Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This Day in Naval History - October 9 2012

From: Skip Leonard
Subject: The List 3214
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 1:56 PM

To All,
I hope your week has started well.

This Day in Naval History - October 9
1873 - LT Charles Belknap calls a meeting at the Naval Academy to establish the U.S. Naval Institute for the purpose of disseminating scientific and professional knowledge throughout the Navy.
1942 - First three schools for enlisted WAVES open at Stillwater, OK (Yeoman), Bloomington, IN (Storekeepers), and Madison, WI (Radiomen).
1945 - Parade in New York City honors FADM Chester W. Nimitz and 13 other Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor winners.
1961 - USS Princeton rescues 74 survivors of two shipwrecks (U.S. lines Pioneer Muse and SS Shiek) from the island of Kita Daito Shima.
Thanks to Doctor Rich
Following is an email from Joe Kittinger, the first man in space. He's the fellow that did the parachute jump from 102,800 feet that the Red Bull project is about to attempt to break in 2 days. Click on the link below and you'll be able to watch the actual jump etc. It's an incredible site.

Dear Members of The Good Time Gang, The Redneck Squadron and other Assorted Friends,

Monday, Sherry and I depart for Roswell NM where we will be preparing for the Project Stratos Jump from above 120,000 feet. As you know we have already successfully completed two manned jumps from 72,000 and 97,000 feet in preparation for the next jump from near space. The balloon which has a capacity of 29 million cubic feet is huge, weighing almost 4000 pounds and standing over 700 feet above the ground on launch. As a result, to inflate this very fragile balloon requires perfect weather and wind conditions. The earliest date that we plan on launching is 8 October just at sunup. The climb to altitude will require about 2 hours 15 minutes. Felix should go supersonic after about 30 seconds of free fall. His free fall should last about 5 minutes and 30 seconds before he opens his main parachute about 5,000 feet above the desert.

You can keep up with the progress of the project by viewing  the internet at www.redbullstratos.com
The inflation, launch, climb to altitude, and jump will be broadcast live over this web site. We expect over 300 of the media to attend the launch, including the BBC which is making a documentary of the Project and jumps.

I have worked for over 4 years on this project and have been honored to be a part of this historic occasion.  Felix is ready, the team is ready, the capsule is ready -all we need is good weather (and some Divine cooperation) to successfully conclude Project Stratos. We hope that you will join us by watching this exciting event.


