News of the Force: Saturday, January 20, 2018 - Page 1

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Jan 20, 2018, 3:42:58 PM1/20/18
Saturday, January 20, 2018 - Page 1

Democrats force shutdown of the US Government
Government Shuts Down with Democrat Filibuster    
Republicans failed last night to break a Democratic-led filibuster blocking a vote to keep the federal government open. That means President Donald Trump will face his first partial shutdown. Non-essential government workers will be furloughed and government offices will close if the shutdown drags on next week.
     Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) ripped his Democratic colleagues for making new 11th-hour demands. He said Trump and congressional leaders of both parties earlier in the week worked out a process by which they would negotiate a short-term bill. "And on Thursday they said, 'We want to go around the process we just agreed to on Tuesday," Lankford said. "And so, again, the president was having none of it. He sent them right back to the Hill. This is where it has to be negotiated and has to be actually resolved." Lankford was referring to a midday meeting at the White House between the president and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Lankford accused Schumer of acting in bad faith. "From what we understand from that meeting is Chuck Schumer brought a whole list of demands that he wanted to be able to see be addressed, and the president told him, 'Hey, this is a legislative branch issue. You go work this out with the speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate,'" he said.
     The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill to extend funding through Feb. 16th. But the Senate failed to come close to the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on that legislation. Fifty senators voted "yes," while 48 voted "no."
     Ailing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was not present and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) did not vote.
     Democrats sense vulnerability among Republicans in forcing a shutdown, hoping it will drive public support for their bid to grant amnesty to young adult illegal immigrants whose parents brought them to America as children.
     Lankford noted that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which protects them from deportation and allows them to work in the United States, does not even expire until March. "We should not have a shutdown over something that has a deadline on an immigration conversation of March the 5th in the middle of January," he said. "That is not even rational, to be able to connect the two." Lankford said Democrats have refused to make significant concessions on measure that would prevent the next round of illegal immigration. "That’s the thing that’s missing," he said. "We do not have a DACA problem, we do not have an illegal immigration problem, if we actually have good border security."
     President Trump tweeted a couple of hours before the vote that a deal was unlikely: "Not looking good for our great military or safety & security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the tax cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy."
     McConnell had signaled that he planned to keep the Senate in session throughout the weekend if the spending extension did not pass. It is possible that Democrats and Republicans might reach agreement on a shorter-term funding measure, which would require the House to return to approve that.
     Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), who is among a small group of Republicans who have joined Democrats in advocating a DACA amnesty, floated the idea of a three-week spending bill. "After lengthy consultations with senators from both parties, I believe no one wants the government to shut down," he said in a statement. "I also believe that we are inside the ten yard line on finding solutions on all issues previously described including immigration."
     The politics of s shutdown are uncertain, with risks for both sides. With majorities in the House and the Senate, as well as the presidency, the GOP could look like a party that cannot govern. A Washington Post poll released yesterday suggested 48 percent of Americans would blame Republicans for a shutdown, compared with only 28 percent who would fault Democrats. At the same time, a CNN poll showed that 56 percent think avoiding the shutdown should be the most important priority, while 34 percent believe protecting DACA enrollees was the biggest priority.
     Lankford told Ingraham that Republicans have to fight against a consistent media narrative. "When Republicans were in the minority, they were blamed for the shutdown. When Democrats were in the minority, Republicans are blamed for the shutdown," he said. "So that is just the media pushing out the constant message there’s no way Democrats are trying to do this, when it is. It was the same thing during the Reagan administration."

