Thursday, December 19, 2019

TheList 5169



The List 5169 TGB


To All,

I hope that your week has started well.
 

December 17

Merry Christmas
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Today in Naval History

1812—The brig Argus, commanded by Arthur Sinclair, captures the American schooner Vancise during the War of 1812. The ship had abandoned by its crew and found derelict by another ship. A crew is placed on board and the ship is sent into the Chesapeake.


1846—During the Mexican-American War, the squadron under Commodore Matthew C. Perry captures Laguna de los Terminos without opposition. The squadron includes the side-wheeled steamer Mississippi, wooden steamer Vixen, schooner Bonito, and the shallow-draft vessel Petrel.


1863—The bark-rigged clipper ship Roebuck seizes blockade-runner British schooner Ringdove off Indian River, FL, with cargo including salt, coffee, tea, and whiskey.


1917—USS Remlik (SP 157) reportedly encounters an enemy submarine during a storm in the Bay of Biscay, but the weather prevents an engagement. While the ship is fighting the heavy seas that day, a depth charge breaks loose on her after deck and is secured by Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie, who receives the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.


1917—While underway off Point Loma, CA, USS F 1 collides with her sister submarine, USS F 3. With her hull torn open amidships, it rapidly sinks and loses 19 crewmen.


1942—USS Grouper (SS 214) sinks the Japanese army passenger cargo ship Bandoeng Maru about 15 miles northwest of Cape Henpan, Buka Island, Solomons and survives the counterattack by submarine chaser Ch 29.


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Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:


• The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group entered the Indian Ocean after spending 220 days in the Middle East as USS Harry S. Truman transited the Suez Canal on Dec. 13, reports USNI News.


• Multiple outlets covered funerals and memorials honoring victims of the NAS Pensacola shooting, while Military.com reports the Saudi Arabian officer who killed them passed a rigorous vetting process without raising alarm.


• USNI News also reports that USS Ross arrived in Constanta, Romania after being tailed by a Russian corvette in the Black Sea.

Today in History: December 17


1399 Tamerlane's Mongols destroy the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at Panipat.

1861 The Stonewall Brigade begins to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal.

1886 At a Christmas party, Sam Belle shoots his old enemy Frank West, but is fatally wounded himself.

1903 Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft.

1927 U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg suggests a worldwide pact renouncing war.

1938 Italy declares the 1935 pact with France invalid because ratifications had not been exchanged. France denies the argument.

1939 In the Battle of River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the British trap the German pocket battleship Graf Spee. German Captain Langsdorf sinks his ship believing that resistance is hopeless.
1943 U.S. forces invade Japanese-held New Britain Island in New Guinea.


1944 U.S. approves end to internment of Japanese Americans. U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that Japanese American "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes effective January 2, 1945.


1944 The German Army renews the attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the defending Americans during the Battle of the Bulge.


1948 The Smithsonian Institution accepts the Kitty Hawk - the Wright brothers' plane.

1950 The French government appoints Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny to command their troops in Vietnam.


1952 Yugoslavia breaks relations with the Vatican.


1965 Ending an election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos is declared president of the Philippines.

1981 Red Brigade terrorists kidnap Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking U.S. NATO officer in Italy.

1989 Fernando Color de Mello becomes Brazil's first democratically elected president in nearly 30 years.

1989 The Simpsons, television's longest-running animated series, makes its US debut.

1990 Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins Haiti's first free election.

2002 Congolese parties of the inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord in the Second Congo War, providing for transitional government and elections within two years.

2010 Mohamed Bouazizi immolates himself, the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring.

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1903

First airplane flies

Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.


Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and developed an interest in aviation after learning of the glider flights of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s. Unlike their older brothers, Orville and Wilbur did not attend college, but they possessed extraordinary technical ability and a sophisticated approach to solving problems in mechanical design. They built printing presses and in 1892 opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. Soon, they were building their own bicycles, and this experience, combined with profits from their various businesses, allowed them to pursue actively their dream of building the world's first airplane.


