Sunday, November 30, 2008

US Supreme Court overturns proposed sonar usage ban


Environmental groups in the United States have failed to restrict the use of mid-frequency active (MFA) sonar by the US Navy (USN) in its training areas off the coast of California, following a ruling by the US Supreme Court on 12 November. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental group, has claimed that MFA sonar harms marine mammals, causing death or serious injury

[first posted to http://jdw.janes.com - 14 November 2008]

Friday, November 28, 2008

National Resource Directory Helps Wounded Warriors


By Jamie Findlater
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 2008 - A Web-based network of support for wounded warriors, veterans and their families, as well as the families of the fallen, has sprung from a collaborative effort by the departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs.

The National Resource Directory will include information on care coordinators, health care providers and support partners, Dr. Linda Davis, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said during an "ASY Live" interview today on BlogTalkRadio.com.

"Working with wounded ill and injured servicemembers and their families, there [are] many resources and individuals available to help them," Davis said. "We needed one source that can tell us where everyone in the country is who wants to help our wounded warriors and their families."

The directory is part of a larger effort by the departments to improve wounded warrior care. Davis said research showed that in the military hospital alone, servicemembers received offers from 35 people for 38 types of support.

"While the families did appreciate that, they also found it confusing," she said. "They didn't know who to call at the right time in the right place for the right service. The family oftentimes becomes the primary caregiver 24/7/365, and that is extremely stressful, both physically and emotionally."

To help them navigate the system, servicemembers and their families are assigned a care coordinator who ensures the recovery team works together jointly and collaboratively. Each recovering servicemember has an individualized recovery plan with personal and professional goals.

Previously, Davis said, emphasis had been placed on recovery in the hospital. These plans focus more on what happens after they leave, she explained.

"Our challenge was to get people to not only survive, but to thrive in their new conditions that will be facing them for the rest of their lives," she said. "We wanted to focus more on community reintegration, and to do that, we needed even more partners to be engaged."

To facilitate the coordination of these plans and ensure a smooth community reintegration, the directory is inter-linked to these personalized online plans to facilitate accessibility to available resources.

"Say you are populating the plan and the servicemember is talking about returning to Aurora, Kan., and needs housing adaptation and special tutoring for their autistic special needs child," Davis said. "You can go into the directory and contact both the governmental and nongovernmental organizations in and around Aurora and line up appointments and personnel to be of support way before the servicemember goes back to Aurora."

Davis noted that while the federal government has a lot of benefits and services available to servicemembers, it also is important to take state, county and locality benefits into consideration.

"If you are choosing where to relocate your family, you may be interested to know that a certain township has a benefit for veterans," she said.

The relevance of information in the National Resource Directory goes far beyond solely wounded illness, injury, and recovery services, Davis said. Many of the sections are very useful to any servicemember and their family, she noted.

"We have already had several other programs wanting to connect and use the directory, especially in the area of benefits and compensation," Davis said. "Here, you will find not only what's available through the DoD Disability Evaluation System and the VA disability compensation programs, but things like Social Security benefits, life insurance and video libraries. ... We have sections on how to file claims, on unemployment benefits, and benefits for retirees."

In addition to the directory's Web site -- http://www.nationalresourcedirectory.org -- a toll-free phone number, 800-342-9647, is available.

The Web site is expanding, Davis said, and visitors can suggest additional programs by clicking on "Suggest a Resource."

Launched Nov. 17, the site already has received a lot of positive feedback, she said.

"We had a very enthusiastic response in San Diego when we started the site," Davis said. "We found that a lot of organizations feel the need for this, and they have been trying to develop one on their own. In fact, we were excited today to find that there was a story of the directory being covered in the Netherlands.

"We have servicemembers throughout the nation and around the world and we hope that this directory can serve as a global tool for anyone supporting wounded servicemembers and their families."

(Jamie Findlater works in the New Media directorate of the Defense Media Activity.)