Joe & Sherry Kittinger
This should get some reaction
By Bruce Fleming -October 8, 2012
The U.S. military-service academies—at West Point (Army), Annapolis (Navy), Colorado Springs (Air Force), and New London (Coast Guard)—are at the center of several debates, both military and civilian. The military is downsizing, and the federal budget is under scrutiny: Do the academies deserve to continue?
They're educational institutions, but do they actually educate, and furthermore, do they produce "leaders" as they claim to? And are they worth the $400,000 or so per graduate (depending on the academy) they cost taxpayers?
After all, we already have a federal program that produces officers—an average of twice as many as those who go to the academies (three times for the Army)—at a quarter of the cost. That program is ROTC, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, which has expanded considerably since World War II, when the academies produced the lion's share of officers.
No data suggest that ROTC officers are of worse quality than those graduating from the academies, who are frequently perceived by enlisted military as arrogant "ring-knockers" (after their massive old-style class rings). The academies evoke their glory days by insisting that many more admirals, say, come from Annapolis than from ROTC. But that is no longer true. Between 1972 and 1990 (these are the latest figures available), the percentage of admirals from ROTC climbed from 5 percent to 41 percent, and a 2006 study indicated that commissioning sources were not heavily weighted in deciding who makes admiral.
Another officer-production pipeline is Officer Candidate School, which is about as large a source of officers as the academies. It gives a six- to 12-week training course for mature enlistees and college graduates who paid for their educations on their own (that is, did not participate in ROTC), and it costs taxpayers almost nothing. It could be expanded by pitching it to college students who might want to become officers when they graduate.
So the service academies are no longer indispensable for producing officers. Their graduates now make up only about 20 percent of the officer corps in any given year.  It's clear that we don't need the academies in their current form—versions of a kind of military Disneyland. These institutions do produce some fine officers, even some leaders. But the students I respect the most tell me that those who succeed do so despite the institutions, not because of them.
The best midshipmen—and, as I know through conversations and written correspondence, the best students at the other service academies—are deeply angry, disillusioned, and frustrated. They thought the academies would be a combination of an Ivy League university and a commando school. They typically find that they are neither.
Most of what the Naval Academy's PR machine disseminates is nonsense, as midshipmen quickly realize, which diminishes their respect for authority. We announce that they're the "best and brightest" and then recruit students who would be rejected from even average colleges, sending them, at taxpayer expense, to our one-year Naval Academy Prepatory School. (About a quarter of recent entering classes over the last decade or so has SAT scores below 600, some in the 400s and even 300s. Twenty percent of the class needs a remedial pre-college year.)
The academies do have a handful of honors programs, and their engineering programs are nationally ranked. But for the most part, academics are lackluster despite an intense focus on grades. Although free time is granted or withheld based on GPA, an atmosphere exists in which studying isn't "cool," and freshmen, or plebes, aren't allowed to take the afternoon naps that would allow them stay awake in class. (Sleep deprivation is used to "teach" students how to stay awake on the job—except there is no evidence that working while sleep-deprived is something you can get better at.)
The academies' focus on physicality is largely lip service as well. We claim to promote fitness but then refuse to throw out students who repeatedly fail to pass physical tests. Gone are the days of "shape up or ship out": Nowadays we "remediate."
We also claim that students are "held to a higher moral standard," which suggests zero or low tolerance of wrongdoing. But the current emphasis on reducing attrition means that, as many midshipmen have told me, students get one "freebie," such as a DUI. Held to a higher moral standard? The students know that's a joke.
What else justifies our existence? Our most consistent justification is that we teach "leadership." We even make students take classes in the subject. Midshipmen roll their eyes. Leadership can't be taught, it can only be modeled.
The central paradox of the service academies is that we attract hard-charging "alpha" types and then make all their decisions for them. Students are told when to study and when to work out, whom they can date (nobody in their company), and when they can wear civilian clothes. All students must attend football games and cheer, and go to evening lectures and cultural events (where many sleep in their seats). The list goes on.
The academies are the ultimate nanny state. "When are they going to let me make some decisions?" one student asked in frustration. "The day I graduate?" This infantilization turns students passive-aggressive, and many of them count the years, months, and days until they can leave.
Decades of talking with students at the Naval Academy have convinced me that most dislike academic work because it is one more thing the students have to do. Why should they be interested? They're not paying for it. And Daddy isn't either, at least not more than any other taxpayer.
The military side of things suffers, too. Inspections are announced and called off at the last minute, or done sloppily. After all, everything is make-believe. Students aren't motivated to take care of their own uniforms or abide by the rules because they realize it's all just for show. Administrators want to make sure nobody gets hurt to avoid negative publicity, and as a result students are not pushed to their limits. They resent it. They come expecting Parris Island, but they get national historic landmarks where tourists come to feel proud of nice-looking young people.
