, Conn. Bushnell and his brother, Ezra, also designed the first submersible vessel: Turtle. Two ships have been named after David Bushnell, USS Bushnell (AS 2), 1915-1940 (renamed Sumner), and USS Bushnell (AS 15), 1943-1980.

1812 During the War of 1812 and while returning to New York from Bermuda waters, the frigate, USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, engages the British brig HMS Alert in intense gunfire, broadsides the British brig and forcing her surrender.

1870 The armed tug, USS Palos, becomes the first Navy ship to transit the Suez Canal.

1945 USS Atule (SS 403) sinks Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.6 and damages Coast Defense Vessel No.16 off Hokkaido. Also on this date, USS Torsk (SS 423) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship, Kaiho Maru.

1952 While serving in combat with a 1st Marine Division Rifle Company during the Korean War, Hospitalman John E. Kilmer exhibits great heroism moving from one injured man to the next administering aid under intense enemy fire. While administering aid to a fallen Marine and using his own body as a shield, Kilmer is mortally wounded. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" at that time, he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

1994 USS Stout (DDG 55) is commissioned at Houston, Texas. The sixth Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is named for Rear Adm. Herald F. Stout for his actions as a commander of USS Claxton during World War II.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Today's top headlines include Chinese media says Hong Kong protesters are 'asking for self destruction' as the military assembles nearby and media continue to report on the 'Skyfall' nuclear explosion in Russia that killed at least seven.

• The Newport News Daily Press reports that Newport News shipbuilders and sailors have fixed problems with the propulsion plant on USS Gerald R. Ford.

• Seapower Magazine reported on VCNO Adm. Robert Burke's optimism that the F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighter community will reach its readiness goal of 80%.

• In the wake of several high-profile scandals involving nave SEAL team members, Special Operations Command head Gen. Richard Clarke has ordered a review of the culture and ethics of U.S. special operations forces, reports CNN.

Today in History August 13


Hernan Cortes captures the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, and sets it on fire.


Emperor Ferdinand II dismisses Albert Eusebius von Wallenstein, his most capable general.


War starts when the Spanish are expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.


The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria defeat the French Army at the Battle of Blenheim.


The Ottoman Empire declares war on Russia.


Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army under Thomas Crittenden at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


The first African-American nursing school opens at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.


The first coin-operated telephone is patented by William Gray.


The first issue of the Afro American newspaper is published in Baltimore, Maryland.


Manila, the capital of the Philippines, falls to the U.S. Army.


British nurse Florence Nightingale, famous for her care of British soldiers during the Crimean War, dies.


Adolf Hitler refuses to serve as Franz Von Papen's vice chancellor.


During the Berlin Airlift, the weather over Berlin becomes so stormy that American planes have their most difficult day landing supplies. They deem it 'Black Friday.'


Construction begins on Berlin Wall during the night.


A 17 year-old Buddhist monk burns himself to death in Saigon, South Vietnam.


Bomb attack in Beirut during Second Lebanese Civil War kills more than 150 people.


The wreckage of a plane that carried U.S. congressman Mickey Leland and others on a humanitarian mission is found on a mountain side in Ethiopia; there are no survivors.


US Court of Appeals rules Congress must save all emails.


Thanks to Hawk…An interesting read

Subject: New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court-Martialed
New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court-Martialed

2016 Manual for Courts-Martial. (U.S. Air Force/SrA Van Syoc)

9 Aug 2019 | By Gina Harkins

A new legal opinion from the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals says court-martialing military retirees is unconstitutional -- and the reason concerns the issue of retirement pay.

Chief Judge Navy Capt. James Crisfield delivered the opinion last week, joined by Senior Judges Navy Capt. Marcus Fulton and Marine Col. Jonathan Hitesman. The decision was made as a result of an appeal from retired Chief Petty Officer Stephen Begani, who was court-martialed after leaving the Navy on charges of attempted sexual abuse of a child.