Related Sites:

National Resource Directory
Warrior Care Web Portal
Warrior Care News

Republic enemy - US policy and Iranian elections

One of the key foreign policy challenges facing president-elect Barack Obama when he takes office on 20 January will be the issue of Iran. With Iranian presidential elections due in June 2009 and declining global oil prices widening the Iranian government's financial deficit, United States policy towards the Islamic Republic could influence the choice of its next president

[first posted to http://jir.janes.com - 13 November 2008]

Venezuelan Navy revives plans to acquire assault ships


The Venezuelan Navy has reactivated studies for the acquisition of large amphibious assault ships of the landing platform dock (LPD) type, sources in Caracas have told Jane's . The studies, which were first launched in the 1990s, call for LPD vessels that can carry and deliver around 750 troops with combat and support equipment and vehicles

[first posted to http://jdw.janes.com - 20 November 2008]

NATO expects Obama to provide more troops for Afghanistan


Senior NATO military officials say they anticipate that the incoming US administration of Barack Obama will send reinforcements to fill gaps in the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. ISAF still faces shortages in manoeuvre forces; operational mentor and liaison teams (OMLTs); rotary-wing aircraft; intelligence, surveillance, target acquistion and reconnaissance assets (unmanned aerial vehicles); and aerial medical evacuation, said Air Marshal Christopher H Moran, deputy commander of Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum (the operational command in charge of ISAF), speaking to a NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NPA) Defence and Security Committee meeting in Valencia on 15 November

[first posted to http://jdw.janes.com - 20 November 2008]

Pakistan, Germany close to concluding Type 214 submarine deal


The Pakistan Navy appears close to concluding a deal to procure Germany's Type 214 to meet its next-generation submarine requirement, with the chief executive officer (CEO) of designer Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) having said that a contract with Islamabad is virtually complete. Spokesmen from the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Ministry of Defence told Jane's on 27 November that they were not prepared to comment on the matter

[first posted to http://jdin.janes.com - 27 November 2008]

Sea trials beckon for Borey-class submarine


Russia's first Borey-class (Project 955) ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) is due to commence contractor sea trials before the end of 2008, according to local media reports. Severodvinsk-based shipbuilder Sevmash switched on the Yuri Dolgoruky 's nuclear reactor on 21 November and the submarine will put to sea in December

[first posted to http://jdw.janes.com - 27 November 2008]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

USS George Washington ASVAB - DNU Flash - 11/26/2008

USS George Washington (CVN 73) Sailors take ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) classes.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waterslide in "Rio de Janeiro"

The first person able to identify and tell all the locations in Rio de Janeiro City that appears in this video will receive a gift from this Blog. The deadline is Dec. 20, 2008. No metter where you live in the word, as long you have a post-office nearby. But we do not have any responsibility about customs or any national taxes.

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The real best soccer player of Brazil

In 2005, the then best soccer player in the world (Ronaldinho Gaucho) was recorded doing an amazing performance. Only now the answer from the real Soccer King (Biro-Biro) to that video could be shown. lol lol lol.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Message 2008 from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

American Forces Press Service
Thanksgiving Day Message 2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2008 - In his 2008 Thanksgiving Day message released today, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted the wartime similarities between today and the proclamation of the national holiday 140 years ago.

Here is the text of Mullen's message:

Citing the many blessings bestowed upon the United States, these timeless words were delivered by Abraham Lincoln in his 1863 proclamation establishing Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday:

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise ..."

It is humbling indeed to recall that in the thick of the Civil War – rife with conflict, dark with turmoil, and bloody with loss – American families at home and abroad were encouraged to reflect upon the bounty, opportunities, and liberties of their Nation. And give thanks they did.

This year, as we once again set apart and observe a day of thanks, nearly 280,000 service men and women are currently deployed across the globe, fighting our Nation's wars and defending our way of life. Let us remember those who are serving abroad and unable to celebrate with their loved ones.

Let us also honor their families, especially those of the fallen, who endure yet another gathering with an empty chair at the table, and one less hand to hold. We should present our thanks to them – and for them – with words, deeds, and open arms.

