CAP National Staff vacancy - National
The Civil Air Patrol
(CAP)'s national commander is looking for a qualified member to fill the
National Historian position. This position was established to perform and manage
historical research, writing, collection and preservation of historical
materials; to plan and coordinate the use of historical resources, as well as
advise commanders and staff on the use of historical information in policy
development and decision-making.
In an official post to wing
commanders, CAP Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr has sent out a job description and a
request for applications to fill the position as CAP national historian. That
seems to confirm reports from last week's National Board meeting [NB] that
long-term historian Len Blascovich has retired. A new national historian would
have the authority to name his/her own staff, which could mean that the CAP's
national curator, CAP Lt. Col. Jim Shaw, the assistant national historian, CAP
Lt. Col. Todd Engelman, and CAP Col. Ray Lyon may all be replaced.
Shaw, Engelman, Blascovich, and Lyon
were all charged in a CAP IG complaint that alleged theft of historical items
and an aggressive cover-up. The investigation of that complaint dragged on for
15 months until after former national commander, CAP Maj. Gen. Amy. S. Couter,
termed out. Then the new national commander, Carr, ruled that "absolutely
nothing happened." He has gone online to the media with this assertion. He and
other CAP officers have stonewalled media requests - including from NOTF
- to provide a copy of the report of investigation. The statements the
"leadership" has made about this complaint raise a lot of questions, as
NOTF has been covering.
This is what this announcement does
not tell us: 1. Whether this reflects any changes in the handling of the theft
complaint. So far, there is no indication of that. 2. Whether those accused in
the IG complaint can apply for the national historian position, and 3, Whether
Shaw, Engelman and Lyon will remain in CAP historian positions. Not to mention
that, so far, there has been no response to valid issues raised about the IG
In about the same time frame that Gen.
Carr ruled that "nothing happened" on the theft complaint, Carr also re-instated
the membership of John Tilton. Tilton was appointed to the CAP's Board of
Governors (BoG) by disgraced former CAP national commander Tony Pineda.
Tilton was the only BoG member to vote against Pineda's removal in 2007. As
former members of the CAP's National Executive Committee (NEC) are reminding us,
Tilton was accused of charging somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000 on a CAP
corporate credit card he held in his possession as the CAP's Southeast
Region commander. This launched an investigation that found Tilton guilty.
Tilton's membership was terminated and he was removed from the BoG for his
refusal to cooperate with the investigation. Tilton appealed his termination to
the Membership Action Review Board (MARB). The MARB, which was stacked with
Bowling and Pineda appointees, upheld Tilton's appeal. This put the CAP in
uncharted waters. The CAP (BoG?) hired an outside attorney with an expertise in
governance issues. Counsel rendered the opinion that Tilton was terminated for
theft and not by an adverse member action. Therefore, the MARB had no
jurisdiction over the appeal. Tilton was again terminated. He again appealed.
This matter was again dragged on until Gen. Courter termed out. The matter went
on for about three years.
Does anyone else find it at all
interesting that two major theft complaints were cleared by Gen. Carr? Does
anyone else find it odd that these were not referred to law enforcement? As we
have stated, the CAP IG process is not designed to investigate criminal
Meanwhile, NOTF has been
informed that a group of CAP members calling themselves "The Semper Vigilantes"
is organizing in the CAP and has legal representation. Their mission is to
expose corruption in the CAP and to advocate for revisions to the CAP's IG
process, which they call "abusive." NOTF has asked them for a
publishable statement. We understand they have a plan for a media blitz if the
CAP does not address the corruption issues thoroughly, openly - and
Obama thanks troops who served in
President Barack Obama is thanking
troops for their service as he marks the second anniversary of the end of combat
operations in Iraq.
He says he will ensure that soldiers
remain well-equipped and vows to assist in their economic transition to civilian
In his weekly radio and Internet
address, Obama reiterated his message yesterday to the troops at Fort
Bliss, Texas. He says as the nation turns from war "It's time to do some
nation-building here at home."
Republican hopeful Mitt Romney said
nothing about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he addressed his party's
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, of
Louisiana, delivering his GOP address, praised American resilience in the
face of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Isaac. He also reiterated Republican
demands for extending Bush-era tax cuts.
News from the U.S.