DOD issues guidance on government shutdown
The Pentagon January 2008.jpg    
The Defense Department has issued guidance to its military and civilian leadership on how to proceed after the federal government shut down at midnight last night, according to a memorandum from Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.
     The deputy secretary said in his memo issued yesterday that the Trump administration does not want the government to shut down. "The administration is willing to work with the Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical federal government operations and allow Congress the time to complete the full-year 2018 appropriations," Shanahan said in his memo. While he and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis hope Congress passes a continuing resolution or an annual appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 defense activities, he said, "prudent management requires that the department be prepared for the possibility of a lapse in appropriations."
While the memo contains guidance on essential personnel to continue DOD operations during a potential shutdown, he said, the department will continue to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and operations against al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and will continue to make preparations for deployments into those conflicts. "The department must, as well, continue many other operations necessary for the safety of human life or the protection of property," the memo read. "These activities will be 'excepted' from the effects of a lapse in appropriations: All other activities would need to be shut down in an orderly and deliberate fashion, including - with few exceptions - the cessation of temporary duty travel."
All active duty service members will continue in a "normal duty status," regardless of their affiliation with excepted and unexcepted functions, the memo said. "Military personnel will not be paid until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service," the memo said. "Civilian employees paid for lapsed appropriations and who are not necessary to carry out or support excepted activities will be furloughed, i.e., placed in a nonwork, nonpay status."
     Shanahan emphasized that no shutdown actions are to be taken until further notice is provided. "To repeat, the secretary and I hoped that Congress would pass a funding bill and the DOD could avoid a shutdown," Shanahan’s memo read. "This guidance is intended to support prudent planning."

Davos is discretely pushing peace talks
World Economic Forum logo.svg     
      US President Donald Trump will hog the limelight at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos next week, but behind the scenes some of the world's leading diplomats will be working on some of humanity's knottiest conflicts.
      In many ways, though, next week's World Economic Forum annual meeting in the Swiss alpine town of Davos is no different from previous confabs: a nearly week-long opportunity for the global rich and powerful to mingle and swap big ideas.

Powerful storm lashes Europe
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      A massive winter storm has killed at least nine people in Europe as powerful winds toppled trees, ripped roofs off of buildings and caused chaos in the streets.
      Violent gales have battered northwestern Europe, toppling trees and trucks, bringing down power lines, grounding aircraft and halting road and rail traffic across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

US and Pakistan spar at the UN over Afghanistan
Flag of the United Nations     
      The United States urged Pakistan yesterday not to give sanctuary to "terrorist organizations" - and Pakistan demanded that the Trump administration address safe havens inside Afghanistan and that nation's income from the narcotics trade.

Zimbabwe opposition leader killed in US helicopter crash
      Prominent Zimbabwean politician Roy Bennett has been killed with his wife in a helicopter crash in North America. The couple died along with three others when the aircraft crashed on Wednesday in a mountainous area in Colfax County, New Mexico.

'Make China great again,' Commies say
Flag of China     
     The world is in chaos, giving the Communist Party a "historic opportunity" to make China great again and reshape the world order - at least that was the message the party sought to drive home in a high-profile opinion piece in its flagship newspaper.
      Meanwhile, bunker fuel may now be leaking from the Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea last Sunday, China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said, underlining fears for contamination from the world's worst oil ship disaster in decades.

US military shifting focus to China, Russia
James Mattis official photo.jpg     
      The United States is switching its priority to countering Chinese and Russian military might after almost two decades of focusing on the fight against terrorism, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday.
      "The US must prepare to wage a great-power competition with China and Russia as those nations narrow their technological gap with the US," Mattis said.

Trial to resume Monday for North Korean's killers
Flag of North Korea     
      Malaysia's high-profile trial of two women - Vietnamese defendant Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian defendant Siti Aishah - accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader - resumes on Monday after a seven-week recess.
      Meanwhile, at least six Chinese ships covertly engaged in trade with North Korea in violation of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, according to satellite photographs and other intelligence.
      And the families of Japanese abducted by North Korea, and those believed to have been taken, will urge the International Criminal Court to prosecute the North's leader, saying the lack of information about their loved ones is a human rights issue.