On behalf of my family, and those of the Joint Chiefs, I offer my heartfelt gratitude to you and your families for your service and sacrifice. Together, you help us rise above the challenges of our day, and make thanksgiving and praise possible once more for the whole American people.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The group Carmen and Camille tour Souda Bay - DNU Flash - 11/21/08

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Daily News Update Flash - 11/21/2008


Headlines


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Department Defers F-22 Funding Decision to Next Administration

By Sara Moore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2008 - To avoid unnecessary taxpayer spending, the Defense Department is only partially funding the expansion of F-22 Raptor aircraft production, leaving the decision for further expansion to the incoming administration.

John J. Young Jr., undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told members of the air and land forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee in a Nov. 19 hearing that he has approved $50 million for advance procurement for four F-22s. DoD will include the purchase of these four aircraft in the second fiscal 2009 supplemental budget request, he said.

The decision on whether to use the rest of the $140 million allocated in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act for advance procurement for up to 16 more F-22s will be up to the Obama administration in January, Young said. Procurement of the four F-22s provides a bridge to give the new administration every option with the program, he said.

"The department is acting responsibly, consistent with [Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates'] commitment and congressional direction, seeking to ensure that each tax dollar is used carefully and efficiently," he said.

DoD is delaying the advance procurement on the remaining 16 aircraft to save taxpayer money should the Obama administration decide not to purchase the aircraft, Young said. However, he acknowledged, if the new administration delays its decision on the F-22s past January, it could face higher costs from the manufacturers.

The NDAA authorizes advance procurement for the F-22s until March, and if the decision on the remaining aircraft doesn't come until then, there is a very real chance the cost for the planes could go up, Young said. However, he cautioned that the estimates for those higher prices are based on industry estimates that haven't been negotiated.

"I'm not ignoring the industry estimates, but I'm also not granting them credibility, and so ... if we do nothing until March, I could face -- and that's what I was told by industry -- a cost, which I would seek to negotiate away on behalf of the government," Young said.

Countering committee members' claims that he was acting in defiance of Congress by not funding all 20 aircraft, Young said the law doesn't require him to buy the planes all at once, and his goal is to save the taxpayers money.

"Can I buy that advance procurement as four plus 16, instead of 20, and impose no additional cost on the taxpayer and preserve the total flexibility and option of the next administration to come and discuss with the Congress whether they want to buy the airplanes behind the advance procurement? And that is the option, having convinced myself that that is possible, we sought to execute," he said.

DoD has done a legitimate analysis of the F-22 program, and though some Air Force officials may disagree, Gates believes the department is on its way to the right mix of aircraft, Young said.

"From Secretary Gates down, there has been a hard look at that analysis and a view that it is a higher priority to do other things in the Defense Department than buy additional F-22s at this time," he said.

Jane’s Air Forces News Briefs / 21 November 2008


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Embraer unveil latest C-390 design

Brazilian defence company Embraer unveiled the latest design concept of its C-390 medium transport aircraft (MTA) at the company's São José dos Campos facility near São Paulo on 7 November. Vice-president for market intelligence Fernando Ikedo said that the company had revised the aircraft's initial design to reflect the heavier lift capacity required in response to a request for proposal (RfP) from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in the last week of October

[first posted to http://idr.janes.com - 14 November 2008]

Elbit to update Brazil's AMX fleet

Brazil's Embraer has contracted Elbit Systems of Israel to carry out avionics upgrade work on the Brazilian Air Force's (FAB's) fleet of AMX A-1A strike aircraft. The programme will involve equipping the aircraft with a new central battle mission computer and processor, as well as glass cockpit display systems featuring a 6x8 inch colour screen and digital map, a helmet mounted display (HMD), an ammunition management system and unspecified additional systems


[first posted to http://idr.janes.com - 14 November 2008]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Army schedules first execution in decades

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer at Army Times
Posted : Friday Nov 21, 2008 12:52:10 EST

The first military execution since 1961 is scheduled to take place Dec. 10 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Ind., Army officials announced Thursday.