A Mississippi man wanted on failure to
appear charges for aggravated assault with a knife has been arrested by the
U.S. Marshals Service's Savannah, Ga., Office of the Southeast Regional
Fugitive Task Force. Domieko Deonta Eubanks was wanted by the Oktibbeha County
Sheriff’s Department, in Starkville, Miss.
The U.S. Marshals' Northern Ohio
Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF)'s Akron Division has arrested Leo
Moore, III. Moore was wanted by the Akron Police Department on the charges of
carrying weapons under disability, carrying a concealed weapon and willful
fleeing. Moore was also wanted by the Summit County (Ohio) Sheriff’s
Department on drug charges.
And the U.S. Marshals recently
conducted a preview of six aircraft in Aguadilla that will be sold at public
auction on Sept. 5 in Midland, Texas. The aircraft were part of a seizure
conducted in December 2011 shortly after a search warrant was executed by the
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in relation to the investigation of
Two more visitors to Yosemite National
Park have been diagnosed with a deadly rodent-borne virus, raising the total
number of people infected in the unusual outbreak to six, California public
health officials have said. Two men died from the rare lung disease, called
hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and four other people survived the rodent-borne
illness. Most of the victims are believed to have contracted the virus while
staying in tent-style cabins this summer in a popular camping area called Curry
U.S. Coast Guard news
Louisiana's Health Department
has issued "boil water" advisories for 320 water systems in 28
parishes, urging residents to disinfect water before drinking, brushing their
teeth, or cooking or preparing food.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the Port of
Morgan City, in Louisiana, has reopened. Power utilities were working to restore
electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses along the Gulf
The U.S. Coast Guard has
reopened the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, La., to the mouth of
the river, to limited ship traffic.
U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Robert
Parker said the Mississippi River and ports at Mobile and New Orleans had
reopened and were safe for most ships. Some major roadways, such as Interstate
55 and U.S. Hwy. 61, also reopened.
Isaac's eye moved over Springfield,
Mo., yesterday afternoon, National Weather Service Acting Director Laura
Furgione said. Furgione said she had reports of water rescues in Pine Bluff,
Ark., and flooding in Little Rock.
The Coast Guard is encouraging
swimmers and boaters to check the weather forecast before heading out on local
waterways this Labor Day weekend.
The Coast Guard performed a water
rescue after it received a phone call from a person on board the boat in
Michigan's Sheboygan Harbor about 5:30 p.m., local time, on Thursday
that the 18-foot craft was disabled, taking on water and that the current was
pushing the boat toward the breakwall.
The Coast Guard has rescued three
fisherman, and is seeking a fourth, after their boat sank off Kodiak, Alaska.
The search began just after midnight when the Coast Guard's 17th District
Command Center received a radio beacon notice from the Advantage, which
is based in Cordova, that the vessel was in trouble.
The Coast Guard's fleet of legacy
ships has been breaking down more in recent years, but the service has not been
accurately estimating the costs of repairs or the hours it can operate its
cutters, congressional investigators warned recently.
Coast Guard Sector Charleston,
S.C., will establish a temporary safety zone on the Atlantic Ocean in the
Myrtle Beach area this evening during the Apache Pier Labor Day
The Coast Guard has rescued two
people and their cat in LaPlace, La. A Coast Guard spokesman said Murry Daniels
and his wife were hoisted aboard a helicopter Thursday evening from their
flooded building in Frenier Landing. The couple and their pet were brought back
to the Coast Guard Air Station in good condition. Coast Guard search and rescue
crews continue to search the greater New Orleans area for people in distress
after Hurricane Isaac passed through the area.
And the Coast Guard's Disaster
Assistance Response Team used boats that normally rescue flood victims in the
Midwest, but Hurricane Isaac brought them to a truck stop surrounded by water
under the junction of I-10 and I-55, in LaPlace, La., to help
a stranded trucker.
9-year-old boy charged with
By Jim Corvey, News of the Force St.
A 9-year-old boy has been charged by
St. Clair County prosecutors, in Belleville, Illinois, with first-degree
Cahokia police said the 9-year-old,
who was staying with family members at a home in Cahokia, was in a room with a
14-month-old baby boy and beat the younger child to death. The baby
died last Sunday, authorities said.
St. Clair County State's Attorney
Brendan Kelly released a statement late yesterday afternoon saying the charge
was issued on Tuesday, but provided no specifics.
No one answered the door yesterday at
the small, white frame home in Cahokia where the incident took place. A neighbor
said the couple that lives there moved in a few months ago. Marcus Nicholson, 34, said he was watching television in his family room
when he noticed an ambulance pull up at the house next door last Saturday night.