Is there anything good about the academies? Absolutely: the students, by and large. You won't find a more focused, eager-for-a-challenge, desperate-to-make-a-difference group of young adults (whom we proceed to infantilize) anywhere. Some catch on quickly about the hype and don't let it bother them. They pragmatically view the academy as a taxpayer-supported means to an end they desperately want. And we have some bright students: About a quarter of entering freshmen have SAT scores above 700 with grades to match (but that is a far smaller proportion of high scorers than at the Ivies).
A handful are high performers. One of my students last year was a varsity swimmer, an English honors graduate in the top 5 percent of his class, and the "honor man" (single best performer) in his SEAL class at the famously brutal Basic Underwater Demolition training. That is gorgeous stuff, the ultimate combination of brains and brawn the academies say they produce. But how rare at Annapolis!—or indeed, anywhere.
Another of my students, a systems-engineering major, was in the top 1 percent of his class and is now doing graduate work at the University of Oxford. He also won, as a sophomore, a competition sponsored by Harvard's Kennedy School for his essay on how to filter out arsenic from Ganges Delta water by running it through fern leaves. At the reception given after his lecture, he was too young to drink the chardonnay. The following weekend he returned to Boston to run the Boston Marathon with the Naval Academy team. It's true, America: The service academies really can enroll outstanding students. But such students are the exception.
Whose fault is this generally disappointing state of affairs? Partly it's the gravitational pull of history. The service academies are relics of the 19th century. (Exception: The Air Force was split off from the Army after World War II and got its stand-alone academy as a postscript in l954.) At the time, they clearly represented progress. War had become more technical, and soldiers-in-training needed a technical education that colleges still largely devoted to Greek, Latin, and religion were unequipped to provide.
But the world has changed. Now most reputable colleges offer technical courses, and top-tier colleges and universities already produce many of our officers and leaders. At the same time, the academies have become more like civilian colleges, albeit rather strange ones. We now give a bachelor of science (to all majors, including English and history) rather than a certificate for a standard course of study as we initially did. Students walk to class rather than march; women were accepted starting in 1976; going to chapel is no longer mandatory. And now, of course, we enroll openly gay students.
The best students at the service academies are deeply angry, disillusioned, and frustrated.
Should we keep the academies? Maybe there's a place for them, if we can eliminate their worst flaws. The academies attract a certain type of student: hard-charging, military-oriented, with expectations of both physical and mental challenges. But the academies squander that rich resource. If we want to preserve the academies, and can accept the fact that they don't produce better officers than the cheaper routes of ROTC and Officer Candidate School, it should be possible to find a serviceable hull of a military educational institution under all the barnacles.
Of course, the administrators don't like to face facts. Their position at the top of a military pecking order means that nobody tells them bad news. Besides, their interest is in doing their three to four years and moving on. Reforming the service academies is a job for Congress, goaded by taxpayers.
We should consider first that what we do in the United States is the exception among comparable institutions in allied democracies. Most of those once-similar institutions have changed. None of our sister academies offer a whole alternative. But looking at other options can get us thinking.
The European academy we're spiritually closest to is Britain's Sandhurst (U.S. armed forces are patterned on the British). Sandhurst has shown that a prestigious national service academy can change fundamentally without giving up its central role in history or defense: It's gone out of the business of undergraduate education entirely. Rather than giving a four-year college experience to undergraduates of tender age, trying to combine academics with military training as it once did and as we still do, Sandhurst now offers military classroom subjects only to students who have matriculated elsewhere. So the students are older, and the program doesn't compete with college.
But it doesn't make sense in the United States to require everyone training to be an officer to take a yearlong military course after university, the way Britain does, because ROTC already exists at many universities. And we also have Officer Candidate School for both college graduates and those who are already enlisted.
The Belgian military academy gives a bachelor's degree, which we do and Sandhurst does not. But its range of technical subjects is even more limited than ours, and it offers no nontechnical courses. More important, it separates military activities from periods of academic study. You do nothing but academics for several months, then go off to crawl around in the dirt. Then you come back for more academics, and so on. It's one or the other, not both at the same time, as in this country.
At Saint-Cyr in France, students enter at about age 21 and stay for three years, graduating with a master's degree. Specialized training at a more advanced age in military schools makes sense in Europe in a way it may not in the United States, with our tradition of giving general education in the first two years of college. In Europe students receive that kind of education in high schools.
In Germany military students at the service academies wear civilian clothes and follow civilian protocol; in Australia the defense academy is contracted out to the University of New South Wales, though the students do wear military uniforms.
The military academy that is the closest to the American model—four-year undergraduate institutions—is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Royal Military College of Canada. The college has solved many of the problems of the U.S. academies by loosening control rather than increasing it, so that the clash of academics and military is buffered to some degree. Unlike in the United States, students may live off campus, marry, and be any age—older cadets are trained separately.