Pvt. Ronald A. Gray was convicted of multiple murders and rapes in the late 1980s in the Fayetteville, N.C., area. At the time, Gray was a specialist with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The court-martial panel that convicted Gray sentenced him to death in 1988. On July 28, 2008, President Bush approved the order to execute Gray, the longest-serving inmate on the military’s death row. It was the first time a president had approved a military death sentence since 1957, and the decision came after the nation’s highest courts upheld Gray’s conviction and death sentence, and two petitions to the Supreme Court during the appellate process had been denied.

The last military execution took place when John A. Bennett was hanged April 13, 1961, for the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl.

However, Gray may seek a stay in federal district court, said Dwight Sullivan, a civilian appellate counsel for the Air Force and a Marine Reserve colonel who is a military death penalty expert.

He also could file a petition that could move all the way up to the Supreme Court, Sullivan said.

If he doesn’t file a petition, Gray, who is housed in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will be executed by lethal injection.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Joint Statement by the United States and Brazil Announcing the Expansion of Cooperation on Biofuels to Advance Energy Security and Promote Sustainable


(This news was censored in Brazil, did not reach the news, the red part)

Media Note

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 20, 2008

Following is a joint statement by the United States and Brazil announcing the expansion of cooperation on biofuels to advance security and promote sustainable development.

Begin Text:

Today, the U.S. and Brazilian governments announced an expansion of cooperation on biofuels under the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 to advance their shared goals of energy security, sustainable development, and environmental protection.


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, meeting at the International Biofuels Conference in São Paulo, unveiled plans of the two governments to expand scientific collaboration in biofuels and to work with five new countries in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean interested in developing their domestic biofuels industries.


Bilaterally, Secretary Schafer and Minister Amorim welcomed an agreement signed on October 3, 2008 between the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and Petrobras’ Center for Research and Development (CENPES) to accelerate the development and integration of next generation biofuels feedstock, production, and distribution systems in the U.S. and Brazil. This cooperation is the result of the reciprocal scientific exchanges and high-level visits that have occurred over the last year under the aegis of U.S.-Brazil biofuels cooperation.


In Third Countries, the governments announced new partnerships with Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. These new partners, along with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, and St. Kitts and Nevis, comprise a total of nine partner nations to benefit from U.S.-Brazil biofuels collaboration. In the initial tranche of countries, the United States, Brazil, and MOU partners (IDB, OAS, and UN Foundation) have obligated over $4.3 million across twelve projects that are underway. All partners are working to develop local biofuels industries to reduce dependence on imported fuels and promote sustainable development.

Globally, members of the International Biofuels Forum (IBF) are advancing the commoditization of biofuels through cooperation on technical standards. To promote biofuels sustainability, the United States and Brazil, working through the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), are developing a methodological framework to assess biofuels’ greenhouse gas emissions and benefits, as well as voluntary, science-based sustainability criteria and indicators.

Finally, Secretary Schafer and Minister Amorim highlighted the key role private industry will continue to play in spurring innovation in biofuels technologies, and in bringing the needed investment to grow the global market. The Private Sector Advisory Board to the U.S.-Brazil Biofuels Steering Group is discussing a partnership that will accelerate the integration of next generation biofuels technologies in U.S. and Brazilian markets.

End Text 2008/978

Released on November 20, 2008 by Department of State

Combat Medic Training Evolves to Save Lives


By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 18, 2008 - One day before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Army senior leaders put into place a plan to overhaul the service's combat medic training.

Officials wanted to replace Cold War-era health care specialists who worked mainly in hospitals as nursing assistants with more qualified, combat-oriented medics for line units.

Little did they know that events the next day eventually would send the force to war in Afghanistan, or that now, seven years later, the new breed of combat medics, many fresh from their initial training, would be called upon on two fronts to save countless lives on the battlefields.

Though they still officially are called health care specialists, today's medics bear little resemblance to those who were trained by nurses. In their place are medics trained by combat veterans with a battle-focused curriculum that has evolved alongside the fight.

"Our medics shouldn't be working in hospitals. Our medics should be saving lives on the battlefield," said Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) Paul T. Mayer, director of combat medic training at Fort Sam Houston here.