He said Cahokia detectives and crime scene technicians were at the same house
for several hours later in the day last Sunday. He said
the family had moved into the house about three or four months ago and he didn't
know them very well. He said a man, a woman, and about four or five children
lived in the house, including the 9-year-old and the baby who was killed.
"That's pretty shocking," he said. "Man, that's
Because the charge involves a minor
under the age of 18, state law prohibits the release of detailed court
information. "As in any case, we considered the evidence,
our duty to protect the public and potential outcomes under the law before
proceeding," Kelly said. The child’s name wasn’t released.
Kelly said the child could not, by law, be tried as an adult, and the case is
pending in juvenile court.
The boy is not the youngest to be
charged with murder in the United States but is among the youngest in the region
to be so charged. In 2008, an 8-year-old boy in Arizona was
charged with murder in the shooting deaths of his father and another man.
In 2005, a 12-year-old girl was charged in St. Louis with
murder in the strangling death of her 9-year-old sister during an argument over
a hamburger. And in 2007, a 12-year-old boy was charged in St. Louis with
stabbing a 13-year-old girl during a fight.
Q: Is the Democratic National
Convention hosting a Muslim "Jumah” prayer service after rejecting a Catholic
cardinal's offer to lead a prayer?
A: No. A Muslim group scheduled an event that was
independent of the convention at a city park. The cardinal is leading the
convention's closing prayer.
Scientists test new marine robot hurricane
As Tropical Storm Isaac was on its
path through the Caribbean before becoming a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico,
U.S. scientists were testing an experimental new weather spy tool - an unmanned,
VR-57 'Conquistadors' provide support for
Hurricane Isaac relief efforts
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR)
57, at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., provided support for Hurricane Isaac
relief efforts, Aug. 29. A crew of the VR-57 "Conquistadors," with their C-40A
Clipper, quickly, and in the middle of their own mission, jumped into the
support for Hurricane Isaac relief efforts by transporting a group of Helicopter
Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 air crew and maintenance personnel from Norfolk to
Dothan Regional Airport, in Alabama. This last-minute transport gave HSC-9 some
much-needed manpower to begin preparations for the NORTHCOM-tasked Humanitarian
Assistance/Disaster Relief missions along the Gulf Coast.
crew was preparing to return to its home base at Naval Air Station North Island,
in San Diego, Calif., when the Navy Air Logistics Office (NALO) scheduled
the support. "NALO and the VR-57 crew easily coordinated the no-notice mission
which allowed for same-day execution and completion," said Cmdr. Tim Rascoll,
transport aircraft requirements officer for the Office of the Chief of Naval
Operations. VR-57 is one of 15 squadrons within Fleet Logistics Support Wing
(FLSW), headquartered at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas.
The FLSW, the largest functioning air wing in the Navy, was established to
operate Navy-unique essential airlift aircraft on a worldwide basis. Its mission
is to provide responsive, flexible, and rapid deployable air logistics
Meanwhile, Naval Facilities
Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast is sending 15 military and civilians to
Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss., and Naval Air Station
Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans as part of a Contingency Engineering
Response Team (CERT). The team departed from Naval Air Station Jacksonville,
Fla. This is the first time that a CERT team will be using an unmanned aerial
vehicle (UAV) with camera, which will take photos from above to help the
disaster assessment teams (DAT) better evaluate the facilities and roads on the
bases. "These engineers will work directly for our Public Works Departments in
Gulfport and New Orleans," said NAVFAC Southeast Operations Officer Capt. Mark
Edelson. "They will perform assessments of facilities and assets at both
locations to help get these bases back to normal operations as soon as possible.
The Public Works departments currently manage the facilities, water, power, and
sanitation for the bases," said Edelson. "They will be working hard to assist
any efforts from agencies in the area and will support them with whatever they
need to get the job done." A mobile command post (MCP) will provide work space,
a variety of communications technology, and the ability to provide electronic
submission of damage assessments from hand-held devices that hold the
installation's facility inventory. The MCP allows the CERT to communicate
directly with NAVFAC Southeast, in Jacksonville, Fla., from wherever they are
located. Sending engineers around the world is not new to NAVFAC. "We always
have a trained CERT ready to go at a moments notice," said Don Maconi, NAVFAC
Southeast contingency engineer. Maconi explained that the CERT has DATs which
consist of structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers, architects, roofing
specialists, community planners and construction contract specialists that
deploy to begin rapid damage assessments. It is during this phase that debris is
removed and basic functions are restored such as opening roadways, sanitation,
water, electricity and communications.