The easiest and least-intrusive fix for the American academies is thus to make them more like the RMC. Simply loosening students' leashes would solve a lot of our problems overnight.
But that wouldn't solve the fundamental one, which is that academic and military training, when stirred together, cancel each other out. We need to separate academics from military training, as in Belgium. Three months of total immersion in academics could be followed by a month of total immersion in military exercises. And here's what else U.S. military academies could do:
1. End the tradition of a class getting to practice its "leadership" on the class below it. Freshmen have to do a million newbie things (each academy has its own version). At the Naval Academy, plebes have to jog ("chop") in the hallways; "square" corners and yell something motivational, like "Beat Army, Sir!"; carry their hats in a certain way; address every upper-class student as "Sir" or "Ma'am"; and yell menus for the day at top speed. Each class reports to and is ranked by the classes above it.
The theory behind student-on-student "leadership" is that students become better leaders when they have younger students to organize and be responsible for. But students complain constantly to me about being ordered around by midshipmen only a year further along who have real power to punish without any corresponding competence. There is no evidence that students practicing "organization skills" and "decision making" on younger guinea pigs while still immature and incompetent does much to create better leaders. As far as I know, ROTC officers, who do no such play-acting, are perfectly adequate.
2. Stop infantilizing students. That infuriates alphas, as well it should. Make clear what the goals are, show students the tools we've come up with to help them achieve those goals, and let them go. Now, our military students don't "own" the goals of their training, so they don't care about them. We have to step back and control less, not more—that's the only way to get hard-chargers involved. For example, military students should be able to live off campus, as in Canada, and develop the responsibility to show up for muster on time. They might overwhelm the town of Annapolis, say, if they all moved out, so the privilege could be limited to older students or seniors.
3. Allow older students to enroll, if they can hack the physical challenges. Now students need to be under 23 the day they begin summer training before their freshman year. Canada's Royal Military College accepts students into their 30s, and we should too. It makes no sense to turn away competent and mature recruits just because they're no longer in their early 20s.
4. End the practice of awarding military pay and benefits to students at both military prep schools and the academies. ROTC students don't get those advantages, nor do students at military colleges like VMI. The unqualified recruits we remediate at the Naval Academy's prep school receive not only benefits but food and housing, plus a $500-a- month salary. Annapolis graduates also get an additional four years (five years if they attended prep school) counted in their retirement benefits if they make it to 20 years in the service. There is no such largess for ROTC students.
5. Give time credit for transfers. Now, everybody has to do four years at an academy, restarting as a plebe even if you started college elsewhere. That's silly. You don't have to have four years at an academy to be a good officer—in fact, you don't need any years at all, as ROTC shows. Instead of clamping down and cutting ourselves off from the civilian world that we are meant to defend, we need to look for ways to open up—to welcome transfers, older students, and exchange students from ROTC programs.
6. To open up more seats, academies should throw out students who fail to live up to academic and moral standards. The academies should stop recruiting below-par students who use academy prep schools as back doorways into their freshman years. These students fill slots for which better-qualified applicants are rejected. Our affirmative-action programs reject better-qualified white students in favor of unqualified nonwhite students, and the quest for national football glory means that many slots are filled with poor-performing students with weak commitment to the military.
7. Finally, have a real college president for the college part of things. The head of the Naval Academy is an admiral who last saw college when he graduated. Let's have civilian Ph.D.'s for all the academies, ideally women—because so much of what we do seems to be just the nonsense of older men trying to force younger men to do what they say to get a simulacrum of respect.
Some rules must remain. We should continue to ban drinking, because drinking under 21 is unsafe and illegal. But the academies should have no opinion about sex. As it is now, sex at the academies is against the rules. For four years. (Even public displays of affection, such as holding hands, are forbidden.) Saying that we have no opinion about sex doesn't mean we encourage it: We just have no opinion about it, the way we have no opinion about whom students vote for or what music they like. The Naval Academy, for example, is not a ship, and current attempts to pretend it is creates a sense of surreal silliness.
For me, at the Naval Academy—where I have been teaching for 25 years—what hurts the most is that the average midshipman has no respect for the institution. I, by contrast, deeply respect its goals—not its lamentable reality. We've lost sight of those goals, and the students are left wondering what they're doing there, losing respect for themselves as a result.
The service academies could represent the best in American military culture. The students might look forward to real military maneuvers. They might be eager to go to class. They might finally be proud of their institutions. They might get their mojo back, graduating bright-eyed and motivated to serve, rather than disillusioned and cynical, as most of them are now.
Bruce Fleming is a professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is the author, most recently, of Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide (Potomac Books, 2010).