The "68 Whiskey" military occupational specialty is the second-largest in the Army, with nearly 38,000 medics spread across the active and reserve components. Only the infantry specialty has more soldiers in the force.

The Department of Combat Medic Training trains 8,000 new medics a year, with class sizes that stretch to nearly 500 students. A new iteration of training starts every two weeks, and at any one time, as many as 2,500 students are working their way through the program. Roughly 20 percent will not make it through the training, failing to meet either the academic or physical demands of the course, Mayer said.

"Our challenge is to turn a brand new soldier into a medic, and we've got 16 weeks to do that," Mayer said.

About 60 percent of those who graduate are deployed to the battlefield within six months of graduation, he said. So, during the past few years, officials at the school have revamped the program. The course still includes civilian emergency medical skills, but the focus now is on training for battlefield medicine, said Donald Parsons, the deputy director of the department.

"We have gone back and looked at how people die on the battlefield -- what types of wounds they get, what types of injuries that are killing soldiers -- and that's where we focus our attention on training our medics," Parsons said.

Officials at the school have looked back as far as the Korean War to study causes of death and in an effort to isolate those in which death can be prevented.

For the most part, despite increased technology in weaponry, the types of injuries suffered in war pretty much have stayed the same, Mayer said. Soldiers die on the battlefield primarily from three causes: they bleed to death as the result of severe trauma, an object penetrates their chest and blocks their breathing, or they suffer a head injury that results in a blocked airway, he explained.

The vast majority of those who die in battle do so because their injuries are catastrophic and they would not survive regardless of how quickly medical care is applied, Parsons said. But there are a small percentage of injuries that could be survivable if the right care is provided quickly.

"What can we train our medics to do to keep these soldiers alive long enough to make it to the combat support hospital?" Parsons asked, noting that care in those hospitals is comparable to that in the United States. "Our focus is to be able to treat those preventable causes of death at the point of injury and get that soldier alive back to that hospital."

The school trains medics to recognize those types of injuries and then treat them, Parsons said, through a dynamic curriculum that constantly is updated with input from the battlefield.

"We have the ability to internally ... change our training program to meet the needs of the combatant commander on the battlefield," Parsons said.

As a result, he said, combat medics are learning and employing much more advanced techniques, especially to restore breathing and stop bleeding.

Medics now learn how to perform surgical cricothyrotomies, which involve cutting an emergency airway in the patient's throat. They learn how to insert a needle into the chest to relieve air pressure on the heart caused by a wound that has penetrated the chest cavity and collapsed a lung. They also learn to use tourniquets -- once considered a last resort -- often. Now, the new combat action tourniquet often is the first item medics take out of their bag, Mayer said.

"Tourniquets used to be taboo, and the tourniquet that was in the Army inventory was a piece of junk," Mayer said. His department worked with industry officials and other military agencies to develop a tourniquet that can be trained on and used successfully on the battlefield. Now, all soldiers are issued tourniquets when they deploy to combat, and medics carry several of them.

"Probably the single most successful thing we've done in this conflict is change the ... dynamic of tourniquet use," Mayer said. "We do it all the time on the battlefield now, and it's saving lives."

The school also has leveraged technology in its teaching tools. The school has one of the largest collections of human simulation systems, Mayer said. Mannequins with pulses and breathing systems are modified with simulated trauma wounds, and are integrated into the training to give the students a better idea of the wounds they eventually will treat for real.

The school also has two "blood labs" in which the students sharpen their skills as soldier medics. One lab simulates the scene of a suicide bombing in a market place, and the other simulates a bombing in an office building.

Strobe lights cut the darkness and fog machines fill the room and obscure the setting. Bloody mannequins – some in uniforms and others dressed as civilians – are scattered on the floors in a maze of rooms. Blaring music and screams of pain and panic fill the air, and the medics must work through the scenarios using both their soldiering skills and their medical training. In their attempts to render aid, they must first look for homemade bombs and enemies bearing weapons.

This is somewhat of a paradigm shift for the use of medics, who in past wars often put themselves in harm's way to render aid and rarely used weapons in battle, Mayer said. Now, they are told to shoot first, eliminate the enemy, and then go about their tasks as medics.