US Vice President has high hopes for Middle East visit
By Lisa Levine, News of the Force Tel Aviv
Centered blue star within a horizontal triband     
     As US Vice President Mike Pence prepared to head to the Middle East this weekend, he said he was hopeful that President Trump's decision last month to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will greatly help, not hinder, efforts to broker peace.
      A UN Security Council meeting this week was supposed to be about confidence-building in an age of widening nuclear proliferation. However, the session featured once again a big power showdown between Russia and the United States over Iran, North Korea and Syria.
     US President Donald Trump is accelerating the move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the transition now expected to occur by 2019 - several years ahead of the original schedule.
     And Israel's security forces - the Shabak (the Israel Security Agency), the Israel Police, and the IDF yesterday morning reported that they estimate that the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach last week is still alive.

     Couzin Gym's Thought for the Day: Mondays are an awful way to spend one-seventh of your life.

Trump impeachment bill nixed
Official Portrait of President Donald Trump.jpg    
     Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer blasted Republicans and Democrats for overwhelmingly defeating a bill calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. "Congress’ failure to pass a bill ousting the president makes the country less safe," Steyer wrote in a press statement yesterday after the US House torpedoed, 355-66, a vote on articles of impeachment. His campaign to oust Trump from office has garnered little support from Democratic leadership.

Homeland insecurity
Flag of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg    
A teenage hacker leaked the personal details of over 20,000 FBI and Homeland Security officers, a court has heard. Kane Gamble, 18, of the UK, allegedly gained access to the accounts of senior US intelligence officials because he was annoyed at the "corrupt and cold-blooded" American government.
     The Department of Homeland Security was "caught by surprise" by President Donald Trump's first travel ban executive order, issued a week after he took office, and violated two court orders in preventing some travelers from boarding US-bound flights, the department's inspector general has said.
     The US Supreme Court said yesterday that it will decide whether President Trump's responsibility to protect the nation grants him authority to ban travelers from specific countries, and that it will rule by June in the case.
     The Croatian Ministry of the Interior and the US Department of Homeland Security have signed an implementing agreement on enhancing cooperation in preventing and combating serious crime.
     Freshman US Rep. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), announced this week that he would run for a second term, meaning the First Coast congressman should continue to be a major player on homeland security issues.
     FEMA Administrator Brock Long sent a chilling message to all Americans: FEMA is broke. He warns that Americans cannot rely on federal help when disaster strikes and that ultimately they will have to take care of themselves. FEMA's own guidelines state: "Every American should have at least 72 hours of non-perishable food on hand in case of a natural disaster." That's because in a crisis, your #1 need is food. But not just any food...experts say everyone needs to have non-perishable, good for 25 years survival food on hand in case of an emergency.
     And the Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based software vendor accused of keeping close ties to the Russian government, has asked a D.C. federal court judge to block a Department of Homeland Security directive prohibiting US agencies from using its products.

Free tax filing available to US military members
With the new year bringing a new tax season, Military OneSource has launched its free tax software to support military members and their families in the annual task of filing. The MilTax software is available through Military OneSource.

