Tag Archives: military

Venezuela shuts 2 radio stations, holds military exercises

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Ricardo Mazalan/ AP Soldiers break ranks after standing in development behind Adm. Remigio Ceballos, chief of personnel of the Venezuelan Army Strategic Operational Command, throughout a press conference to supply information of military drills that are being prepared in response to President Donald Trump’s caution of possible military action, at Fort Tiuna, Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017|10:29 p.m.

CARACAS, Venezuela– Authorities have actually shut down two radio stations that aired vital coverage of President Nicolas Maduro’s government by choosing not to restore their licenses, a broadcast executive revealed, as the country staged military exercises in defiance of Washington and brand-new U.S. sanctions.

Enza Carbone, president of the country’s Radio Chamber, stated late Friday in a declaration that the National Telecom Commission did not restore the stations’ licenses when they expired and purchased them to stop sending.

The National Media Workers’ Union accused the federal government of taking “arbitrary” action and breaching liberty of expression.

The closures came less than 48 hours after the commission bought cable suppliers to remove the signal of Colombian TELEVISION stations Caracol and RCN. Maduro had actually dramatically criticized foreign news coverage of the country and its months-long political crisis.

About 900,000 individuals, consisting of soldiers and members of civilian militias, were anticipated to participate in the 2 days of martial drills over the weekend. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez inaugurated the workouts Saturday at a National Guard center in eastern Caracas where lots of snipers practiced their objective.

Washington accuses Maduro of imposing a dictatorship after the current setup of an all-powerful constitutional assembly that has targeted political opponents and taken control of lawmaking powers from the opposition-controlled congress. In remarks previously this month, President Donald Trump would not eliminate a “military choice” for Venezuela.

Critics call the assembly’s development an outright, authoritarian power grab, while Maduro allies argue it provides a way out of the country’s political and recession.

“To higher democracy in Venezuela, the empire responds with more hostility,” Padrino Lopez said, guaranteeing that the militaries will support the federal government in standing up to the sanctions revealed the previous day by Washington.

The sweeping charges, which Trump signed by executive order, forbid U.S. financial institutions from providing brand-new loan to Venezuela’s government or the state oil business, PDVSA. They prohibit trading in 2 bonds the government recently released to prevent its increasing seclusion from Western financial markets.

They likewise restrict PDVSA’s U.S. subsidiary, Citgo, from sending out dividends back to Venezuela– a relocation that Maduro stated would result in the “virtual closure” of a company accountable for countless American jobs.

The president vowed to prosecute for treason challengers he accused of being behind the sanctions, pointing a finger in particular at Julio Borges, the president of Venezuela’s congress, as the supposed “mastermind” of the financial and financial “blockade.”

Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas gotten in touch with Venezuelans to be “understanding” in the face of the sanctions, which he said total up to a “declaration of financial war.”

“Nobody should think that there is any corner where one can be safe from an aggressiveness of this magnitude,” Villegas stated in remarks at the Foreign Ministry.

The oil-rich South American country is currently experiencing three-digit inflation, lacks of foods and basic goods and a severe economic downturn, with the International Monetary Fund approximating that the economy might diminish by 12 percent this year.

Likewise Saturday, opposition legislator Delsa Zolorzano verified that a detained judge was provisionally launched after more than a month in custody.

Angel Zerpa was among 33 jurists appointed by congress to change the government-stacked Supreme Court in July, a move that was blocked as Maduro swore to detain them all.

At least eight of the appointees have actually fled the country, but Zerpa was arrested in Caracas.

He was moved Friday to a hospital to be dealt with for health issue due to a cravings strike and is needed to sign in with the courts each week.

Trump to announce plan to stop capital to Cuban military

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Ramon Espinosa/ AP In this Jan. 12, 2017, file photo, tourists ride in traditional American convertible cars and trucks past the United States embassy, right, in Havana, Cuba.

Thursday, June 15, 2017|7 p.m.

WASHINGTON– Stopping short of a complete turnabout, President Donald Trump is expected Friday to announce a modified Cuba policy focused on stopping the circulation of U.S. cash to the nation’s military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations and allowing U.S. airlines and cruise liner to continue service to the island.

In a speech Friday at a Miami theater associated with Cuban exiles, Trump will cast the policy moves as fulfillment of a promise he made throughout in 2015’s governmental campaign to reverse then-President Barack Obama’s diplomatic re-engagement with the island after years of estrangement.