Read the whole article, one of Glen's Navy Seal brothers.
Boldly Into The Breach
Will the real life story of incredible bravery, and the extreme courage of warriors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods be lost just because of Machiavellian politics ?

The Catholic Church is the oldest Christian religion in the world.
When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals. Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.
When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.
Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world.
The new Obama Health Mandate could end all this and the tax payers would have to make up the loss !
Also, all Catholic adoption services would come to an end--a human disaster.
There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country. It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president. I am asking all of you to go to the polls and be united in replacing our present president with a president that will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions besides Islam.

Mr. President, you said, "The USA is not a Christian Nation."

You are wrong--we are a Christian nation, founded on Judeo-Christian values, allowing all religions in America to worship and practice freely.  Unless, of course, government messes it up.

Oh, by the way:
Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital?
Have you heard a Muslim orchestra?
Have you seen a Muslim band march in a parade?
Have you witnessed a Muslim charity?
Have you shaken hands with a Muslim Girl Scout?
Have you seen a Muslim Candy Striper?
Have you seen a Muslim do anything that contributes positively to the American way of life ????

An old man was asked, "At your ripe age, what would you prefer to get - Parkinsons or Alzheimer's?"
The wise one answered, "Definitely Parkinsons.  Better to spill half an ounce of Scotch than to forget where you keep the bottle!"