Crime and police
      The Baltimore, Md., police are looking for suspects caught on video beating and burning a cat. The Baltimore police are asking for the public's help identifying five suspects caught on surveillance video.
      Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution has secured the conviction and 25-year prison sentence of Frank Bower, 57, for the second time in two months. Bower, one of the four "ninja" robbers, pleaded guilty as charged to racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, both first-degree felonies. In 2014, Bower and three men from Immokalee, while masked and gloved, broke into a mansion in Central Florida, zip-tied and robbed the family inside the home and proceeded to steal the victims’ vehicle. A couple of weeks following this invasion, authorities captured Bower while he and two of the other robbers attempted to break into another home in the area.
      The California siblings allegedly held captive and tortured by their parents have a bond "with each other that's very natural for people who are cut off from the outside world," one doctor treating them has said.
      A top-secret memo has surfaced allegedly detailing the deep-state coordination between Obama, James Comey’s FBI, and Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice to take down President Trump.
      The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials have said, as he fights an allegation of blackmail and faces calls to resign just a year into his job. While the FBI has not commented on the existence of any inquiry or formal investigation into Greitens, the St. Louis circuit attorney's office announced last week that it is investigating Greitens' conduct following an explosive story that forced the Republican governor to acknowledge having has an extramarital affair and confront an allegation of blackmail. James Bennett, Greitens' lawyer, said yesterday that the governor "has not been contacted at any time by the FBI, and we are not aware of any interest by the FBI in this personal matter that took place years ago." Bennett added that they are also not aware of any interest by the FBI in matters unrelated to the affair. "It is the long-standing policy of the US Department of Justice that the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation," an FBI spokeswoman said. The scope of the FBI inquiry or when it began was not immediately clear. The FBI will at times begin an inquiry as a preliminary step before deciding whether an investigation is warranted. On Thursday, a 22-year-old man who said he volunteered to help with Greitens' transition team in December 2016 approached CNN to say he was interviewed by the FBI in November 2017. Eli Karabell told CNN in a phone interview that his conversations with two FBI agents lasted about an hour. He did not offer specifics on what he told the agents, and it is not clear whether the conversation Karabell said he had with the FBI was related to the open inquiry that the two US officials confirmed. Al Watkins, a Missouri attorney that Karabell retained this week, said he separately confirmed with the FBI that the bureau interviewed Karabell. In an email to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch late yesterday, Bennett said: “"I have notified CNN that this story should be retracted. Without getting into the details, it is sufficient to say the named source has a history of profane and aberrant behavior toward people associated with Governor Greitens dating back to last year to such a degree that Governor Greitens’' press secretary had to block his calls and other members of the Missouri Republican Party staff felt threatened to the degree that senior leadership attempted to intervene with his family." The news of an FBI inquiry into Greitens comes one week after a local TV station in Missouri broke the news that Greitens had an extramarital affair. The ex-husband of the woman alleged to have had an affair with Greitens said Greitens blackmailed his ex-wife during a sexual encounter. In a recording obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV, and later also obtained by CNN, a woman is heard saying, "He used some sort of tape, I don't what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me." She goes on to say that Greitens said to her, "'You're never going to mention my name,' otherwise there will be pictures of me (the woman) everywhere." Greitens has acknowledged having had an extramarital affair before he became governor, but has vehemently denied blackmail. Watkins also represents the woman's ex-husband. He said this week that he provided law enforcement with multiple hours of privately-recorded conversations between his client and his ex-wife about her affair with Greitens. Karabell told CNN on Thursday he did not know whether the interview the FBI conducted with him was in any way related to the latest revelations about Greitens' extramarital affair.
       Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, in Tampa, have announced the arrest of Roger William Labor, 46, for producing and possessing child pornography. After several tips that Labor, from Gibsonton, uploaded images of child pornography, and an FDLE investigation revealed Labor produced and manufactured some of the images himself. The investigation discovered evidence that Labor possessed at least 50 additional images of children depicted in sexual situations.
      Police in Thailand have arrested one of the world's most notorious wildlife traffickers, allegedly involved in the smuggling thousands of tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns from Africa to Asia.
      British tourists are being warned they should stay inside their resorts in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency in St James Parish after a number of "shooting incidents."
      Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced yesterday that his last day on the force will be June 27th. After more than 40 years with the LAPD, Beck made the announcement yesterday during a news conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti that was intended to address crime statistics.
      Guam Police Department Chief Joseph Cruz made remarks during the Guam Police Department's 8th Training Cycle graduation last night at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. Ten officers were sworn in during the ceremony.
      Investigators are working to piece together the chaotic sequence of events that led to a deputy US Marshal being shot to death while serving an arrest warrant in Pennsylvania's capital city, while colleagues are remembering him as the "cream of the crop." Christopher David Hill, 45, was killed early Thursday morning while arresting a suspect. The gunman was also killed.
      The United States Marshals Service has announced a new list of top-wanted fugitives in central Ohio. These four criminals are wanted on charges including failure to register as a sex offender, rape, drug possession and pre-trial release violations.
      A 27-year-old man who allegedly pulled a knife during a 2013 nightclub fight and fatally stabbed someone in Greeley, Colo., was arrested on Wednesday in Ventura, Calif., authorities say. Deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff's Office arrested Greg Boren using information supplied by the U.S. Marshals' Colorado Violent Fugitive Task Force.
     And a Bossier Parish, La., horse farm handyman accused of trying to kill his boss by planting a homemade bomb under the intended victim's bed is scheduled to go on trial Monday. Douglas Holley, 56, is accused of detonating a pipe bomb underneath the bedroom floor of the farm's veterinarian.