After exhaustively researching other engineers' efforts to build a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft, the Wright brothers wrote the U.S. Weather Bureau inquiring about a suitable place to conduct glider tests. They settled on Kitty Hawk, an isolated village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, which offered steady winds and sand dunes from which to glide and land softly. Their first glider, tested in 1900, performed poorly, but a new design, tested in 1901, was more successful. Later that year, they built a wind tunnel where they tested nearly 200 wings and airframes of different shapes and designs. The brothers' systematic experimentations paid off–they flew hundreds of successful flights in their 1902 glider at Kill Devils Hills near Kitty Hawk. Their biplane glider featured a steering system, based on a movable rudder, that solved the problem of controlled flight. They were now ready for powered flight.


In Dayton, they designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion engine with the assistance of machinist Charles Taylor and built a new aircraft to house it. They transported their aircraft in pieces to Kitty Hawk in the autumn of 1903, assembled it, made a few further tests, and on December 14 Orville made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged, and they spent three days repairing it. Then at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, in front of five witnesses, the aircraft ran down a monorail track and into the air, staying aloft for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet. The modern aviation age was born. Three more tests were made that day, with Wilbur and Orville alternately flying the airplane. Wilbur flew the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds.


During the next few years, the Wright brothers further developed their airplanes but kept a low profile about their successes in order to secure patents and contracts for their flying machines. By 1905, their aircraft could perform complex maneuvers and remain aloft for up to 39 minutes at a time. In 1908, they traveled to France and made their first public flights, arousing widespread public excitement. In 1909, the U.S. Army's Signal Corps purchased a specially constructed plane, and the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and market their aircraft. Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever in 1912; Orville lived until 1948.


The historic Wright brothers' aircraft of 1903 is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.


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Thanks to Art
Vietnam War bombing Missions.

Here's something that might be of interest to the collective. It's a map built using Esri's Story Maps depicting the Vietnam War bombing Missions.

I suggest you test the links first to see if it's easily accessible.

https://webapps-cdn.esri.com/CDN/page-templates/products/map-cookbook/vietnam.html

For the geeks in us that would like to know how the map was made, it's describe here at this link.

https://www.esri.com/en-us/maps-we-love/gallery/vietnam-bombing


Bombing Missions of the Vietnam War | Maps We Love - Esri


Bombing Missions of the Vietnam War is a digital online map chosen by Esri cartographers to be featured in Maps We Love. The map shows US bombings in the Vietnam War.


www.esri.com

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27 Surprising Uses for Salt

Salt has been an integral part of civilization dating back as far as 6050 B.C. Salt has been such an important element of life that it has been the subject of many stories, fables and folktales and is frequently referenced in fairy tales.

Read more >

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thanks to Donna and Dutch

THIS IS A GREAT EMAIL. HOPE YOU ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS I DID. THE AUTHOR IS NOT KNOWN.

IMAGINE THAT YOU HAD WON THE FOLLOWING *PRIZE* IN A CONTEST:

EACH MORNING YOUR BANK WOULD DEPOSIT $86,400 IN YOUR PRIVATE ACCOUNT FOR YOUR USE.

HOWEVER, THIS PRIZE HAS RULES. THE SET OF RULES:


1. EVERYTHING THAT YOU DIDN'T SPEND DURING EACH DAY WOULD BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU.


2. YOU MAY NOT SIMPLY TRANSFER MONEY INTO SOME OTHER ACCOUNT.


3. YOU MAY ONLY SPEND IT.


4. EACH MORNING UPON AWAKENING, THE BANK OPENS YOUR ACCOUNT WITH ANOTHER $86,400 FOR THAT DAY.


5. THE BANK CAN END THE GAME WITHOUT WARNING; AT ANY TIME, IT CAN SAY, GAME OVER!" IT CAN CLOSE THE ACCOUNT AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A NEW ONE.


WHAT WOULD YOU PERSONALLY DO?


YOU WOULD BUY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING YOU WANTED RIGHT? NOT ONLY FOR YOURSELF, BUT FOR ALL THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND CARE FOR. EVEN FOR PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW, BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T POSSIBLY SPEND IT ALL ON YOURSELF, RIGHT?


YOU WOULD TRY TO SPEND EVERY PENNY, AND USE IT ALL, BECAUSE YOU KNEW IT WOULD BE REPLENISHED IN THE MORNING, RIGHT?