Senior White House authorities who briefed reporters Thursday on the announcement stated Obama’s overtures had enriched Cuba’s military while repression increased on the island. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to talk about the policy prior to Trump announces it, regardless of the president’s regular criticism of the use of confidential sources.

The relocate to be revealed by Trump are just a partial turnaround of Obama’s policies, nevertheless. And they will saddle the United States government with the complicated job of policing U.S. travel to Cuba to make sure there are no deals with the military-linked corporation that runs much of the Cuban economy.

By limiting specific U.S. travel to Cuba, the brand-new policy likewise runs the risk of cutting off a major income for Cuba’s personal business sector, which the policy is suggested to support.

Under the expected changes, the United States will prohibit American monetary transactions with the lots of enterprises run by the military-linked corporation GAESA, which operates dozens of hotels, trip buses, restaurants and other centers.

A lot of U.S. tourists to Cuba will once again be needed to check out the island as part of organized tour groups run by American business. The rules also need a daylong schedule of activities created to expose the tourists to normal Cubans. However due to the fact that Cuban rules needs trip groups to have government guides and utilize state-run trip buses, the requirement has offered the Cuban government near-total control of tourists’ itineraries and funneled much of their spending to state enterprises.

Obama eliminated the tour requirement, permitting tens of countless Americans to book solo journeys and spend their money with specific bed-and-breakfast owners, restaurants and taxi drivers.

The United States Embassy in Havana, which resumed in August 2015, will remain as a full-fledged diplomatic station. Trump isn’t really reversing Obama’s choice to end the “damp foot, dry foot” policy that enabled most Cuban migrants who made it onto U.S. soil to remain and eventually become legal permanent locals.

Also not expected are any changes to U.S. regulations governing exactly what items Americans can restore from Cuba, consisting of the rum and cigars produced by state-run enterprises.

The brand-new policy is set to work Friday, however none of the modifications will end up being efficient till the Treasury Department provides new regulations, which might take months. That suggests that any U.S. tourist currently reserved on a flight to Cuba in the next few weeks, or perhaps months, might go on and make the journey.

Obama announced in December 2014 that he and Cuban leader Raul Castro were bring back diplomatic ties between their countries. The United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 after Fidel Castro’s transformation. It invested subsequent decades aiming to either overthrow the Cuban federal government or isolate the island, including toughening an economic embargo very first enforced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The embargo remains in place and unchanged by Trump’s policy. Only the United States Congress can lift the embargo, and lawmakers have revealed little desire to do so.

The modification in the United States posture toward Cuba under Trump marks the latest policy about-face by the president.

While marketing in 2015 in Miami, which is the home of a large Cuban-American population, Trump vowed to reverse Obama’s efforts to stabilize relations with Cuba unless it met specific “demands,” consisting of giving Cubans spiritual and political freedom, and launching all political prisoners.

Trump had previously said he supported bring back diplomatic relations however wished the United States had actually negotiated a better offer.

For the statement, the White Home decided to have Trump speak at the Manuel Artime Theate in Miami. The theater is named for an exile leader of the Bay of Pigs veterans’ association that backed Trump last October.

Gomez Licon reported from Miami. Gisela Salomon in Miami likewise contributed.

Afghan military helicopter crashes, eliminating 17

Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015|5:15 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan– An Afghan military helicopter crashed in a remote area of the southern Zabul province on Thursday, eliminating 17 individuals on board– 12 soldiers and five team members, officials said.

President Ashraf Ghani offered his acknowledgements to the families of those eliminated, while the Taliban asserted they had actually shot down the airplane.

In the capital Kabul, a suicide automobile bomb blew up in a residential area near a government complex early Friday, killing four people and injuring dozens of others, an Afghan health ministry spokesperson said.

Provincial police chief Mirwais Noorzai stated the cause of the helicopter crash was not yet understood and was under examination. The Defense Ministry said the crash appeared to have actually been dued to a technical issue, without elaborating.

Afzal Aman, the Defense Ministry’s chief of operations, explained it as “the worst disaster to hit the air force.” He confirmed the casualty figure, and stated the dead included a system leader and 11 soldiers, as well as the team.

The Afghan military has actually been battling the Taliban-led revolt alone given that U.S. and NATO forces concluded their combat mission at the end of in 2013, moving to a support and training function instead.

Aman stated the helicopter was a Russian-made M-17, and was flying in between Zabul’s capital of Qalat and the town of Shinkay, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.

The Taliban statement, posted on their website, stated the helicopter was “shot down with a rocket launcher.” The claim was difficult to verify and the insurgents routinely overemphasize their battlefield gains.