Begani was picked up by Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents on Aug. 5, 2017, a little over a month after he left active duty and was transferred to the Fleet Reserve. He was arrested when he arrived at a residence at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, where he was employed as a contractor. Begani had been communicating with someone who he believed to be a 15-year-old girl, but who was actually an undercover NCIS agent.

He was sentenced to 18 months confinement and a bad-conduct discharge.

Begani was court-martialed because of a federal law that leaves some troops subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice long after they hang up the uniform. Marines and sailors who leave active duty after more than 20 years in uniform but less than 30 and who want to collect retiree pay move into the Fleet Reserve or Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

There they receive what is essentially retainer pay and can be summoned back to active duty without their consent in the event of war or a national emergency. After 30 years of active or inactive service, retirees are then transferred to the Regular Retired List and they're no longer subject to the UCMJ.

None of this is true for retired reservists, though, which is why Crisfield argued in his written opinion that treating one group of retirees different than another is unconstitutional.

"Congress has determined that some, but not all, military retirees should remain subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) while they are retired," Crisfield wrote. "... Accordingly, the sections of the UCMJ subjecting regular component retirees to UCMJ jurisdiction are unconstitutional."

Supreme Court: Retirees Can Be Court-Martialed for Crimes Committed After Service

Zachary Spilman, a lawyer who specializes in military justice and the lead contributor to the military justice blog CAAFlog, where he first wrote about the decision, called the opinion "a bombshell."

"This is a huge deal," he said. "A court-martial for a retiree is very rare, but the threat of a court-martial is very real."

As Spilman noted in his Tuesday blog post on the decision, Begani did not challenge jurisdiction at trial, but he did challenge it on appeal. Begani argued that being subjected to the UCMJ as a retired regular component member while retired Navy Reserve members are not "violated the Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause's guarantee of equal protection of the laws."

Navy Lt. Daniel Rosinski, who represented Begani, argued that there's no difference between a reservist retiree or one who left active duty. They're all out of uniform, none are subject to military duties on a day-to-day basis, and they can all be recalled to active duty, Rosinski said in his oral arguments. But a reserve retiree in Begani's case would have been tried as a civilian.

Since they're "similarly situated," Rosinski argued that active and Reserve military retirees should be treated no differently when it comes to UCMJ jurisdiction.

"There are good reasons to subject full-time active-duty personnel to military jurisdiction," Rosinski said. "They're performing military duties on a day-to-day basis and there's a compelling governmental interest in regulating their conduct.

"But there's not good reason to distinguish among those non-active-duty personnel -- active-duty retirees, retired reservists and selective reservists -- for purposes of court-martial jurisdiction," he added.

Spilman said that's where the judges' opinion -- which essentially agrees with Rosinski's point -- is flawed. The judges' opinion acknowledges that the retainer pay regular retirees like Begani receive come with the obligation that they'll "maintain readiness for active service in event of war or national emergency."

"That's hardly an insignificant obligation; maintaining readiness for active service -- while not a particular specific demand -- undoubtedly requires a person to remain ordered and disciplined, the maintenance of which is the very reason for a military justice system," Spilman wrote on Tuesday. "Furthermore, the federal courts have recognized that the Fleet Reserve was established for that specific purpose."

In a Thursday follow-up post, Spilman again reiterated that those like Begani who are in the Fleet Reserve or the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve receive retainer pay, which is different then retired pay, and that a member "must actually be in that status to get the money."

Spilman told on Thursday he believes there's "zero chance" the government will not ask the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider its decision.

The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld the Defense Department's authority to prosecute military retirees for crimes they commit when it opted not to hear the case of retired Marine Staff Sgt. Steven Larrabee, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a bartender.

The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals opinion could now affect other cases, Spilman said. That includes Larrabee's, who has taken his case to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law who represents Larrabee, has argued, like Rosinski that military retirees should not be subject to the UCMJ. He told in February when the Supreme Court declined to hear Larrabee's case that the idea that retirees could be pulled back into active duty was outdated.