ACTUALLY, THIS GAME IS REAL... SHOCKED ??? YES!


EACH OF US IS ALREADY A WINNER OF THIS *PRIZE*. WE JUST CAN'T SEEM TO SEE IT.


THE PRIZE IS *TIME*


1. EACH MORNING WE AWAKEN TO RECEIVE 86,400 SECONDS AS A GIFT OF LIFE.


2. AND WHEN WE GO TO SLEEP AT NIGHT, ANY REMAINING TIME IS NOT CREDITED TO US.


3. WHAT WE HAVEN'T USED UP THAT DAY IS FOREVER LOST.


4. YESTERDAY IS FOREVER GONE.


5. EACH MORNING THE ACCOUNT IS REFILLED, BUT THE BANK CAN DISSOLVE YOUR ACCOUNT AT ANY TIME WITHOUT WARNING...


SO, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR 86,400 SECONDS?


THOSE SECONDS ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN THE SAME AMOUNT IN DOLLARS. THINK ABOUT IT AND REMEMBER TO ENJOY EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE, BECAUSE TIME RACES BY SO MUCH QUICKER THAN YOU THINK.


SO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, BE HAPPY, LOVE DEEPLY AND ENJOY LIFE!


HERE'S WISHING YOU A WONDERFUL AND BEAUTIFUL DAY.


START SPENDING....


"DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT GROWING OLD...!" SOME PEOPLE DON'T GET THE PRIVILEGE!


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Thanks to THE Bear


Seeking Peace on Earth... We all have a role...
Gentlemen... for your consideration...

I have emailed President Trump with a request that he entertain a joint operation with Kim Jung-un and the North Koreans to recover the 5,000 American bodies at a known location near the POW prison where they perished more than 60 years ago. I have suggested that he make a deal that sets aside the Nuke negotiation for a few months to conduct this joint search and recovery operation... Details in the 2014 DPAA public news release attached... U.S. proposal to include the gift of a 30 day supply of food and medical supplies for the people of North Korea in the spirit of the season...


Respectfully request that you use your respective address groups to stir up "an email swarm" asking the President to "give a little to gain a lot"—the remains of thousands of heroes we left behind in return for a gift of food and medical supplies from the American people to the people of North Korea... Perhaps, this effort of mutually beneficial Christmas cooperation will lead to a reset of the stalled Nuke negotiations going into 2020....

'Tis the season to put the quest for peace before all others...

Please join me in "blitzing" the President with this initiative... thanks...

Merry Christmas to all ...

Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻


Here is an article I think President Trump will find interesting (and perhaps, motivating). https://www.dpaa.mil/Resources/Fact-Sheets/Article-View/Article/569604/major-remains-concentrations-in-north-korea/

http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/

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Thanks to Art
Pearl Harbor

I wish i had thought to send you this link on the Pearl Harbor anniversary.

it's another Esri story map about the infamous day.

http://storymaps.esri.com/stories/2016/pearl-harbor/index.html

An Infamous Day


On December 7th, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This story map recounts that fateful day.

storymaps.esri.com

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Thanks to Dutch….You do not have to join Facebook just select NOT NOW. Great clear Videos and some French F-8 video in the second video.

Thanks to JL


Great video from 57 years ago. You might have to go into Facebook to access link.

https://www.facebook.com/SimmerX2/videos/312883212933395/?t=3

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Thanks to Dick

Subject: Return to Makin Island

Makin Island


A true story about 19 Ma rines killed in the Gilbert Islands in 1942 (defending against the Japanese). They had to retreat, so they asked the islanders to please bury them so the Japs couldn't find them. Years later, they checked and found a man who had been a teenager then and remembered where they were buried. They sent a C130 and an honor guard over there and found all 19 had been buried with their helmets on, their rifles in their hands, in perfect condition. The islanders had really done a wonderful job. As they were loading the bodies, a voice from out of nowhere started singing The Marine Hymn"..........gave everyone goose bumps. Turns out, the voice was from a man who spoke no English but remembered a song the Marines taught him when they landed. Very touching. They got all 19 and their photos are at the end. This of course was WW II! IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THIS - BE SURE YOU'RE SITTING DOWN. THIS ONE OF THOSE GESTURES FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO WORDS.