At the same time, in eastern Logar province, a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden truck detonated his payload outside provincial government offices, eliminating eight people and injuring another 12.

Din Mohammad Darwish, spokesperson for the guv of Logar province, near Kabul, said the dead from Thursday’s attack included 3 policemans and five civilians. Five police were among the injured.

The huge blast, in the provincial capital of Puli Alam, burnt out windows in buildings 500 meters (1,600 feet) away, he stated.

The Taliban likewise claimed responsibility for that attack, stating in a statement that they targeted military and paramilitary systems.

The Taliban have actually been in turmoil following confirmation of the death of their leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar. Afghan authorities say he died in a Pakistani health center more than 2 years back.

In Kandahar city, at the same time, two police headquarters came under attack from gunmen using suicide vests, according to officials.

Rahmatullah Atrafi, the province’s deputy police chief, stated two policemans died while five attackers were eliminated.

The Taliban asserted responsibility for the Kandahar attack as well.

Wahidullha Mayar, representative for the Health Ministry, stated 147 people were injured consisting of 10 youngsters in the vehicle bomb attack in Kabul. The surge happened in a residential area next to a government complex.

Dr. Fida Mohammad in the emergency situation system of Ibnisina Healthcare facility said the bomb injured at least 20 women. He stated the majority of the injuries were caused by flying glass.

Mohammad Wazir, 50, who lives close by, stated the blast damaged his house and five members of his family were injured.

Military recruiters get a little armed aid from their friends

Marine veteran Danny Michaels puffed on a cigarette Wednesday while he sat in front of the Armed Forces Career Center on South Maryland Parkway. His.40-caliber pistol was tight in its holster on his hip and his Mossberg shotgun packed with buckshot was within arm’s reach.

Given that Monday he’s been securing recruiters while they work in consistent inside the profession center in hopes to preventing anybody who might aim to levy an armed assault like Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez did Thursday at a marine reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed 4 Militaries and a sailor.

“They’re unarmed and we’re at war,” he stated about the recruiters. “Somebody has actually got to secure them. … I wish to stop them prior to they enter the door, and let them know this is not a soft target.”

Michaels, 65, stated exactly what happened in Chattanooga was “outrageous.” He noted that the indicator on the outside of the career center states armed forces “but where’s the arms? I’m hoping the military or the secretary of defense is going to alter this unreasonable guideline” that avoids recruiters in uniform from bring weapons.

He stated he’ll keep showing up “as long as I can.”

The recruiters said they’re happy he’s there as are other veterans who have actually dropped in to bring him water, doughnuts and snacks.

What’s occurring in Las Vegas is not unique to Las Vegas. It’s part of an across the country activity in response to the Chattanooga killings. Resident guards are taking similar armed positions in a minimum of 20 states.

Another veteran, who wouldn’t provide his name, joined Michaels by carrying a shotgun, as did Ron O’Brien, a non-veteran, pro-Second Change gun enthusiast.

“If anybody should be trusted with weapons it’s our military,” O’Brien stated. “And our armed force is unarmed at a time of war. It’s unbelievable.”

In North Las Vegas, at the Army Recruiting Center on 445 W. Craig Road, 25-year-old Army veteran Josh Martin sat in an American flag-colored chair with a.45-caliber M1911 pistol on his hip and a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle at his side.

Martin, who spent 11 months of his four-year active service from 2008 to 2012 in Afghanistan, stated he felt called to sit at the door to support “unprotected” employers inside.

“It’s atrocious that our military males and females are relied on with arms abroad, but employers cannot even carry a pistol on our house grass,” he said.

Martin based himself next to the door starting Tuesday morning, when the recruiting center opened at 9 a.m., and remained up until it closed at 6 p.m, he said. Martin plans on doing the very same each day until he starts classes at ITT Technical Institute in September.

“I’ll be right here until somebody takes over for me or till the law is changed,” Martin stated. “Or up until I can no longer do it.”

Inside the Army center, lead recruiter Sgt. Kevin Barnhouse said he valued Martin’s intent, but could not formally endorse him.

“We value their efforts, they’re well within their rights,” Barnhouse said. “But we’re not associated with any of their companies, we simply cannot be.”

In Carson City, Nevada National Guard soldiers carried out an “active shooter” training exercise Wednesday.

About 200 employees at the Guard offices were part of the workout, which was prepared beginning about 3 months earlier.

The training is anticipated to aid both Carson City Constable’s deputies respond faster and efficiently to an active shooter event such as the one at the capital IHOP almost four years ago that left four victims, including three members of the Guard, dead at the hands of a psychologically ill guy.

