News of the Force: Sunday, February 4, 2018 - Page 1

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Feb 4, 2018, 2:37:53 PM2/4/18
                   NEWS OF THE FORCE: Sunday, February 4, 2018 - Page 1 | Today is Super Bowl Sunday

Allied troops training Ukraine's
     Military trainers from the United States, Canada, Poland and Lithuania are training Ukraine's service members at a training base in western Ukraine.

Russia has a news 'doomsday' weapon
     On March 1, 1954, the U.S. conducted its largest nuclear test with a yield of 15 megatons. The new Russian weapon would be up to 100 megatons, according to reports.
     Meanwhile, t
he Trump administration rolled out a new nuclear weapons strategy on Friday, calling for a batch of smaller nuclear weapons in hopes that less-massive nukes will provide a greater deterrent because enemies might think the U.S. will use them.

North Korea evading trade sanctions, U.N. says
North Korea is flouting U.N. sanctions on oil and gas, engaging in prohibited ballistic missile cooperation with Syria and Myanmar, and illegally exporting commodities that brought in nearly $200 million in just nine months last year, the U.N. says.
     Meanwhile, t
he White House is pushing back on the claim that a National Security Council (NSC) official suggested that a pre-emptive strike on North Korea could help the Republican Party's political odds in the midterm elections.

China criticizes the U.S. over 'nuclear adversary' claim
China today criticized a U.S. Government report that cast Beijing as a potential nuclear adversary and called on Washington to reduce its own much larger arsenal and join in promoting regional stability.

Drive-by shooting in Italy targeted foreigners
The black car Alfa Romeo of the young man suspected of wounding several foreign nationals in a drive-by shooting was blocked by police and the Carabinieri at Macerata, where the suspect was arrested.

Russian oligarchs in Britain will be forced to account for their wealth
     Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to account for their luxury lifestyles in the U.K. in a new crackdown on organized crime, a government minister has said.

Swiss-born Islamic scholar charged with rape in France
     Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss-born scholar of Islam, has been charged in France with rape, based on accusations made against him four months ago by two women.

Pressure rises on Maldives' president
     Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has fired his second police chief in three days and the opposition said it feared violence, as the island nation was pitched deeper into a crisis caused by Yameen's failure to obey a court order to free his political opponents.

Iran arrests 29 women for not wearing the hijab
Iranian media has reported that police in Tehran have arrested 29 women for appearing in public without wearing a hijab, the Muslim headscarf that is mandatory for women under Iranian law.

Syrian rebels shoot down Russian warplane
By Lisa Levine, News of the Force Tel Aviv
     Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane yesterday and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russia's defense ministry and Syrian rebels said. The SU-25 came down in an area of northern Idlib Province that has seen heavy air strikes and fighting on the ground between Syria's government forces backed by Russia and Iran, and rebel groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. Syrians opposed to Assad see Russia as an invading force they blame for the deaths of thousands of civilians since Moscow joined the war on the side of the government in 2015.
     The Turkish military has suffered the deadliest day in its offensive against Kurdish militias inside northern Syria, with seven of its soldiers killed.
     Knife attacks by Syrian teenagers are prompting protests in Germany. Pro-immigration groups in Germany protested yesterday what they call a move by far-right groups to increase tensions in the city of Cottbus following two knife attacks by Syrian teenagers. Protestors included Arab refugees and Germans with signs and "anti-fascism" placards that claim the far-right’s criticism of the attacks are racially motivated. "We want to stop this hate between Germans and Arab refugees," Ahmad al-Barqouni, a 28-year-old Syrian student, told Reuters. He was marching through the city with around 1,500 other people. "Some people made mistakes but not everyone should pay the price for it," he said of the knife attacks.
     A political coalition including several high-profile Egyptians has sharply criticized President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for a speech in which he warned off anyone seeking to challenge his rule.
     Israel has carried out airstrikes in Egypt, with that nation's OK. The jihadists in Egypt's Northern Sinai had killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, briefly seized a major town and begun setting up armed checkpoints to claim territory.
     The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported this morning that Hamas leaders and other terror organizations based out of the Gaza Strip are "95% certain" that Israel will launch a war against them within the coming days.
     Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has defended a controversial Holocaust bill intended to safeguard his country's image abroad but which has instead drawn dismay from Israel, the U.S., the E.U. and Ukraine.
     Outrage over U.S. President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has finally turned to violence against Americans as U.S. diplomats have been chased out of Bethlehem by Palestinian rioters.
     The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s Executive Committee decided last night to demand that the U.N. Security Council recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
     Palestinian officials say a 19-year-old has been killed in clashes with the Israeli military in the West Bank. The health ministry says Ahmad Abu-Obeid was shot in the head yesterday during a stone-throwing confrontation.
     Six suspects have been arrested in an attack on 59-year-old Tel Aviv resident who got lost and accidentally entered the Palestinian village of Abu Dis, where he was pelted with stones and his car was set on fire.
     And U.S. troops are in Israel ahead of a large-scale military drill. The joint exercise with the U.S. Army European Command (EUCOM) is aimed at strengthening military cooperation against regional threats and promoting long-term security. Washington and Israel have signed an agreement which would see the U.S. come to assist Israel with missile defense in times of war.