Item Number:1 Date: 10/09/2012 EGYPT - TROOP CARRIER OVERTURNS ON MOUNTAINOUS SINAI PENINSULA ROAD (OCT 09/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A truck accident in Egypt's Sinai peninsula has killed at least 21 security personnel, reports the BBC.   Another 20 were injured on Monday near the Israeli border, said officials.   The driver of a troop carrier lost control of a vehicle on rough terrain, causing it to overturn, said an Interior Ministry spokesman.   The casualties are members of the paramilitary Central Security Forces, which falls under the Interior Ministry and is separate from the army
Item Number:2 Date: 10/09/2012 FRANCE - SUSPECT KILLED IN COUNTERTERRORISM RAIDS (OCT 09/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- French police have launched a nationwide counterterrorism operation, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   One suspect was killed on Saturday.   A 33-year-old former convict engaged in a shootout with police in Strasbourg, said police. Three officers were slightly wounded.   The focus of the sweep was a convert to radical Islam linked to a grenade attack on a Jewish store last month, said officials.   Eleven other suspects were arrested, according to prosecutors.
Item Number:3 Date: 10/09/2012 GERMANY - TIGER HELICOPTER'S MAIN WEAPON, PARS-3 LR, READY FOR PRODUCTION (OCT 09/DDEF)  DIEHL DEFENSE -- The PARS-3 LR missile, designed for Germany's Tiger helicopter, has passed its tests and is ready for production, reports Diehl Defense, a technology firm based in Uberlingen, Germany.   In its final test held late last month, the weapon hit a moving target between two house walls at Defense Technology Center 91 in Meppen, said a company release on Monday.   Diehl Defense produces the guided missile in a joint venture with MBDA called PARSYS GmbH.   After a contract is signed with the military, production of 680 fire-and-forget missiles will begin, said the release.
Item Number:4 Date: 10/09/2012 INDIA - AIR CHIEF MARSHAL TRUMPETS EXTENSIVE PLANS FOR MODERNIZATION (OCT 09/HT)  HINDUSTAN TIMES -- The Indian air force says it will modernize 75 percent of its fleet over the next decade, reports the Hindustan Times.   There are also plans for four more squadrons of Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters, said Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne on Monday. Ultimately, 270 Su-30 aircraft will be acquired for 13 or 14 squadrons.   The process to establish 15 Squadron -- dubbed the "Flying Lancers" -- in Punjab will begin this December, with the unit to become operation in mid-2013, he told reporters on Air Force Day.   Other Su-30 squadrons will be based in the eastern and southern sectors, said Browne
Item Number:5 Date: 10/09/2012 INDIA - NAVY BRAHMOS CRUISE MISSILE TEST-FIRED FROM SHIP NEAR GOA (OCT 09/RIAN)  RUSSIAN INFORMATION AGENCY NEWS -- The Indian navy has successfully test-fired its BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the Goa coast in western India, RIA Novosti reports.   INS Teg fired the Russian- and Indian-made missile on Sunday, according to India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).   The BrahMos hit its target at a range of 290 km (180 mi), said officials.   The missile, fired without a warhead, performed intricate maneuvers before hitting the target, sources told the Press Trust of India.   Sea- and ground-launched versions of the BrahMos have already entered service with the Indian army and navy, while flight tests of the air force version are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012
Item Number:6 Date: 10/09/2012 IRAN - ISRAEL BLAMED FOR CYBERATTACK ON OIL PLATFORMS (OCT 09/TND)  TECH NEWS DAILY -- Iranian officials have announced foiling an attempted cyberattack in recent weeks against its offshore facilities, reports Tech News Daily.   Since technicians separated the crude oil operations intranet from the Internet after another cyberattack in April, only communications were affected, said Mohammad Reza Golshani, technology director of the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co.   The company's computer networks were secured and no information was stolen, he said, as cited by UPI.   Golshani blamed Israel for the attack, saying it was routed through China, reported the semi-official ISNA.
Item Number:7 Date: 10/09/2012 ISRAEL - PATRIOT MISSILES DEPLOYED NEAR HAIFA (OCT 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Patriot batteries have been deployed near the northern Israeli port city of Haifa, reports Agence France-Presse.   The mobile batteries were stationed in the area on Monday, two days after a foreign drone was shot down after entering Israeli airspace.   Military officials have refused to comment on any connection between the deployment and the drone incursion, reported Haaretz (Israel).  Israeli officials believe the UAV was controlled by Hezbollah in Lebanon, reported ABC News.   Patriot missiles were also used to defend Haifa during Israel's 2006 conflict with Hezbollah, when the Shi'ite militant group fired rockets from Lebanon
Item Number:8 Date: 10/09/2012 LIBYA - LAWMAKERS DISMISS PRIME MINISTER (OCT 09/GULF)  GULF NEWS -- Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour has been dismissed by lawmakers in a vote of no confidence for failing to form a government, reports Gulf News.   Shagour, a former engineering professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, was elected last month.   After public opposition to Shagour's Cabinet picks, lawmakers denied his plan for a 10-member emergency body that would serve for six months.   Parliament voted Sunday 125-44 in favor of removing him, with 19 abstaining.   Former interim ministers still hold their posts, but some have been absent from office, including the defense and interior ministers, reported the New York Times