Click on link below!


http://www.youtube.com/watch_ popup?v=C6f_FvZpm3g


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Daily News from Military Periscope for 17 December


USA—White House Preparing To Announce Withdrawal Of 4,000 Troops From Afghanistan Nbc News | 12/17/2019 The White House is set to announce the withdrawal of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, reports NBC News. Officials told CNN on Saturday that the move could come this week, but a firm timeline has not yet been established. The move would bring the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to between 8,000 and 9,000, said U.S. officials. President Trump first proposed such a move in August, Fox News reported at the time. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said last week that Gen. Scott Miller, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was confident that a troop reduction would not hurt counterterrorism efforts. The reduction would be implemented with troops being redeployed early and others who would not be replaced when rotated out. The announcement comes after Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad announced last week that renewed talks with the Taliban had taken a brief pause following an attack on a medical facility near Bagram air base.

USA—Esper Calls For Increasing Training Of Foreign Military Personnel Military Times | 12/17/2019 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper wants to boost the training of foreign military personnel, reports the Military Times. On Dec. 13, Esper told the Council on Foreign Relations that he wanted to increase foreign military training by 50 percent over the next five years. Esper described the training of foreign military personnel as a "critical long-term investment" that enhances military partnerships. The announcement came after the Dec. 6 shooting of three sailors at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Of the roughly 5,181 foreign military students in the U.S., about 852 are Saudi, officials told the newspaper. Operational training for Saudi students was suspended following the incident, the New York Times reported at the time. Defense officials told USNI News that the Pentagon is working to craft new standards for vetting foreign students. No new international students will come to the U.S. until the new procedures are in place.


USA—Navy Seeks Swiss F-5 Fighters For Use As Aggressor Aircraft Bloomberg News | 12/17/2019 The U.S. Navy plans to buy 22 used fighter jets from Switzerland for use as aggressor aircraft for training, reports Bloomberg News. On Sunday, a Navy spokesman said that a deal for the F-5 jets was expected once lawmakers approved the 2020 defense budget. President Trump's budget request includes $39.7 million for the acquisition. The air force has 53 F-5s, only 26 of which are currently operational, reported the Swiss Information Service. Switzerland received the jets in 1978 and has struggled to replace them. In 2014, voters rejected a ballot measure on the purchase of Saab Gripen fighter jets for US$3.2 billion. Switzerland is currently evaluating bids from four companies for its US$6 billion fighter replacement program.



Montenegro—Elbit Systems To Supply Remote Weapon Stations For New Armored Vehicles Elbit Systems | 12/17/2019 The Montenegrin government has signed an agreement with the Israeli Defense Ministry for remote-controlled weapon stations (RCWS), reports Elbit Systems, which builds the stations. The US$35 million contract was signed on Sunday in Tel Aviv, reported Xinhua, China's state-run news agency. The 12.7-mm RCWS will be installed on Montenegro's new Oshkosh 4 x 4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs). Under of the agreement, Elbit fully integrate the weapon stations aboard the JLTVs over three years and provide logistics support over seven years.

Turkey—Erdogan Threatens To Close Bases Hosting U.S. Troops Anadolu News Agency | 12/17/2019 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to close two Turkish bases hosting U.S. troops amid sustained tensions with the U.S., reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. On Sunday, Erdogan said that the Incirlik air base in the southern Adana province and Kurecik radar station in the eastern Malatya province could be closed "if necessary." Incirlik is believed to house U.S. nuclear warheads, noted Reuters. The airbase has been used to launched airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syria, noted Al Jazeera (Qatar). Washington has been critical of Turkey's decision to purchase S-400 (NATO: SA-21) air defense systems from Russia. Erdogan's comments come after the U.S. Senate passed a measure on Dec. 12 recognizing the 1915 killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey as a genocide. Erdogan criticized the measure, which he called "completely political." Turkey does not recognize the 1915 events as a genocide and maintains that there were killings by both sides.