"Increasingly, the function has been performed by reserves, not retirees," Vladeck said at the time.

Not everyone agreed, though. Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap, a professor at Duke University's law school, wrote in February that it's up to retirees who don't want to keep a relationship with the military to terminate their commission or request a discharge.

"As a retired service member subject to military jurisdiction, count me among those of my comrades-in-arms who believe it a small price to pay to maintain the connection with the armed forces," Dunlap wrote.


Thanks to Al

Monday Morning Humor--Lawyers

Q. What is the difference between a good lawyer and a great lawyer ?

A. A good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judge.

Submitted by Mike Ryan:

In a criminal justice system based on 12 individuals not smart enough to get out of jury duty, here is a jury to be proud of:

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement, the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to the following: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom."

He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened! Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made this up. However, you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that you have reasonable doubt as to whether anyone was killed, and I urge that you return a verdict of not guilty."

The jury then retired to deliberate. Yet a few minutes later, the jury returned and instead pronounced a verdict of guilty.

"But how?" inquired the lawyer afterwards to the jury foreperson. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door."

The jury foreperson replied, "Yes, we did look…but your client didn't!"

Submitted by Colleen Grosso:

A lawyer, who had a wife and 12 children needed to move because his rental agreement was terminated by the owner, who wanted to reoccupy home. But he was having a lot of difficulty finding a new house.

When he said, he had 12 children, no one would rent a home to him because they felt that the children would destroy the place. He couldn't say he had no children, because he couldn't lie (as we all know, lawyers cannot, and do not lie).

So, he sent his wife for a walk to the cemetery with 11 of their kids He took the remaining one with him to see rental homes with the real estate agent. He loved one of the homes, and the price was right.

The agent asked: "How many children do you have?"

He answered: "Twelve."

The agent asked, "Where are the others?"

The lawyer, with his best courtroom sad look, answered, "They're in the cemetery with their mother."

MORAL: It's not necessary to lie; one only has to choose the right words, and don't forget, most politicians are lawyers.

Submitted by Jim Ruliffson:

A terrorist enters a law firm and takes 30 lawyers hostage. He's threatening to let them go two at a time unless his demands are met.

A defense attorney was cross-examining a police officer during a felony trial. It went like this: "Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?"

"No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several blocks away."

"Officer, who provided this description?"

"The officer who responded to the scene. A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender."

"Do you trust your fellow officers?"

"Yes sir, with my life."

"With your life? Let me ask you this then officer -- do you have a locker room in the police station -- a room where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?"

"Yes sir, we do."

"And do you have a locker in that room?"

"Yes sir, I do."

"And do you have a lock on your locker?"

"Yes sir."

"Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those same officers?"

"You see sir, we share the building with a court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room."

With that, the courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.

A big-city lawyer went duck hunting in rural Nebraska. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence.

As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

The litigator responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I'm going into retrieve it."

The old farmer replied. "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and take everything you own."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we do things in Nebraska. We settle small disagreements like this with the Nebraska Three-Kick Rule."

The lawyer asked, "What is the Nebraska Three-Kick Rule?"

The farmer replied. "Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up."

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly wiped the man's nose off his face. The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer's third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, "Okay, you old coot now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck."

Have a great week,



Thanks to Carl

The Epstein Mystery

August 12, 2019

Paul Craig Robert

I appreciate my readers' confidence in me. However, I cannot clear up the Epstein matter for you. Perhaps I can help you to think about it in a careful way.