Master Sgt. Christian Riege, Lt. Col. Heath Kelly, Sgt. 1st Class Miranda McElhiney and Florence Donovan-Gunderson were killed when Eduardo Sencion opened fire in the dining establishment prior to eliminating himself in the parking area.

Capt. Robert Kolvet, provost marshal of the Guard center, said the workout was a bit stressful for workers and responding police but will function as a lesson in how to react should such an occasion really take place.

Contact Keith Rogers at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-383-0308. Discover him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2. Contact Chris Kudialis at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-383-0381. Discover him on Twitter: @kudialisrj. Contact Sean Whaley at [email protected]!.?.! or 775-687-3900. Discover him on Twitter: @seanw801.

Military takeover of Nevada wildlife refuge angers conservationists

Conservation groups are blasting a plan in Congress that might divide Desert National Wildlife Sanctuary north of Las Vegas and hand half of it over to the U.S. Flying force.

The change, tucked silently into your home variation of a huge defense authorization bill now in conference committee, would make land withdrawals permanent for the Nevada Test and Training Range and put the Department of Defense in charge of virtually 850,000 acres presently managed by both the Pentagon and the united state Fish & & Wildlife Service.

Attempts to get a Department of Defense comment on the plan were not successful Wednesday, but the proposition’s backers state it will certainly conserve the military the time and cost of needing to reapply for an extension every couple of decades simply to keep utilizing the land the way it has actually been made use of considering that World War II.

However environmental advocates stress it could reduce future wildlife research study and management on that part of the haven.

“We’re actually worried about what it means. We’re aiming to get to the bottom of it,” said Desiree Sorenson-Groves, vice-president of government affairs for the National Wildlife Refuge Association, an independent non-profit that works on behalf of the haven system.

By the time conservationists discovered the proposition last month, your home had already passed the defense expense. They’re still not sure what to make of the language or why it was written into the procedure apparently without consulting wildlife regulators.

“I have actually talked to people from the Fish & & Wildlife Service. It was a total surprise to them,” Sorenson-Groves stated.

At 1.6 million acres, Desert is the nation’s largest wildlife sanctuary outside of Alaska.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt developed it in 1936 to safeguard the desert bighorn sheep and its habitat, however a huge portion of the haven has actually functioned as a military training ground and bombing variety considering that 1940.

Today the whole western half of the refuge– some 846,000 acres– is under military control and off-limits to the general public. The land in question includes a part of the Nevada Test and Training Range and all of Creech Flying force Base north of Indian Springs, where carefully secured operators fly unmanned aerial automobiles on missions around the globe.

Infamous and ultra-secret Location 51 is simply a couple of miles from the sanctuary’s northern limit.

The Senate version of the yearly defense authorization bill does not include any reference to the haven.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has actually asked that the language authorized by the House be dropped from the final variation of the costs.

In a June 23 letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reid stated the Flying force and the Fish & & Wildlife Service have collaborated successfully for nearly 75 years to handle the so-called “joint-use location” of the sanctuary. Your house, he said, is attempting to “take care of issues that do not exist.”

“Should your house language be enacted, numerous threatened and jeopardized species and their environments would not be monitored or secured by the (Fish & & Wildlife Service), and vital partners such as the Nevada Department of Wildlife would no longer have the ability to perform essential management activities within the Joint-Use Location,” Reid alerted in his letter to McCain.

As word of the management modification spread out through the preservation community late last week, it stimulated a social networks campaign against the proposal full with its own Twitter hashtag: #DontBombTheBighorn.

Sorenson-Groves was more diplomatic, keeping in mind that the Defense Department normally does “an excellent job managing for wildlife” when it’s required to do so.

What troubles her is the way this proposal was advanced. Burying it deep in a must-pass military spending costs is “unsuitable,” she said.

“It simply appears like a back-door strategy, and if there’s a genuine need it must be a front-door method,” Sorenson-Groves said. “You need to have full and open debate on something like this.”

Contact Henry Brean at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-383-0350. Find him on Twitter: @RefriedBrean

Military recruits still not utilizing American-made tennis shoes

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AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

In this photo taken Wednesday, July 1, 2015, the New Balance-proposed 950v2 tennis shoe, which has passed military screening, is shown at one of business’s manufacturing facilities in Boston. New Balance is pressing the Pentagon to purchase American-made shoes for the troops instead of sneakers from competing Nike that are made in China.