Item Number:9 Date: 10/09/2012 MALDIVES - AFTER DEFYING SUMMONS TO APPEAR, FORMER PRESIDENT IS ARRESTED (OCT 09/DTL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) -- Police in the Maldives have arrested the country's former president for failing to appear at a court hearing last week, reports the Daily Telegraph (U.K.).   About 50 riot police officers raided Mohamed Nasheed's home on Monday and used pepper spray during an operation to arrest him, said a spokesman for his party.   A spokesman for the current president denied that excessive force was used, reported AFP.   Nasheed, who won the nation's first democratic elections in 2008, resigned in February after being accused of abusing power.   He called his ouster a coup by security forces. The incident led to a series of violent nationwide protests.   Nasheed has twice ignored court summons to appear, according to several reports.
Item Number:10 Date: 10/09/2012 MEXICO - THE 'EXECUTIONER,' LEADER OF ZETAS, BELIEVED KILLED IN SHOOTOUT (OCT 09/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- The leader of the Mexican Zetas drug cartel has apparently been killed, says the Mexican navy, as reported by CNN.   Two men were killed in a firefight with Mexican marines on Sunday in the northern state of Coahuila, said a navy release late Monday.   There are "strong indications" one of the dead is Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, aka "The Executioner," but more forensic tests must be completed to confirm the identification, said the release.   A US$5 million bounty on Lazcano's head was offered by the U.S. State Dept. and US$2.3 million by the Mexican government.   Lazcano is suspected in hundreds of killings, reported the Wall Street Journal.   Lazcano joined the Mexican army in 1991 as a member of the elite Airborne Special Forces Group to fight drug cartels.   He and other special operators were reportedly recruited by the Gulf cartel to form Los Zetas, the group's enforcers. Eventually, the Zetas split into its own organization.
Item Number:11 Date: 10/09/2012 NIGERIA - TROOPS FIRED ON CIVILIANS, LOCALS SAY (OCT 09/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Nigerian soldiers have been accused of killing civilians in the aftermath of a deadly bombing, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   A blast struck a military convoy on Tuesday in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, killing five soldiers, including an officer, said security officials.   Troops then opened fire with heavy weapons, destroying about 50 buildings and killing at least 30 civilians, said local and medical officials.   An army spokesman told the BBC the soldiers did not shoot civilians
Item Number:12 Date: 10/09/2012 NORTH KOREA - U.S. WITHIN OUR STRIKING RANGE, WARNS PYONGYANG (OCT 09/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- The North Korean government has warned the United States that it is within range of its ballistic missiles, UPI reports.   On Tuesday, the official KCNA news agency quoted a spokesman for the National Defense Commission as saying the North's "strategic forces" can hit U.S. forces on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, Guam and the U.S. mainland.   A recent agreement between South Korean and the U.S., extending the permitted range of Seoul's missiles, was called "another conspiracy of the master and the stooge" to start a war.   The outside range of some North Korean missiles could put parts of Alaska within range, said defense officials in Seoul.
Item Number:13 Date: 10/09/2012 PAKISTAN - GIRL WHO SPOKE AGAINST TALIBAN IS WOUNDED (OCT 09/NPAK)  NEWS PAKISTAN -- A teenage activist for educating girls has been shot and wounded in northwest Pakistan, reports News Pakistan.   Malala Yousafzai, 14, who submitted a diary to BBC Urdu in 2009 detailing the Pakistani Taliban's ban on education for females, was attacked on Tuesday in the Swat Valley.   She and two other girls were shot while leaving school by men in police uniforms, said officials.   A Taliban spokesman said in March that Yousafzai was on the group's "hit list."
Item Number:14 Date: 10/09/2012 PHILIPPINES - LANDING DRILLS WITH U.S. KICK OFF (OCT 09/PHILSTAR)  PHILIPPINE STAR -- The Philippines and the United States have begun scheduled annual amphibious landing exercises, reports the Philippine Star.   About 2,200 US soldiers and 1,600 Philippine troops are participating in the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex 13), said officials. This year's exercises will focus on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and civic action projects.   The drills started Monday and are scheduled to end on Oct. 18, said naval officials.   The opening ceremony was held about 150 nautical miles from the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, an area disputed with China. This is the 29th iteration of the exercise, reported Zambotimes.com
Item Number:15 Date: 10/09/2012 RUSSIA - ARMY TO TAKE ON TERRORISTS IN N. CAUCASUS OPERATIONS (OCT 09/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian army has been conducting counterterrorist operations in the North Caucasus republics alongside Interior Ministry forces, reports Interfax-AVN.   Troops were deployed early this month to regions that are "especially tense," said a source from the National Anti-terrorist Committee (NAC).   The Russian army has generally left counterterrorist missions to Interior Ministry troops.   Army soldiers are not expected to replace Interior Ministry troops, but will supplement them, the ministry military commander said on Monday
Item Number:16 Date: 10/09/2012 SOMALIA - KEY REBEL-HELD TOWN NOW IN HANDS OF A.U., SOMALI TROOPS (OCT 09/RTTN)  REALTIME TRADERS NEWS -- African Union and Somali troops say they have captured a town from Al-Shabaab, reports RTT News.   The town of Wanla Weyn and the nearby Balli Doogle airstrip, about 55 miles northwest of Mogadishu, were seized on Sunday, said military officials.   The capture reportedly was made without a fight, reported AFP.   The town is located in the Afgooye-Baidoa corridor, which has been under Al-Shabaab control for several years.   The aim of this A.U. operation is to connect Afgooye to Baidoa, which was also seized in February by Somali and Ethiopian troops, said officials.   The operation will deny Al-Shabaab funds from illegal "taxing," said A.U. officials cited by the BBC