First of all, many jail "suicides" are murders. In 1995 Jesse Trentadue's brother, Kenneth, was mistakenly identified as the possible "missing man" who was thought to be involved in the Oklahoma City bombing and beaten to death in a federal prison by federal agents. The prison claimed Kenneth hung himself in his cell. The state coroner refused to confirm the suicide verdict and only much later after much pressure ceased his resistance to the coverup. The prison wanted to cremate the body rather than return the body to family for burial. But Jesse, a Salt Lake City attorney was suspicious. When the body was returned, it was covered in heavy makeup. Investigation revealed head lacerations, bruises and burns all over and other contusions that obviously were not self-inflicted and could not possibly have occurred from hanging. Apparently, Kenneth was tortured and beaten to death in an effort to get a confession. Jesse has been trying to get to get justice for the family for 24 years, but has been stonewalled by the US Department of Justice (sic).

It is not possible to commit suicide when a person is on suicide watch. Former inmates and prison guards and correctional personnel have stated with certainty that Epstein did not commit suicide by hanging himself.

The only questions before us are: Was Epstein murdered in order to protect members of the elite? Was Epstein switched out by the Deep State and a dead person of similar appearance left in his place?

Last week those who said that Epstein would not make it to trial because so many prominent people would be implicated were dismissed as "conspiracy theorists." This week we know the "conspiracy theorists" were right. Epstein did not make it to trial.

But we don't know that he is dead. This report on Intellihub might be a fabrication posted to attract readers.

Or it might be a false report put out by the deep state to distract attention from a suspicious suicide. James Jesus Angleton, head of CIA counter-intelligence, once told me that when the CIA pulls off something, it muddies the waters by placing different and conflicting stories in the media. The result, he said, is that there is too much to investigate, and people end up arguing with one another over which story is correct, and the facts of the event are never investigated. Today with the Internet all sorts of stories can be put into play in order to cover an event in confusion.

When you hear someone trying to discredit a view by calling it a "conspiracy theory," be suspicious. The CIA invented "conspiracy theory" in order to control the explanation of President John F. Kennedy's assassination by discrediting skeptics of the official explanation.

We won't know that Epstein is not alive and enjoying life with underage females in a CIA safe house until people who knew him well and are not endangered by investigation of his pedophile activities identify the body, and non-official, non-governmental experts identify the body via DNA. Even with these steps, we cannot know that investigators were not bribed or threatened.

Much will be done to add to the confusion and doubt. Already we have a delayed autopsy report, and involvement of a pathologist who supported the unbelievable single bullet explanation of President Kennedy's murder.

Contradictory information grows by the day. Now there are reports, allegedly from official sources, that Epstein was taken off suicide watch shortly before his "suicide." This report is necessary to support the verdict of suicide as suicide is not possible in a suicide-proof cell.

The odds are heavy against us ever being given a clear and convincing explanation. The only way you can know is to study the situation very carefully, consider the ever-changing story, and make up your own mind. Official explanations, such as President Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy's assassination, Martin Luther King's assassination, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, and 9/11, are never correct.

Epstein's trial would have discredited the American elite and simply was not permitted to happen. For the same reason, we will never know what really happened to Epstein.


Some news from around the world

USA—Marine Special Operator Identified As Most Recent Casualty In Iraq U.S. Department Of Defense | 08/13/2019 The Dept. of Defense has revealed the identity of a Marine Raider killed in Iraq. Gunnery Sgt. Scott Koppenhafer died on Aug. 10 after receiving small arms fire during a planned operation with an Iraqi unit in Ninewah province, reported the Marine Corps Times. Koppenhafer was deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Special Operations Command, at the time of his death. Koppenhafer enlisted in 2005 and spent the past 10 years as a Marine Raider. He deployed as a special operator four times and was awarded two Bronze stars and two Combat Action Ribbons. He was selected as Marine Special Operations Command's 2018 Critical Skills Operator of the Year. This is the second death by hostile action as part of Operation Inherent Resolve this year.