Typically, these teams are deployed to
assess hurricane or other storm damage to military installations, but also are
deployed for humanitarian efforts such as a tsunami or the earthquake in Haiti
UFO 'secrets' to be revealed this
In just a few weeks, some kind of UFO-related
"secrets" will be revealed at a Smithsonian Institution affiliated museum.
That's the implied promise in the title of a special lecture coming up at the National Atomic Testing Museum, in Las Vegas,
Nev., on Sept. 22.
The secrets haven't yet been revealed,
but the players involved certainly present the potential for something
intriguing to emerge from this one-night event that's part of the museum's
ongoing Area 51 lecture series.
"We looked at bringing in some people
to talk about extraterrestrials and UFOs," said museum CEO and executive
director Allan Palmer, a highly decorated former Air Force and Navy combat jet
fighter pilot. "We wanted to concentrate on people who had
personal stories and exposure to what they thought were real UFOs from the
military side, because they might have just a little more credibility than your
average Joe," Palmer said.
Four of the participants had previous
American military security clearances:
- Ret. Army Col. John
Alexander: A former military insider who created Advanced
Theoretical Physics - a group of top-level government officials and scientists
brought together to study UFOs.
- Ret. Air Force Col. Charles
Halt: The former base commander of the RAF Bentwaters
military base in England and a vital eyewitness to the amazing UFO-related
events at Rendlesham Forest in December 1980, where he believed the observed
UFOs were extraterrestrial in origin.
- Ret. Air Force Col. William
Coleman: A former public information officer for the Air
Force's Project Blue Book UFO study.
- Ret. Air Force Col. Robert
Friend: Former director of the Air Force's Project Blue Book
from 1958 to 1963.
The fifth guest at the museum's
upcoming UFO lecture is former U.K. UFO desk officer Nick Pope.
What's going to be different about
this one-time lecture compared to previous gatherings where military personnel
have stepped forward to reveal details about personal UFO
experiences? "One of the things that is
different is that you have high credibility vetted sources," Alexander said.
"What you're getting from this panel are people who have worked with the
military, all of whom certainly agree that UFOs are real, and I think most of
them would say it ought to be researched. Here, you're
getting a small number of participants, but high credibility
At the Sept. 22 lecture, Pope will
speak of the similarities between how the U.K. and U.S. governments had similar
UFO study groups and why both countries officially got out of the UFO business.
"In both instances, the bottom line was that we wanted 'Joe
Sixpack' off our backs. Strip out all the mistaken sightings of weather balloons
and dump all the crazies, and we might just have something worth looking at,"
Pope said. "But you can't do that in a public UFO project,
because it's a kook magnet," he said. "The trick is to highlight all the crazy
stuff in the media, so the subject becomes a joke, pull the plug, then run the
whole thing covertly. Now, I'm not saying this is exactly what happened, but if
an Air Force pilot sees something unusual and it's tracked on military radar,
does anyone seriously think we wouldn't be interested?"
While none of the participants of the
upcoming lecture have offered a preview of any UFO revelation, Pope promises to
disclose "some hitherto unrevealed secrets of the British government's UFO
This isn't the first time the Las
Vegas museum has offered a provocative UFO presentation. Back in March of this year, the Smithsonian venue opened its doors to an
ongoing exhibit called "Area 51: Myth or Reality," providing a comprehensive look at the historic records of the most
secret military installation in the country.
Among the many items displayed are
materials presented as "Authentic Alien Artifacts" - samples of small objects
originating from an alleged UFO crash in Russia.
Ohio girls 'joins' the Air Force, helps run a
Ohio's Youngstown Air Reserve
Station rolled out the red carpet yesterday for a young lady from Liberty,
Ohio, battling leukemia. London Hairston, 11, became a Pilot for a
New Jersey supermarket shooter was a former
A New Jersey supermarket employee who
killed two people at the store early yesterday and then fatally shot himself is
a former Marine, authorities said. The man, identified as Terence Tyler, 23, was
discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2010.