Thursday, July 2, 2015|10:40 p.m.

BOSTON– New Balance believes the united state armed force is dragging its feet.

Last April, the Department of Defense announced military recruits would start making use of athletic shoes One Hundred Percent made and made in America, in acknowledgment of a law Congress passed in 1941 needing the department give choice to American-made products.

Over a year after the statement, the Military, Navy, Flying force and Militaries have actually still not acquired a single tennis shoe that satisfies the exacting requirements of the 1941 law, called the Berry Change.

Matthew LeBretton, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs, is convinced the hold-ups are deliberate “payback” for business like New Balance that have been vocally lobbying for the change for several years.

“We’ve pushed and pushed to the point where we’re at now, and we’re still experiencing remarkable resistance,” he said. “They’re not used to being pushed that method and I think that’s engendered this bitterness.”

Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Department of Defense, said the department is simply remaining to check Berry-compliant sneakers.

“We have actually moved right along since the brand-new policy entered into result last year,” he said. “I do not think this is being slow-rolled at all. We’re trying to respond to the requirements of our forces.”

To date, one variant of Boston-based New Balance’s proposed 950v2 sneaker has passed the military’s testing, after a previous variation failed in 2014. Two other designs of the very same shoe– covering the various foot and gait types that the military needs shoe companies offer– are still being checked.

No other shoe brand seems going through the testing; Saucony, another Massachusetts-based shoes business, stated it’s developing a sneaker that eventually could be considered for military use.

Matthew Priest, president of the Footwear Distributors and Merchants of America, doesn’t believe there’s anything wicked going on, despite New Balance’s concerns.

“The military is an administration like other company in the federal government,” he said, stressing that his association is staying “neutral” in the battle because some of its members gain from the policy change while others don’t. “Things simply require time.”

Others see the delays as worrying.

Catherine Michael, spokeswoman for the American Garments and Shoes Association, stated the “sluggish and dragged out procedure” is avoiding domestic shoemakers from employing and keeping U.S. employees for their factories.

U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Massachusetts Democrat whose district includes one of New Balance’s five American factories, stated the Defense Department needs to step up.

“There have actually been indications of movement in the approval procedure, however it is time for (the department) to make more substantial progress and reconcile exactly what they perceive as difficulties to progressing,” she said.

New Balance and Saucony suggest part of the problem depends on an ineffective testing regimen.

Wright stated the process involves an inquiry to guarantee that shoe parts are sourced, made and put together in the united state, followed by a “put on test” that lasts about 90 days in which soldiers put them through the speeds and then fill out a report on how they felt.

“We understand it will not change over night,” stated David Costello, a spokesman for Wolverine Worldwide, Saucony’s moms and dad company. “The wheels of government have the tendency to move gradually.”

Frank Kendall, an Under Secretary of Defense, stated in a March letter to Tsongas that the tests are being done one shoe type at a time due to the fact that of a restricted number of testers. He expects examinations of New Balance’s 3 shoe variants to be done by September.

LeBretton stated the screening is the most lengthy the company, which is currently the sole carrier of sneakers for the Navy, has actually ever been associated with.

The united state Coast Guard, he keeps in mind, has currently transferred to adhere to the Berry Change even though it does not fall under the Pentagon’s revised policy.

The Coastline Guard, which is supervised by the Department of Homeland Security, recently tapped New Balance, which it had a previous contract with, to offer countless American-made sneakers for its employees.

“It’s overwhelming,” LeBretton said. “It definitely highlights that there is this institutional downturn” at the Pentagon.

Wright, of the Department of Defense, stresses the military is dedicated to honoring the “spirit” of the Berry Modification even as it maintains tennis shoes are technically not part of a soldier’s officially provided uniform and shouldn’t go through the rule.

Presently, most recruits are offered a one-time coupon to acquire sneakers at military supply stores that have encountered particular standards. Amongst the brands offered recruits are Asics, Brooks and New Balance.

New Balance and its advocates keep the Berry Amendment must still use, whether the military “concerns” the sneakers or provides hires a stipend to acquire them. “The bottom line is that the law is the law and the military have to follow the law,” LeBretton stated.

At New Balance’s factory in Boston, plant manager Tim Luke stated the company continues to be ready.

It’s currently invested in new equipment and training and started increase production of “10s of thousands” of pairs of its Berry-compliant design.

“There’s a huge pride factor in this. We recognize where these shoes are going to go,” Luke stated throughout a current factory tour. “Now, we have the process completely defined and refined so when the possibility lastly comes, we prepare to go.”