Iran claims missile barrage near US consulate in Iraq
Iran has claimed responsibility for a missile barrage that struck near a sprawling U.S. consulate complex in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, saying it was retaliation for an Israeli strike in Syria that killed two members of its Revolutionary Guard.
New Zealand won't engage Myanmar in largest free trade bloc
New Zealand says it will not deal with Myanmar under a major 15-nation trade agreement, the world’s largest that took effect this year, citing the deadly violence and democratic setbacks in the Southeast Asian country after the military seized power.
Sgt. Alwyn Cashe, Oviedo soldier killed in Iraq, to receive Medal of Honor
The medal could Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, the Oviedo soldier who died while rescuing fellow soldiers from a burning building in Iraq, will be awarded the Medal of Honor, possibly as soon as next week.be awarded as soon as next week.
Military weighs penalties for those who refuse COVID vaccine
As deadlines loom for military and defense civilians to get mandated COVID-19 vaccines, senior leaders are wrestling with the fate of tens of thousands who flatly refuse the shots or are seeking exemptions, and how to make sure they are treated fairly and equally.
At Air Force One base, intruder given up by ‘mouse ears’
President Joe Biden waves as he and first lady Jill Biden board Air Force One at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Officials said he never got close to Air Force One. Hours later, the man walked undetected onto the flight line by slipping through a fence designed to restrict entry. Said said the modified Boeing 747 that serves as Air Force One for presidential travel was never at risk and that it is kept behind more layers of protection at Andrews. He did no harm and the Air Force investigation report, which was heavily censored by the Air Force before it was released Thursday, concluded that he had no plan to cause harm to Air Force personnel or equipment.
US leaders urge military to get vaccine shots
Their pleas underscored the widespread concern about the reluctance among service members and their families to get the vaccine. According to senior defense leaders, the percentage of service members declining to get the shot is about the same as the general population — around half. Defense officials said they don't have detailed statistics on exactly how many service members have declined the vaccine, which is strictly voluntary for the military. As of Thursday, the Defense Department had received more than 872,000 vaccine doses, and had administered more than 500,000. He added that service members who decline the shot are allowed to continue in what ever job they have.
Florida won’t host U.S. Space Command after Air Force taps Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal
(AP Photo/David Goldman)Florida won’t be home to the U.S. Space Command after the Air Force plans to announce the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Alabama will host the 11th unified combatant command over the favored base in Colorado. The U.S. Space Command was previously established in 1985 to coordinate the use of outer space by the branches of the U.S. military but later disbanded. In the meantime, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, thought to be the frontrunner candidate, will remain the temporary home of USSSPACECOM until the permanent headquarters is ready. Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska were also among the six finalists. During the final phase, the Air Force conducted both virtual and in person site visits at all six locations late last year.
Patrick Air Force Base remains on short list to host U.S. Space Command HQ
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County’s Patrick Air Force Base is still in the running to host the military’s 11th unified combatant command known as the U.S. Space Command. Not to be confused with the U.S. Space Force, the branch under the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Space Command oversees national security missions in space, many of which already launch from Florida’s Space Coast. The U.S. Space Command was previously established in 1985 to coordinate the use of outer space by the branches of the U.S. military but later disbanded. [TRENDING: County prepares for vaccine | Remote learning continues in spring | ‘We’re failing:’ Mayors call for COVID-19 action]Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado-- which is the temporary home of the USSPACECOM-- Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska are also among the six finalists. During the next phase, the Air Force will conduct both virtual and in person site visits at all six locations.
Meet this Army captain, recently presented with Bronze Star Medal after deployment during pandemic
How familiar are you with what military members do, day in and day out? Of course, all military members deserve our recognition for voluntarily raising a hand and going to bat for our country and our freedom. (Provided by Maximillian Boudreaux)Amid the uncertain times that go hand in hand with a global pandemic, Woodbury was sent overseas. “The mission is to help sustain logistics and maintenance support operations in Iraq -- more so to help the Iraqi Army sustain themselves,” Woodbury said. It was the support of my team that enabled me to obtain that Bronze Star,” Woodbury said.
Most of us can walk into a polling station and vote -- this is what it’s like for deployed military members
It’s an issue that dates back to World War II: Making sure American servicemen and servicewomen have the ability to cast a vote in a presidential election, no matter where they’re stationed. With the passage of the Soldier Voting Act of 1942, it was settled: Military members would be given easy access to vote. Moran, who’s currently deployed in Poland, cast her first-ever absentee ballot for this year’s election. Although voting is a common task for many Americans, for most soldiers, it is a very unorthodox method -- voting overseas, that is, but the process is quite simple. In the 2000 presidential election, Republican nominee George W. Bush relied on 537 ballots to tilt Florida in his direction.