Hill AFB co-workers share $1 million Powerball
Nine co-workers from Hill Air Force
Base, Utah, are sharing a $1 million Powerball prize from the Idaho
Lottery, one of the biggest wins ever for Utahns who cross the border for
tickets. Yesterday, several members of the group claimed their
Former homeless Marine to participate in
Angela Madsen, 52, who became a
paraplegic after she was the victim of a botched back surgery while in the
U.S. Marine Corps, will compete in two Paralympics events during this
year's games in London, England.
Hawker Beechcraft says it's close to deal with
Hawker Beechcraft says it
is nearing a $1.79 billion deal to sell itself to China's Superior
Aviation Beijing Co. The Wichita, Kansas-based aircraft
manufacturer, which filed for bankruptcy this year, also has completed a deal
with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. over the company's under-funded pension
Third death in disease outbreak at Chicago
A third death has been reported
following an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a Chicago,
Illinois, hotel in July.
Former Homeland Security committee aide charged
with sex crimes
A former sub-committee staff director
at the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee has been
charged with drugging several women and taking advantage of them sexually while
they were under the influence of the drugs. He was in that
committee job at the time the alleged attacks took place in the summer of 2010,
but has since left the committee for private industry.
The U.S. Government has charged Donny
Ray Williams, 36, of Northeast D.C., with 10 counts, including an allegation
that he distributed a photo-graph of a partially naked woman that was taken
without her consent.
Williams said yesterday that he is
"absolutely innocent of every single charge, and I've never done any crime in my
life, and I've never been arrested for shoplifting or anything. And, I certainly wouldn't start with something as heinous as what
the charges were, and I just pray the truth will come out."
Although the schedule could change, it
appears the case will go to trial early next year.
Defense review will give huge boost to number of
Maritime reserve forces providing
back-up for the U.K.'s Royal Navy and Royal Marines will see their numbers
grow by more than 50 percent while the number of regular servicemen and women
continue to be massively scaled back.
Operational F-22's employ small diameter bombs
By Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso, 477th Fighter Group Public
During a Combat Hammer exercise,
Alaska-based F-22 Raptors became the first operational F-22 unit to drop GBU-39
small diameter bombs.
Although small diameter bombs have
been employed by test pilots, Combat Hammer, a weapons system evaluation program
sponsored by the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron, provided an opportunity for an
operational unit to employ them in a realistic tactical training
"The Utah Test and Training Range is
the only location in the United States where the F-22s can employ SDBs at speeds
and altitudes unique to the Raptor," said Maj. Wade Bridges, a U.S. Air
Force Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 302nd Fighter
The 3rd Wing F-22s that have the
upgraded increment 3.1 software, were able to drop the GBU-39 SDB. The GBU-39
SDB is a 250-pound precision-guided glide bomb that is intended to provide
aircraft with the ability to carry a higher number of bombs and to employ with
"The employment of the GBU-39s was
very successful," said Bridges. "The ammo and weapons personnel that built and
loaded the weapons did so with amazing professionalism and technical expertise.
They were evaluated during the entire process and received nothing but praise
for their work. The pilots who employed the weapons did an excellent job
delivering the weapons in a tactical environment. The entire process from
building to employing the weapons was a tremendous success resulting in 100
percent of the SDBs being released successfully."
This training event allowed for Total
Force Integration across the F-22 fleet. The 302nd Fighter Squadron led a Total
Force team from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Pilots from both the
302nd and the 525th Fighter Squadrons and maintainers from the 3rd Maintenance
Group and the 477th Fighter Group filled the deployment roster, making it a true
Total Force effort from Alaska.
In addition to the Alaska-based
effort, pilots from the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons and their associated
maintainers participated in this Combat Hammer. This was the first time
operations and maintenance personnel from the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons,
stationed in Hawaii, have deployed.
"The successful deployment experience
and delivery of air-to-ground weapons is a major milestone for the Hawaiian
Raptor operations and maintenance team towards declaration of initial
operational capability," said Lt. Col. Robert Jackson, the 19th FS'
Send-off set for Military Police
A group of about 20 soldiers from the
383rd Military Police Detachment, of the U.S. Army Reserve, from Lakeland,
Fla., will be deployed on Monday, and it's hoped that folks will show
up to see them off.
Algeria's army kills 9 terrorism
Algerian news reports say government
forces have killed nine suspected terrorists including the leader of a group
accused of multiple attacks.