Ireland—Order Inked For New Maritime Patrol Aircraft Irish Dept. of Defense | 12/17/2019 The Irish air corps has ordered two C-295 maritime patrol aircraft from Airbus, reports the Irish Dept. of Defense. The ministry announced the US$247 million (221 million euro) acquisition on Dec. 13. The aircraft will replace the service's CN-235s, which have been in service since 1994, said the ministry. Delivery is scheduled by 2023. An updated white paper released on Dec. 12 highlighted the need for broad upgrades to the Irish Defense Forces by 2022. The defense dept. estimated that a total investment of US$604 million (541 million euros) is needed to upgrade the army's 80 armored personnel carriers, acquire four new offshore patrol vessels and procure three new PC-12 utility aircraft.



Cyprus—Ankara Deploys Drones In North Amid Maritime Dispute Daily Sabah | 12/17/2019 The Turkish military has dispatched a drone to the Turkish administration in northern Cyprus, reports the Daily Sabah (Istanbul). On Monday, an armed Bayraktar TB2 uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) landed at Gecitkale Airport in the city of Famagusta (Magusa in Turkish). Plans call for five Bayraktar TB2s to be stationed at the airport. The breakaway government, which has ruled since 1974 with the support of Turkey, announced on Dec. 13 that Turkish UAVs could use the facility, following a request from Ankara. Tolga Atakan, the Turkish Cypriot transport minister, said the move was partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October, reported Agence France-Presse. The move comes as Turkey is locked in a dispute with Cyprus over maritime boundaries and hydrocarbon fields in the Mediterranean, said analysts. In November, Turkey signed an agreement with the U.N.-backed Libyan government in Tripoli that fixed maritime borders between the two countries and ignored Cypriot claims in the area. Since October, two Turkish drilling ships have been conducting exploration work off the coast of Turkish Cyprus. Turkey was excluded from a regional gas exploration project that was launched in July.



Russia—New Minesweeper Begins State Trials Tass | 12/17/2019 Russia's latest Alexander Obukhov-class minesweeper has entered state trials, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). The Vladimir Yemelyanov began state trials in the Baltic Sea, a navy spokesman said on Monday. Tests will check all aspects of the ship, including the radio-technical armament and sonar system, he said. The service still expects to receive the ship by year's end. Shipbuilder Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard delivered the minesweeper to Baltiysk in October. She had been expected to complete trials in November.



China—Navy Commissions 1st Domestically-Built Carrier In Sanya Xinhua | 12/17/2019 China's first domestically built aircraft carrier has formally entered service, reports Xinhua, China's state-run news agency. The Shandong was commissioned on Tuesday in a ceremony in Sanya, Hainan province, attended by President Xi Jinping and officials from the Southern Theater Command, reported the South China Morning Post. The carrier will be based out of the southern port city, said Li Zuocheng, chief of the joint staff department. Deploying the ship there was meant as a message to Taiwan, a military source told the Post. The Shandong completed scientific trials and training in the South China Sea last month, after passing through the Taiwan Strait. Sea trials for the carrier began in May 2018. She was expected to be commissioned in April, but testing took longer than anticipated.


China—Armed Police Overhaul Seen Nearing Its End South China Morning Post | 12/17/2019 The Chinese military is nearing the end of an effort to restructure the paramilitary armed police, reports the South China Morning Post. Last week, the People's Armed Police (PAP) promoted one new lieutenant general and 36 major generals, the third major round of promotions in the last year after similar moves in July 2019 and December 2018. A former army general, Lt. Gen. Gao Wei, will now head the PAP's political department. The newly-appointed major generals will oversee PAP units at the provincial level, as well as coast guard units and training institutions. The announcements suggest that a reorganization effort that began two years ago is reaching its conclusion, said a local analyst. Those efforts moved the PAP directly under the command of the Communist Party's Central Military Committee, led by President Xi Jinping. The effort also cut the force by half, to 400,000 personnel, and removed civilian functions while incorporating the coast guard. The reformed force will focus on homeland security, preventing social instability, emergency response, counterterrorism and maritime law enforcement.