Servicewomen killed in plane crash identified
FOLEY, Ala. – Authorities have identified the two service members who were killed when their plane crashed in a residential Alabama neighborhood. The crash happened near a Baldwin County public school when students were still on campus during an after-school program. Baldwin County Public Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler said the crash was “a little too close for comfort.”Garrett, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was a student aviator for the Coast Guard. She was identified by Rear Adm. William Kelly, superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Ross served three years with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 out of Norfolk, Virginia, before joining the Florida based Training Squadron Two in 2018.
Veterans are divided about reports Trump disparaged military
Among veterans and military families across the United States, there are sharply mixed feelings about the new reports that Trump made multiple disparaging comments about the U.S. military. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. In this soldier's city and across the country, veterans and military families are divided about reports that President Donald Trump made disparaging comments toward the military, with some service members bristling at the remarks and others questioning whether they happened. Military families were broadly supportive of Trump in the 2016 election, and a Pew Research Center survey of veterans conducted in June 2019 found overall that veterans were more supportive of Trump than the general public. He does not overlook headlines regarding fallen service members because his wife was one of them. I didnt get any kind of disrespect, said Kent, who is now on the advisory board of Military Families for Trump.
US to bring 6,400 troops home from Germany
Defense officials say the U.S. will pull 12,000 troops from Germany, bringing 6,400 forces home and shifting 5,600 to other countries in Europe, including Italy and Belgium. The decision fulfills Trump's announced desire to withdraw troops from Germany, largely due to its failure to spend enough on defense. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that some moves will begin in months and will leave about 24,000 troops in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended Germany's defense spending, saying that it has increased and that the country will continue to work toward the 2% NATO defense spending benchmark. But Trumps comments indicated the move was tied more directly to his anger over Germanys failure to meet NATO defense spending goals.
Federal agents, local streets: A 'red flag' in Oregon
President Donald Trump says he plans to send federal agents to other cities as well. The Chicago Tribune, citing anonymous sources, reported Monday that Trump planned to deploy 150 federal agents to Chicago. The ACLU of Oregon has sued in federal court over the agents presence in Portland, and the organizations Chicago branch said it would similarly oppose a federal presence. One prominent Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is from the libertarian-leaning flank of the party, came out publicly against the federal agents. "But the notion that a handful of federal crimes justifies a substantial deployment of federal law enforcement officers to show force on the streets is, to my mind, unprecedented.Federal law enforcement," Vladeck said, "is not a political prop.____Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus
US, Canada and Mexico borders to stay closed for travelers
WASHINGTON The U.S., Canada and Mexico have agreed to keep their shared borders closed to non-essential traffic until at least late August because of COVID-19. Officials had said in recent days that another 30-day extension was likely before the expiration of the previous 30-day extension. The partial closure restricts crossing to commercial traffic, people returning to their home country and other travel deemed essential. The extension agreed to by the three countries would keep the border closed until Aug. 21. The border restrictions are intended to maintain the commercial cargo traffic that is vital to the economies of all three countries.
Movement for Black Lives seeks sweeping legislative changes
FILE - In this May 31, 2020, file photo, demonstrators kneel in a moment of silence outside the Long Beach Police Department in Long Beach during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Proposed federal legislation that would radically transform the nation's criminal justice system through such changes as eliminating agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration and the use of federal surveillance technology is set to be unveiled Tuesday, July 7, by the Movement for Black Lives. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
Movement for Black Lives seeks sweeping legislative changes
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)DETROIT – Proposed federal legislation that would radically transform the nation's criminal justice system through such changes as eliminating agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration and the use of surveillance technology was unveiled Tuesday by the Movement for Black Lives. Dubbed the BREATHE Act, the legislation is the culmination of a project led by the policy table of the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 organizations. University of Michigan professor and criminal justice expert Heather Ann Thompson acknowledged the uphill battle, but noted that the legislation is being introduced at a highly opportune time. The polling found that the majority of Americans say the criminal justice system needs major changes, including many saying it needs a complete overhaul. “We are a generation that wants to make sure that the needs of all Black people are met,” Cullors said.