The state news agency APS says army
forces battled the suspected terrorists from Wednesday into Thursday in a
forested mountain region east of the capital city
Among the nine dead was Zemouri
Abdelamalek, also known as Abou Bakr, the leader of the Al-Arkam group who had
been hunted since 2010.
Weapons and other material were
captured during the mission, the army said.
New U.N. envoy for Syria
By Lisa Levine, News of the Force Tel
The new U.N. envoy to
Syria said today Damascus must realize the need for change is
"urgent" and "necessary."
Armed men claiming to be
Syrian rebels have kidnapped relatives of outspoken U.S.-based Middle East
expert Majid Rafizadeh, who says the captors are more likely to be militiamen
loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebels seized an air defense facility
and attacked a military airport in eastern Syria today, hitting back at an air
force which President al-Assad is increasingly relying on to crush his
opponents. The attacks in the eastern oil-producing Deir al-Zor Province
follow rebel strikes against military airports in the Aleppo and Idlib areas,
close to the border with Turkey.
A local rebel commander in Aleppo said
rebels still control more than half of Syria's biggest city after a month of
fighting and aerial bombardment, and that the military stalemate was playing
into the hands of President al-Assad's opponents. Assad sent reinforcements to
the northern commercial hub in July to seize control back from rebel fighters
who had swept into Aleppo from their rural strongholds, and authorities said the
army's mission could be accomplished within days.
Turkey will continue to seek
international backing for a foreign-protected safe zone inside Syria after a
U.N. Security Council meeting this week failed to deliver much beyond a French
plan to channel more aid to rebel-held areas. French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius said France and Turkey had identified "liberated zones" in the north and
south that had escaped President al-Assad's control and which, if given funding
and properly administered, could serve as a refuge for civilians caught in the
Iran will hold a large-scale military
drill involving all its air defense systems next month, an Iranian commander was
quoted as saying today, one of a number of military simulations it has carried
out this year. The air defense drill will include fighter jets and simulate
emergency situations, said Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Iranian army's air
United Nations Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon has defended his controversial visit to Iran, saying yesterday that he
had used this week's trip to push hard for human rights and transparency from
Tehran over its nuclear program. "I believe in the power of diplomacy and I
believe in dialogues and I believe in engagement. This is exactly what I did
during my visit to Tehran," Ban said on a stopover in Dubai before flying back
to U.N. headquarters in New York City. Ban Ki-moon said yesterday he had pressed
the Syrian government to allow international aid workers more access, and
received a positive reply. Better access would allow civilian aid organizations
to deal with a humanitarian crisis that has pushed about 250,000 refugees out of
Syria and affected at least 2.5 million people inside the country.
Syria's main opposition body will
expand to include more groups fighting President al-Assad, part of a
reorganization aimed at making it more representative and effective, its leader
said yesterday. Abdulbaset Sieda, the leader of the Syrian National Council,
said changes would include elections for his successor, to be held among a wider
group of activists. He was responding to criticism from prominent member Basma
Kodmani, who quit last Tuesday, saying the SNC was divided internally and
not up to the challenge of uniting opposition to President
Syrian civilians' living conditions
are worsening dramatically, as it becomes harder to obtain food and escape
fighting which caused a record death toll of 1,600 in the past week, aid
agencies said yesterday. The International Committee of the Red Cross, whose 50
aid workers in Syria are confined to Damascus because of the lack of security,
has been unable to send out convoys with supplies for the past two weeks, ICRC
spokesman Hicham Hassan said. "The humanitarian situation in many parts of Syria
is currently edging towards irreversible deterioration," he said.
And a U.S.-Israeli ballistic
missile exercise postponed until this autumn will involve fewer U.S. military
personnel than initially planned, the Pentagon said yesterday, but it rejected a
media report portraying the decision as a sign of U.S. mistrust. The exercise is
being planned amid rising war talk in the Israeli media and reports that Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are debating a
unilateral attack on Iran to knock out its nuclear installations. Washington has
cautioned Israel against going it alone.
Deploying French army to Marseille
'inconceivable,' government says
The French government has rejected a
Marseille senator's call for military intervention in the wake of a record
number of gang-related killings France's second city, characterized by
the widespread use of AK-47 assault rifles, the local gangsters' weapon of
LAPD commander removed in probe of 'rough'
A Los Angeles Police Department
commanding officer has been removed amid an internal investigation into a
videotaped beating in which officers tackled a handcuffed a registered nurse to
the ground, police Chief Charlie Beck said.