India—Land-Based, Air-Launched BrahMos Cruise Missiles Test-Fired In Bay Of Bengal Asian News International | 12/17/2019 The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) says it has successfully test-fired a pair of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, reports the Asian News International. On Tuesday, the missile was launched from a mobile autonomous launcher at a test range in Chandipur, Odisha state, reported the Press Trust of India. The missile struck a ship target in the Bay of Bengal, said the DRDO. Later in the day, an Su-30MKI fighter from the nearby Kalaikunda air base test-launched a BrahMos missile at a target in the Bay of Bengal. Both tests evaluated the missile's ability to precisely hit targets, the DRDO said. The trials were considered successful. The BrahMos is a ramjet-powered missile that can be launched from sea, air or land.



Pakistan—Former Army Chief President Receives Death Sentence In Treason Case Dawn | 12/17/2019 A Pakistani high court has sentenced former military ruler Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf to death for high treason, reports the Dawn (Karachi). On Tuesday, the three-member special court voted two-to-one in favor of the death sentence. The sentence was issued in absentia. Musharraf, 76, was found guilty of the charge in 2014 but traveled to Dubai in 2016 for medical treatment, noted the Press Trust of India. He has not returned since. A more detailed verdict will be issued with the next 48 hours. Musharraf may appeal the verdict, reported CNN. The case against Musharraf was launched in 2013, alleging that he illegally imposed a state of emergency in Pakistan in November 2007. This is the first death sentence leveled against a Pakistani military ruler. Following the decision, the Pakistan army issued a statement saying that legal process appeared to have been ignored and emphasized that the armed forces expected justice to "be dispensed in line with the [the] Constitution of [the] Islamic Republic of Pakistan."



Syria—Navy Kicks Off Drill With Russian Forces In Med Tass | 12/17/2019 The Syrian navy has begun an exercise with Russian forces in the Mediterranean Sea, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). On Tuesday, Russian surface ships and aircraft joined Syrian missile and mine warfare ships for joint training, a source told the news agency. The drills include live-firing, joint maneuvers and anti-drone operations, said Russian Rear Adm. Alexander Yuldashev, who is overseeing the exercise. Other details, including the duration of the exercise and number of personnel involved, were not made public. The Russian air base in Hmeimim has repeatedly come under attack from uncrewed air vehicles operated by militants in rebel-held Idlib and nearby areas, noted analysts.


Somalia—Airstrike Kills Suspected Al-Shabaab Militant Defense Post | 12/17/2019 The Somali government has conducted an airstrikes with the U.S. support on suspected Al-Shabaab targets in the southern part of the country, reports the Defense Post. On Monday, the military conducted airstrikes on a suspected Al-Shabaab operative near Dujumma, said a Somali government source. The suspected terrorist was killed. There were no indications of civilian casualties, the government said. The operation was undertaken in coordination with U.S. Africa Command, it said. AFRICOM announced an airstrike on a suspected senior Al-Shabaab leader in nearby Saakow on Dec. 9.


South Sudan—Rival Leaders Agree To Form Unity Government Reuters | 12/17/2019 South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar have reached a deal to form a unity government, reports Reuters. On Tuesday, Kiir told reporters that the leaders had agreed to form a government even if a self-imposed 100-day deadline lapses. If no breakthroughs are reached before that time, both sides will "form a transitional government of national unity to implement the outstanding issues," he said. The cease-fire will hold regardless, he said. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Dept. imposed sanctions on South Sudanese Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro and Defense and Veteran Affairs Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, for their roles in obstructing the peace process, reported United Press International. Last year, the leaders agreed to form a unity government by Nov. 12. As that date neared, Kiir and Machar pushed back the deadline by 100 days, prompting the U.S. to recall its ambassador amid concerns that the conflict could restart.



Argentina—Alleged Torturer During Dictatorship Extradited From France To Stand Trial Guardian | 12/17/2019 France has extradited a former Argentinean police officer accused of murder during the military dictatorship in Argentina in the late 1970s, reports the Guardian (U.K.). On Sunday, Mario Sandoval, 66, boarded a plane to Argentina, were he is expected to face trial for the kidnapping of a student in October 1976. Sandoval is accused of involvement in hundreds of murders. He was known for his habit of electrocuting his victims. Around 30,000 people disappeared during the dictatorship from 1976 to 1983. Following the fall of the military junta in 1983, Sandoval fled the country. Since 1985, he had worked as an academic at the Sorbonne's Institute of Latin American Studies in France. His extradition case lasted for eight years, noted Agence France-Presse.

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