Critics of US-Taliban deal say militants can't be trusted
It did give critics of the deal another reason to say the Taliban shouldnt be trusted. So far the U.S. has reduced U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan from 12,000 to 8,600 a target reached ahead of schedule. Critics of the deal like Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., say the agreement is simply a cover for withdrawal.I have serious concerns with how this agreement has been pursued," Waltz said. I cant talk about the things that I have seen, Pompeo said on Fox News Channels Special Report. The U.N. report also reported six meetings between al-Qaida and Taliban senior leaders during the past 12 months while U.S.-Taliban talks were ongoing.
‘For those who served:‘ Virtual 5K to benefit family of Florida Army veteran who took his own life
Evan Rhoden, 33, took his own life on June 13 leaving behind his wife Amanda Rhoden, and their blended family of four children. “Evan had an army and a village behind him, but the PTSD consumed him,” Amanda Rhoden said. Snyder and his wife, who is also an Army veteran, organized a virtual 5K called “Run for Rhoden,” with all proceeds going to help the Rhoden family during this tragic time. Every participant receives a medal that reads “For those who served” to remember soldiers like Evan Rhoden. “His compassion, his smile, his strength, his love and his fight,” Amanda Rhoden said.
Supreme Court declines to hear border wall challenge
WASHINGTON The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that rejected environmental groups' challenge to sections of wall the Trump administration is building along the U.S. border with Mexico. The high court on Monday declined to hear an appeal involving construction of 145 miles (233 kilometers) of steel-bollard walls along the border in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. But a lower court dismissed the case. This is not the first time the Supreme Court has weighed in on border wall construction during the Trump administration. Last year, the high court gave the administration the go-ahead to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to replace barriers along the border with Mexico in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.
July Fourth celebration will include East Coast flyovers
WASHINGTON Military planes will conduct flyovers in a handful of major cities along the East Coast as part of this year's July Fourth celebration amid the coronavirus pandemic. From there, the military planes will join with other aircraft participating in the Salute to America" over Washington, D.C. Washington has held an Independence Day celebration for decades. President Donald Trump added to the mix of events last year with a speech and a display of tanks and warplanes. It said the president will deliver remarks, and the ceremony will include music, military demonstrations and flyovers. Trump plans to kick off Independence Day festivities with a showy display at Mount Rushmore the day before.
Nominee to be CIA watchdog says he'll stand up to Trump
Thomson's nomination as CIA inspector general comes as Trump is attacking the inspector general and whistleblower system. Trump has fired or replaced inspectors general across the federal government in recent months, including the former watchdogs for the intelligence community and State Department. "If I was fired for doing my job in a lawful way, in an appropriate way, then I would be fired,'' Thomson said. The White House Counsel's office interviewed him before his nomination, but he did not speak personally with Trump, Thomson said. "I never perceived any kind of loyalty test at all with regard to the president,'' Thomson said.
CIA unit that crafts hacking tools didn't protect itself
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a senior member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, obtained the redacted report from the Justice Department after it was introduced as evidence in a court case this year involving stolen CIA hacking tools. The 2017 report was produced one year after the theft of sensitive tools for hacking into adversaries' networks that were developed by the CIA's specialized Center for Cyber Intelligence. The disclosure of the hacking tools featured prominently in the trial this year of Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer accused of stealing a large trove of the agencys hacking tools and handing it to WikiLeaks. He was convicted in March of only minor charges after a jury deadlocked on more serious espionage counts against him, including the theft of the hacking tools. The CIAs cyber tools were gone in an instant.
US Air Force fighter plane crashes into North Sea
Published: June 15, 2020, 6:11 am Updated: June 15, 2020, 6:19 amLONDON A U.S. Air Force fighter plane with one pilot on board has crashed into the North Sea. The F-15C Eagle was on a routine mission from RAF Lakenheath, the Air Force said Monday. No other details have been released.
Lafayette Park near White House: A soapbox for social unrest
In this June 1, 2020, photo, police stand in smoke as they clear the area Lafayette Park as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, near the White House in Washington. The Trump administrations use of smoke bombs and pepper balls to rout civil rights demonstrators from Lafayette Park near the White House has added a new chapter to the sites storied history as a soapbox for social and political unrest. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON The Trump administration's use of smoke bombs and pepper balls to rout civil rights demonstrators from Lafayette Park near the White House has emboldened protesters and added a new chapter to the site's storied history as soapbox for social and political unrest. Police action at those locations didnt deter demonstrators from returning and Levy said he doesnt think it will keep protesters away from Lafayette Park either. Law enforcement officials say dozens of officers were injured during protests in the park that Monday and the previous weekend.