US Navy and Marine Corps
Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg Seal of the United States Marine Corps.svg     
A sailor who rammed his car into Ryan Zike just after Zike fired multiple shots into his former girlfriend was trying to save the woman and himself, according to Lake Forest, Illinois, Deputy Police Chief Rob Copeland. Yesterday, Chief Copeland said the sailor told police he saw Zike shoot Lt. Claire VanLandingham, a Naval officer and dentist, then use his car as a weapon to prevent Zike from shooting VanLandingham again or turning the gun on the sailor. VanLandingham and Zike were in a prior dating relationship and lived together for four or five months in the 200 block of East Deerpath Road in Lake Forest, said Chief Copeland. In October, Zike moved out of the apartment and relocated to Louisville, Ky.  At the time of the shooting, VanLandingham was living in an apartment in the Dunkin Donuts building in the 600 block of North Western Avenue in downtown Lake Forest. Zike was standing near a white car in the parking lot behind Dunkin Donuts when the sailor arrived to give VanLandingham a ride to work, according to Chief Copeland. Copeland said the sailor saw VanLandingham and Zike engaged in conversation when Zike then shot her in the parking lot. Seeing that, the sailor rammed his black SUV into Zike to stop him from firing again, and crashed his vehicle into the white car. About the same time, Zike shot himself in the head, according to Copeland. When police arrived on the scene shortly after 6:20 a.m., on Jan. 3rd, they found Zike’s body between the two crashed cars. He said the white car belongs to a resident of the apartment building where VanLandingham lived. An autopsy performed by the Lake County Coroner’s Office on Jan. 4th determined Zike died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. Copeland said the autopsy also determined Zike did not sustain major trauma from being hit by the car. When the sailor struck Zike with his car, he did not know VanLandingham’s condition, according to Copeland. He is a Highland Park resident and enlisted member of the United States Navy assigned to the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center at Naval Station Great Lakes, where VanLandingham worked as a dentist. Immediately after the sailor drove his car into Zike, the sailor went to administer first aid to VanLandingham. He also went into Dunkin Donuts asking someone there to call 911. Though there were no other witnesses to the shooting, Copeland said investigators are satisfied with the sailor’s explanation of self defense and acting to protect another individual. "Based on the evidence gathered by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and the coroner he was acting to protect her and himself," said Copeland. "He didn’t know her condition. Everything was run by the Lake County state’s attorney’s office." Also involved in the investigation is the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), according to Ed Buice, a NCIS public affairs officer. NCIS is assisting the task force. Copeland said he called the NCIS asking for its assistance in the investigation because VanLandingham and the sailor were both Naval personnel. "If we need records that’s the best place to get them," Copeland said. "This was a tragic death involving Naval personnel." Although there are surveillance cameras in the area, Copeland said none showed the crime scene.
      The US Marine Corps is expanding its use of a new automatic rifle, issuing it to all Marine infantry and other Marines at the very tip of the spear. The M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle will replace the M4 carbine in many combat-related positions. Other troops will continue to use the M4.
      Vacant VA counseling and call centers may not matter to veterans who have been in school for a while, said a Marine Corps veteran who attends George Washington University, just miles from where budget discussions have come to a standstill on Capitol Hill.
      The school next to the Futenma base on the southern island of Okinawa has become a focal point for discontent over the US presence on the island since a window fell from a US Marine Corps helicopter onto its playground last month. The Marines blamed the incident on ground personnel failing to secure the window before flight.
      The Marine Corps' top leaders have warned junior troops to stop eating Tide Pods after a number of Marines have been hospitalized.
      The Marine Corps Recruiting Command has announced its newly-developed partnership with USA Rugby.
      Actor and comedian Rob Riggle will host the NFL Honors when the AP awards are announced. Riggle said he remembers being in New York City. He had just left active duty and was serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. His unit was the only reserve unit in Manhattan at the time. Riggle's unit reported to Ground Zero the day after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to remove rubble as crews searched for survivors of the attack on the World Trade Center. The two-hour prime-time show on NBC will take place at Northrop, at the University of Minnesota. Riggle, who recently retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 23 years of service, has been a staple in comedy for more than 15 years.