USA—After Speculation, Army Inks Deal For Iron Dome Defense News | 08/13/2019 The Army has signed a contract to purchase two Iron Dome air defense systems, reports Defense News. The service is still working to finalize details and delivery schedules, an Army official affiliated with the acquisition told the newspaper on Aug. 8. To fund the purchase, the Army will use money being moved around within its Indirect Fires Protection Capability (IFPC) to fill the gap in its cruise missile defense capability. Congress mandated the Army deploy two batteries by fiscal 2020. Research is ongoing to determine how the system could fit into more long-term air-defense solutions. The Iron Dome is a short-range air-defense system designed to intercept targets including artillery, mortars and rockets. It was developed by Raytheon and Israeli defense firm Rafael and partially is manufactured in the U.S.

USA—A-10 Attack Aircraft Enhancement Program Complete Air Force News Service | 08/13/2019 The Air Force has completed a program to install new wings on 173 A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft, reports the Air Force news service. Work was completed at Ogden Air Logistics Complex, Utah, in late July, the service reported on Monday. A total of 162 A-10s were rewinged by the 571st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ogden ALC. The other 11 aircraft were rewinged at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The $1.1 billion contract to build new wings for the aircraft was awarded to Boeing in 2007. The first new wings were installed in 2011. The new wings will enable aircraft operations for up to 10,000 flight hours without requiring a depot inspection and were fitted with a redesigned wire harness to facilitate easy removal of the wing.

Canada—Hercules Transports Inspected After U.S. Grounds Its Aircraft Over Cracks Ottawa Citizen | 08/13/2019 The Canadian air force is conducting inspections on several of its CC-130 transports after the U.S. Air Force grounded a quarter of its Hercules fleet last week, reports the Ottawa Citizen. A Department of National Defense spokeswoman announced the move on Aug. 8. The U.S. Air Force grounded 123 of its C-130H and C-130J aircraft for inspections after abnormal cracking was discovered in the lower center wing joint of two planes undergoing depot maintenance. The Canadian Air Force decided to conduct similar inspections on its oldest CC-130Hs, although no grounding appears to have been ordered. The Hercules fleet is continuing to operate normally in the meantime, according to a Dept. of National Defense spokesperson. The service's CC-130J Super Hercules are not undergoing inspections, as they are not part of the production run considered at risk of such cracking.

Ukraine—Work On T-64 Tanks Begins At 2nd Factory Ukrinform | 08/13/2019 A second Ukrainian factory has begun serial modernization of T-64 tanks, reports Ukrinform. Work on the tanks has begun at the Lviv Armor Vehicle factory, state firm Ukroboronprom said in an Aug. 12 statement. The modernization will enhance the tanks' digital radios and satellite navigation. A new targeting system with night vision and a dynamic defense system will also be installed, reported China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Kharkiv Armored Plant, which is also working to modernize the tanks, has completed work on about 150 vehicles, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

China—Military Deploys As Part Of Relief Effort Chinese Ministry of Defense | 08/13/2019 Over 21,000 troops and militia personnel have been deployed to respond to Typhoon Lekima in Zheijiang province, reports the Chinese Defense Ministry. The military evacuated about 33,000 people from affected areas of the eastern coastal province, the ministry said on Sunday. Troops repaired 153 miles (247 km) of road, cleared 2 miles (3.2 km) of river and transported 105 metric tons of supplies, it said. Typhoon Lekima struck Zhejiang province on Saturday and made a second landfall in the Shandong province on Sunday, reported the state-run Xinhua news agency. At least 45 people have been confirmed dead. The typhoon is the ninth to hit China this year.

Philippines—Child, Soldier, Paramilitary Killed In Suspected Militant Ambush Minda News | 08/13/2019 A child and two security personnel have been killed in a militant ambush in the southern Philippines, reports Minda News (Philippines). On Monday, gunmen opened fire on a soldier and a paramilitary riding on a motorbike near Talipao, Sulu province, said the Western Mindanao Command. Both of the security personnel were killed. Two sisters on the side of the road were hit by stray bullets, one of whom later died in the hospital. The other child remained in critical condition in the hospital as of Monday night. The attack was blamed on Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS. Separately, a soldier was wounded on Tuesday by an explosion in Patikul, Sulu, reported the Manila Bulletin. The soldier was securing a blast site when a second device hidden nearby detonated, said the Western Mindanao Command.