      Couzin Gym's Thought for the Day: If women really get paid less than men, wouldn't companies hire mostly women as a cost-cutting measure?

Is the DNC broke?
      The Democratic National Committee (DNC) had a rough 2017, plagued by leadership troubles, internal squabbling and unflattering reports. To top it off, the party ended the year "dead broke," says The intercept's Ryan Grim.
The Democratic Party is carrying more than $6 million in debt, according to year-end filings - and has just $6.5 million in the bank. Do the math, and the party is working with just over $400,000 overall.
     Meanwhile, the Republicans are swimming in pools of money. The Republican National Committee (RNC) had raised $132 million by the end of 2017 - about twice as much as the DNC - and entered 2018 with almost $40 million to spare, with not a penny of debt.

Homeland insecurity
     President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to nations that refuse to take back deportees.
Trump said during a briefing with Department of Homeland Security officials at the Customs and Border Protection National Targeting Center in Virginia that he knows how to change the trend. "If they don't take 'em back, we'll put sanctions on the countries, we'll put tariffs on the countries," Trump said.
     Booz Allen Hamilton has announced that the company has been selected as the first prime contractor under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)' government-wide Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Dynamic and Evolving Federal Enterprise Network Defense (DEFEND) Program.
     Jianhua "Jeff" Li, a 43-year-old Chinese national who lived in the U.S. on a student visa, has pleaded guilty to taking part in a counterfeiting operation out of China that involved selling fake iPhones and iPads to customers in the United States.
     U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended a Mexican national who was wanted on charges of sexual assaulting a child in Texas, authorities said. He was on a bus that was stopped on Thursday on the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge as it was crossing into Laredo, Texas.
     A Kansas father of three who was detained by immigration officials last week as he was getting his kids ready for school is facing deportation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Syed Ahmed Jamal, 55, outside his home in Lawrence, Kansas.
     And vast resources have been deployed to identify, track, and intercept unmanned aircraft deemed a threat, but drones "continue to provide a significant challenge to special event security in the U.S.," a Department of Homeland Security official has said.

U.S. Coast Guard
Five fisherman had to abandon ship and were rescued by U.S. Coast Guard crews west of Cape Alava, which is south of Neah Bay, Alaska. According to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard, the 87-foot fishing vessel Sunnfjord flooded when its dewatering pumps failed.
      A Good Samaritan and Coast Guard crews have rescued five people from their sinking boat off Boynton Beach, Fla. The U.S. Coast Guard said they launched an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to the scene and Station Lake Worth Inlet also launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew. The Good Samaritan transferred the people to the Lake Worth Inlet boat crew, who took them back to the station.
      A Coast Guard crew offloaded nearly two tons of cocaine on Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla. Authorities seized about 3,483 pounds of cocaine in the Caribbean Sea from Dec. 20-22, 2017. It's worth about worth about $46.68 million wholesale.
      And Eugene, Oregon, pharmacist Brady McNulty has been appointed as a branch assistant to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Performance Measurement Directorate. The directive measures and analyzes Auxiliary performance and resource data, and provides accurate reporting on Auxiliary activities to the active duty Coast Guard.

U.S. Army
     The U.S. Army recently warned about the dangers of vaping with synthetic cannabinoid (CBD) oil, citing two deaths linked to the products. However, the original statement which was issued on Monday by the Army Public Health Center (APHC), has since been updated and no longer includes any service members.
The researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new algorithm called "Deep TAMER," to train robots or computer programs.
     Since being confirmed by the U.S Senate in November, the Secretary of the Army has made Army readiness one of his top priorities. His stop in Poznan was part of a tour through U.S. Army Europe to get a clearer understanding of the progress that has been made by rotational forces for the collective security of eastern Europe.
     Friends and family from all parts of Brigadier Gen. Randy Warm's life joined together yesterday at Camp Dodge, Iowa, to give him a very warm send off into retired life. After several decades of service in the Iowa Army National Guard, he decided it was time to give someone else the chance to be a leader.
     The Missouri Army National Guard recently hosted a one-hour workout session for members of a leadership program at Missouri Southern State University to encourage fitness in the student body. The Show-Me Gold program helps people become officers in the state's Army National Guard through training and leadership.
     Nicholas Moran, an Army National Guard officer and lead historian at the company behind the "World of Tanks" gaming franchise, has given his YouTube viewers an inside look at many of the real-world tanks that appear in the game.
     Brig. General Wayne Black has moved into a new role of commanding general of the 81st Troop Command that's over all of the Army National Guard units in Terre Haute, Indiana.
     And Army National Guard rescuers are searching for a missing man near Henline Falls, Oregon, after the victim fell from a 30-foot cliff.

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