NOAA news
NOAA logo.svg     
NOAA has found the 2017 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the third warmest on record. Warming trends are strongest in the Arctic regions, where 2017 saw the continued loss of sea ice.
      If you're ready for Spring, here's a glimpse at what might be ahead. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) released their 90 day forecast covering February to April yesterday. Like previous outlooks, this one has a La Nina flavor to it - dry and warm in the South, cool and wet in the North.
You'll still get NOAA weather forecasts and warnings during the government shutdown, NOAA has said. And according to the US Department of Commerce, approximately 54 percent of NOAA's 11,400 employees will be placed on furlough during the shutdown. Many of the 5,400 NOAA employees exempted from the mandated furlough work for the National Weather Service and are deemed "necessary."

US Army
Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg     
The US Army's Transportable Tactical Command Communications (T2C2), which provides satellite capability to small units operating in areas without network infrastructure, has achieved its full-rate production decision, enabling the Army to begin procuring and fielding the expeditionary inflatable vehicles.
      Lt. Gen. Michael A. Bills, the US 8th Army's commanding general, presented coins to the soldiers for their excellent work during the visit of the Secretary of the Army at the Van Fleet Room at 8th Army Headquarters, US Army Garrison Humphreys (Camp Humphreys), in the Republic of Korea, on Jan. 17th.
      A study from the researchers at The Citadel, the University of South Carolina, the American Heart Association and the US Army Public Health Center has found that Army recruits from the South are less physically fit and more overweight than recruits from other parts of the country - and they're getting injured more often.
      The US Army Medical and Materiel Command (USARMC) and the US Army Medical Transfer Office (MTT) have signed an agreement with Morzine Medical that gives the Atlanta, Ga.-based startup the rights to distribute and sell the SHRAIL™, a litter rail system.
      The US Army Reserve's 377th Theater Sustainment Command, in New Orleans, has more than 1,300 workers, including reservists, and contributes more than $30 million in annual spending to Louisiana's economy. The Louisiana Army National Guard, with headquarters in New Orleans and facilities throughout the state, contributes nearly $400 million.
And Ft. Polk, La., contributes $700 million to the state's economy, bringing the total economic impact to the state to $7.7 billion.
      The Army World Class Athlete Program is a military detachment run by the US Army Installation Management Command. It was established by the Army to support Public Law 84-11, which allows the Army to provide soldiers - including those in the Army National Guard and the US Army Reserve - to participate in the Olympics.
      Sgt. Matt Mortensen is one of four New York Army National Guard soldiers who will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He will be a member of the US Luge team.
      Army Reservists in Active Guard/Reserve jobs will continue to report for duty during the government shutdown, but reserve component personnel will not perform inactive duty requiring the obligation of funds, except where the duty supports an activity deemed essential.
      A 41-year-old Palermo man pleaded guilty on Thursday to a child pornography charge from 2012 that his attorney said cost him a 16-year career in the Maine Army National Guard. Anthony Mangin had been charged with two counts of possession of sexually explicit materials.
     And according to an incident report, three Palletized Load System (PLS) vehicles assigned to a Florida Army National Guard unit out of Miami were headed north on US 27 when the rear-most vehicle failed to stop in time at a red light in Sebring, Fla., and crashed into the middle vehicle. Police said the driver of the third vehicle sustained injuries, and one soldier was killed.


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