Philippines—Massive Police Raid Leads To 3 Deaths, Over 1,000 Arrests Manila Bulletin | 08/13/2019 Philippine police units conducted a massive raid in a suburb of the capital, Manila, reports the Manila Bulletin. Three individuals were killed in a gunfight with law enforcement personnel during the raid in Baseco, Port Area, on Sunday, said Manila police chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao. Up 1,000 suspects were arrested during the operation, dubbed Oplan Clean-up. The sting was ordered by Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso and led by the Manila Police District. Over 2,000 law enforcement personnel were involved in the effort, reported the Philippine Star. Police personnel divided the compound into 11 blocks, and then conducted search operations for drugs, loose firearms, drug suspects and wanted persons. According to police personnel, several firearms were seized, as well two grenades.

Burma—Belgian Firm Cuts Ties With Military Voice Of America News | 08/13/2019 A Belgian company has cut ties with the Burmese military, reports the Voice of America News. Newtec, a satellite communications firm, announced that it would no longer do business with Mytel, a Burmese mobile phone company owned in part by the military. The move came after a U.N. report called for firms to stop doing business with the Tatmadaw, the name for the Burmese military. "We will never knowingly sell to any organization or company linked to the Tatmadaw's campaign of violence," the company said in a statement provided to the news service, referencing crimes against the Muslim Rohingya minority. Mytel's public relations firm did not comment. On Aug. 5, the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar called on international firms to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on the Tatmadaw. The call was based on the military's continued involvement in alleged crimes against the Rohingya community. More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled the country since 2016, many citing violence by security forces as the reason for their departure.

Kyrgyzstan—Former President Charged With Murder, Coup Plot Tass | 08/13/2019 Ex-Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has been charged with plotting a coup, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). State prosecutors announced the charges on Tuesday, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The former president used women and children as human shields during a standoff with security forces at his compound on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8, Opumbayev. Atambaev hoped that civilian casualties would work to his advantage in an ongoing power struggle with President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, he said. About 90 civilians and 80 members of the security forces were injured during the back-to-back attempts to arrest Atambaev on charges of corruption. The former president was also charged with the murder of a special operations soldier who was killed in the first attempt to take the compound. He has also been charged with attacking law enforcement, organizing mass unrest, hostage taking and corruption. Atambaev says the corruption charges, which initiated the standoff, stem from a disagreement with former ally Jeenbekov and are politically motivated.

Iraq—Explosion At Militia Warehouse Kills 1 Jerusalem Post | 08/13/2019 At least one person has been killed and 29 injured in an explosion at a militia weapons depot in Baghdad, reports the Jerusalem Post. The facility in the southern suburb of Abu Dshir was operated by a group affiliated with the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, reported Al Mayadeen (Beirut). Explosions were heard several miles away, with some shells hitting the Green Zone, where many embassies are located, reported Sky News Arabia. Most of the wounded were discharged with light wounds, a health ministry spokesman told Reuters. The cause of the blast was unclear. Al Ain (Abu Dhabi) reported that an unidentified aircraft struck the site, which had recent received a shipment of heavy weapons and missiles. Police sources told Reuters that the explosion was the result of poor storage practices and high temperatures. Israel was suspected in two attacks on Iran-backed militias in Iraq in July, Asharq Al Awsat (London) reported at the time.