Beck said previously that he had
:serious concerns" about the use of force against Michelle Jordan, 34, who was
arrested in the Tujunga area on Aug. 21 after being stopped for talking on a
cell phone while driving, police said. Jordan got out of the
car and cursed the two officers who stopped her, witnesses and Jordan’s husband
Fast-food restaurant surveillance video obtained by a TV station
showed officers taking her to the ground. After she is handcuffed and walked to
a police car, the 5-foot-4 woman is tackled a second time by an officer who
lands on top of her.
"She made some unwise moves," her
attorney, Sy Nazif, said. "But certainly nothing that warranted a physical
assault from the LAPD."
Photos show scrapes on Jordan’s face,
shoulders and chest.
The officers involved in the incident
have been removed from patrol duty until an LAPD investigation is complete. One
is a 22-year veteran and the other is a probationary officer with 10 months on
Chief Beck said at a news conference
that Capt. Joseph Hitner, of the department’s Foothill Division, was "severely
deficient in his response. Proper steps were not taken,
including appropriate notifications and the removal of the involved officers
from the field," Beck said. "Because of these issues, I have removed him from
his command and initiated downgrade procedures. Every Los Angeles police
officer, regardless of rank, will be held accountable for their
Mexican drug lord extradited to the
has extradited alleged drug cartel member Eduardo Arellano-Felix to the
U.S. missile kills five
Pakistani intelligence officials said
today a U.S. missile strike has killed 5 militants in northwestern
At least 12 killed in double suicide
Afghan officials said today at least
12 people have been killed in a double suicide bombing near a NATO
forces base in eastern Afghanistan.
USS La Jolla departs for Western Pacific
The Los Angeles-class fast-attack
submarine USS La Jolla (SSN 701) departed Joint Base Pearl
Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, yesterday for a scheduled six-month deployment in
the Western Pacific region.
La Jolla's commanding
officer, Cmdr. Jeff Bernard, said the crew is excited and well-prepared to get
underway. "It's a new team. We are very excited about our tasking, and I'm very
excited about the potential for professional growth with all our crew members,"
This deployment will be the first for
the majority of the crew, where according to Bernard, they will be conducting
many training exercises and qualifications. "Our goals are to safely navigate
the ship throughout the Western Pacific, conduct ourselves as ambassadors ashore
with pride, and return the ship safely back to Pearl Harbor," said
USS La Jolla is named for La
Jolla, Calif. and is the first warship named after this township. Commissioned
on Oct. 24, 1981, La Jolla is the 14th ship of the Los Angeles-class of
nuclear attack submarines, It's 360-feet long and displaces 6,900 tons. The
submarine can be armed with sophisticated Mark-48 ADCAP anti-submarine torpedoes
and Tomahawk guided cruise missiles.
Fighter jets to protect the skies during
Democratic National Convention
Continental U.S. North American
Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will protect the skies during the
Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
U.S. Air Force fighter jets will be on
alert during the convention - which begins Sept. 4 and runs through Sept. 6 -
enforcing the FAA's temporary flight restriction zone.
Meanwhile, Continental U.S. North
American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will be active prior to the
Democratic National Convention preparing to protect the skies around Charlotte.
Exercise Amalgam Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept
and identification skills. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft, Air Force
F-16s, and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the
exercise. "Planning for special security events like this
year’s Democratic National Convention in North Carolina is a part of our day to
day air defense mission," said Air Force Col. Randy Spear, the 601st Air and
Space Operations Center's commander. "A lot of agencies are involved in air
security for events like the DNC. This Amalgam Virgo exercise gives us a chance
to sharpen air defense skills with our interagency partners prior to the
These exercises are carefully planned
and closely controlled to ensure the Continental U.S. NORAD Region's rapid
response capability. The Continental U.S. NORAD Region has conducted exercise
flights of this nature throughout the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble
Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11,
The 601st AOC is responsible for
detecting, deterring, defending, and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat
to the citizens of the United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure. The
AOC is primarily manned by the Florida Air National Guard’s 101st Air and Space
Operations Group, at Tyndall AFB, Fla.
The North American Aerospace Defense
Command (NORAD) is a joint organization of Canada and the
United States that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for
the two countries. NORAD's headquarters is located at Peterson AFB, in
Colorado Springs, Colo. NORAD command and control is exercised through the
Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, located a short distance away.