Item Number:17 Date: 10/09/2012 SUDAN - CAPITAL OF S. KORDOFAN SHELLED (OCT 09/RADDABANGA)  RADIO DABANGA -- The capital of Sudan's South Kordofan state has been hit by mortar rounds, reports Radio Dabanga (Netherlands).   Fighters from the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) launched a mortar attack against Kadugli on Monday, said security officials.   U.N. officials told Agence France-Presse that at least five shells hit the town, forcing humanitarian workers to seek shelter at a peacekeeping base.   Several military centers and government institutions were reportedly damaged.   Accounts of the death toll varied. At least five people were killed and 23 others injured, said government officials. Locals reported at least 40 deaths.
Item Number:18 Date: 10/09/2012 SYRIA - APPARENT SAUDI-BOUND WEAPONS DETECTED AT REBEL BASE (OCT 09/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- BBC News reports seeing weapons crates addressed to Saudi Arabia in a Syrian rebel base in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.   Images of the crates show a label addressed to the Saudi Ministry of Defense.   The label lists the manufacturer as Ukraine-based Luhansk Cartridge Works, which manufactures 7.62-mm cartridges and other types of ammunition.   The seller shown on the label is the Ukrainian firm Dastan, which specializes in naval weapons and missile complexes.   The British agency said it is unclear how the crates reached Aleppo, or what is in them. Reporters were not allowed to film the contents.   The government of Saudi Arabia has refused comment.
Item Number:19 Date: 10/09/2012 SYRIA - MILITARY BASE NEAR DAMASCUS STRUCK BY BOMBERS (OCT 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Syrian air force intelligence headquarters has come under attack by suicide bombers, reports Agence France-Presse.   Two suicide car bombers, one driving an ambulance, hit the building on Monday in Harasta, just northeast of Damascus.   The jihadist Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for the attack, which was also reported by the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The front said officials working in the building were targeted for their role in the government's crackdown, reported Reuters.   The watchdog group said dozens were killed.
Item Number:20 Date: 10/09/2012 TURKEY - NATO SAYS IT IS PREPARED TO DEFEND TURKEY FROM SYRIAN ATTACKS (OCT 09/REU)  REUTERS -- The head of NATO says the alliance has prepared plans to defend Turkey from Syrian attacks if necessary, Reuters reports.   Since last week, Turkey and Syria have traded artillery fire along the border.   "We have all necessary plans in place to protect and defend Turkey if necessary," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told alliance defense ministers on Tuesday in Brussels.   Turkish media have reported that the military has deployed forces along the 560-mile border, including tanks, armored vehicles, troops and F-16 fighters
Item Number:21 Date: 10/09/2012 UNITED KINGDOM - HMS DIAMOND PERFORMS WELL IN EXERCISE WITH U.S. F-15S (OCT 09/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- A British Type 45 destroyer has successful fought off a mock attack by two U.S. F-15 fighters during a maritime exercise in the Persian Gulf, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The drill took place while HMS Diamond was escorting four minehunters and their mothership, said a release last week.   Diamond's radar suite targeted the incoming F-15s before simulating a launch of her Sea Viper missiles to intercept the inbound jets.   The training exercise took place during International Mine Countermeasures Exercise 2012, which involved around 30 nations. Observers from the Royal Navy of Oman were on board during the drill
Item Number:22 Date: 10/09/2012 USA - ARMY ORDERS WIRELESS TOW MISSILES (OCT 09/RAYMISSSYS)  RAYTHEON MISSILE SYSTEMS -- Raytheon has been awarded a $349 million contract to provide the U.S. Army with heavy anti-tank, wireless precision-assault TOW missiles.   Under the five-year contract, Raytheon will deliver 6,676 wireless TOW missiles, according to a release by the company's missile systems unit in Tucson, Ariz.   This is a new variant of the missile that eliminates the wire connection of earlier generations, but performs just as the wire-guided version, said the release.   The next-generation TOW works with existing launch platforms, including the Improved Target Acquisition System, Improved Bradley Acquisition System, TOW2 Subsystem and M220 Ground TOW, said Raytheon
Item Number:23 Date: 10/09/2012 USA - CHINESE COMPANIES POSE SECURITY THREAT, SAYS HOUSE COMMITTEE (OCT 09/ABC)  ABC NEWS -- A U.S. congressional committee has called two Chinese companies a threat to national security, reports ABC News (Australia).   In a report issued Monday, the House Intelligence Committee warned that Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. were open to state influence and might use their presence on U.S. networks to engage in cyberespionage or be used as a proxy in potential cyber war.   Both companies denied being influenced by the Chinese government.   U.S. company Cisco Systems recently ended its longstanding sales partnership with ZTE after an internal investigation showed that the Chinese telecommunications company sold Cisco networking gear to Iran in violation of international sanctions, Reuters reported.
Item Number:24 Date: 10/09/2012 YEMEN - 3 BEHEADED BY AQAP AS SPIES (OCT 09/REU)  REUTERS -- Jihadist militants in Yemen have beheaded three men accused of spying, Reuters reports.   Three headless bodies were found Tuesday morning in the streets of Maarib, the capital of the province of the same name.   The victims formerly worked with Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), before being accused of switching sides, according to a source said to be close to the militants.   The executions were described as a message to local tribesmen not to work against AQAP.

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