Iraq—Foreign Minister Criticizes Israeli Participation In Maritime Security Mission Iraqi News | 08/13/2019 Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Hakkim has publicly opposed Israel's participation in a U.S. maritime security mission, reports the Iraqi News. Baghdad is opposed to Israeli participation in any maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf, Hakkim stated in a tweet on Saturday During a closed-door session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Aug. 6, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said that Israel was supporting U.S. efforts to secure the passage of ships in the Strait of Hormuz with intelligence and other unspecified means, the Times of Israel reported at the time. In the tweet, Hakkim said that the Gulf states were capable of securing the area on their own. The presence of a western maritime security coalition was increasing tensions and undermining Iraqi efforts to de-escalate the situation, al-Hakim said.

Saudi Arabia—Houthi Drones Again Attack Southwestern Airport Al Masirah | 08/13/2019 Houthi rebels in Yemen say they have launched another attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, reports the Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel. On Tuesday, multiple Houthi drones hit undisclosed targets at the Abha airport in Asir province, said a Houthi spokesman. The attack came two days after an attack on King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait, also in Asir province. Both used Qasef 2K drones, said the militants. The state-run Saudi Press Agency did not immediately comment on the attack.

Morocco—U.S. Increasingly Focused On Western Sahara Wall Street Journal | 08/13/2019 The White House is increasing its attention to the Western Sahara issue in southern Morocco, reports the Wall Street Journal. Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, has sought independence from Morocco ever since it was absorbed into the North African nation in the 1975. While Morocco has continued to receive support in opposing Western Saharan independence from the Trump administration, Rabat is concerned about National Security Advisor John Bolton's interest in the conflict. Bolton, who helped draft the 1991 U.N. ceasefire, has taken a personal interest in the issue, say sources close to him. The agreement proposed a referendum in the disputed region. The National Security Adviser now sees the issue as emblematic of U.N. failures, citing the lack of a vote after the 27-year peacekeeping mission, which has largely ended violence. As a result, Bolton has raised the possibility of vetoing the mission if progress is not made in talks with Polisario, which fights for the independent state. While Morocco had restarted talks that had been on hold since 2012, they were halted following unrest in Algeria that led to the resignation of president, and the decision of the U.N. special envoy on Western Sahara to step down from the post. Morocco has refused any solution that could result in an independent Western Sahara.

Nigeria—Officer Arrested Over Killing Of Three Police Officers Vanguard | 08/13/2019 Nigerian police have identified an army captain suspected of ordering the killing of three police officers, reports the Vanguard (Lagos). The status of the officer was unclear. Some reports suggested that the captain was arrested, while others said that he had been called in for questioning. On Aug. 6, soldiers from the 93rd Battalion fired on a police bus transporting Hamisu Wadume, who was suspected of running a kidnapping and ransom network, reported the Premium Times (Nigeria). Three officers and a civilian were killed. Several others escaped. Police say that the army captain ordered his soldiers to kill the police because he was working for Wadume. The military maintains that the incident was the result of miscommunication. The incident has led to increased tensions between the army and police. On Aug. 11, the army issued an advisory for soldiers interacting with police.

Colombia—Commander, Soldiers Of Elite Anti-Kidnapping Unit Accused Of Hostage Taking Colombia Reports | 08/13/2019 Members of Colombia's specialized anti-kidnapping unit have been implicated in a series of crimes, according to a story cited by Colombia Reports. According to the Semana (Bogota), a man was kidnapped by three GAULA soldiers in southern Bogota on July 20. A car belonging to GAULA commander Lt. Col. Cesar Augusto Martinez was used in the crime. Three soldiers from the unit were also involved in the kidnapping. The lieutenant colonel is the nephew of Gen. Nicasio Martinez, the Colombian army chief. A military inspector who had previously investigated the lieutenant colonel told the magazine that he expected the army chief to interfere and stop the investigation into his nephew. The general had stymied previous investigations in a similar manner, said the inspector. Last month, Radio station Caracol reported that Gen. Martinez blocked investigations of top commanders of the 3rd Brigade. Six generals have resigned and two transferred to administrative posts since Gen. Martinez was appointed to the service's top post in December.

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