"Be soldiers first. Don't become part of the problem. Become part of the solution," Mayer said.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Greg Deleon, a two-tour Iraq war combat veteran and an instructor/writer at the school, agreed, saying that the soldier medics must first gain fire superiority before rendering aid.

"In order to get someone treated efficiently, you first have to get rid of the fire," Deleon said.

The school also is expanding its field training facility at nearby Camp Bullis. Plans are to expand the training facility and modify it to resemble a forward operating base, Mayer said. Gates, checkpoints and guard towers are planned to give it more of a combat environment feel.

"It absolutely helps. It puts them in a situation where they have to have some type of critical thinking to get the job done," Deleon said.

Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Watson, an assistant senior instructor at the school, said the more realistic training gives the medics more of an overall view of what they will encounter on the battlefield.

"You have to have the overall big picture to not just treat patients, but [also to] watch out for yourself, because if you become a patient, you are no longer that combat multiplier," he said.

Familiarization also helps the medics learn to keep calm so they can administer aid, he said.

Watson said the training now is much more advanced than when he went through the school in 1999. Before, it was more static and not as sophisticated, he said. Today's training would have been helpful in preparing for his two combat tours in Iraq, he said.

Deleon said the current training easily translates to saving lives on the battlefield.

"Absolutely -- without a doubt," he said. "I only wish I could have had it when I went through. It will help them to be prepared for what they are going to see."

Deleon and Watson said their own combat experiences are proving helpful in the classroom, because they can relate personal experiences to the training.

"It grabs the students' attention, and they are more apt to pay attention to the course," Watson said.

The medics typically are deployed at the platoon level, with each medic responsible for about 40 troops. But they do not initially earn the coveted title "doc," Watson said. First, they must prove they are part of the team.

"If the platoon is filling up sand bags, grab a shovel," Watson said.

Unfortunately, the fastest way to earn the title is to have something bad happen and for the medic to do everything right, he said.

Mayer said the school will continue to expand, evolve and incorporate lessons learned into its training. Meanwhile, soldier medics are proving themselves daily in combat, and more soldiers are returning home alive because of their efforts, he said.

"They are the biggest combat multiplier on the battlefield," Mayer said. "Those [infantry] guys kick in doors and engage and kill the enemy because they know if they're hit, medics are right there to save them."

UNIFEM: "Say No to Violence Against Women" Campaign

Statement by Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
November 19, 2008

Date: 11/18/2008 Description: Secretary Rice signs the Say No to Violence Against Women Pledge in the Secretary's inner office. One year ago, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) began its global campaign to advocate among publics and governments for an end to violence against women. In the course of the year, we have taken important steps to address this issue.
During its June 2008 Security Council Presidency, the United States focused on actions that would follow from UN Security Council Resolution 1325, on "Women, Peace, and Security." On June 19, the United States chaired an open Security Council thematic discussion on the topic of violence in situations of armed conflict. The debate culminated in adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1820, which condemns the use of sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Violence against women remains a fact of life in countries worldwide. Like poverty, HIV/AIDS, poor maternal health, and lack of access to education, violence against women is an ill that affects the person, her community, and her nation.

As the campaign to "Say No to Violence against Women" enters its second year, we should dedicate ourselves to creating awareness among individuals and communities of the great damage violence against women inflicts, and commit ourselves to end this atrocity.

2008/970

Released on November 19, 2008 by the Department of State

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A very beautiful picture from Navy Photo Gallery (001)

Description: Ship's Navigator Lt. j.g. Shaina Hayden renders honors to the national anthem during the commissioning ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1).

081108-N-5549O-035 MILWAUKEE (Nov. 8, 2008) Ship's Navigator Lt. j.g. Shaina Hayden renders honors to the national anthem during the commissioning ceremony for the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) at Veterans Park in Milwaukee, Wis. Freedom is the first of two littoral combat ships designed to operate in shallow water environments to counter threats in coastal regions. (U. S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien/Released)

Monday, November 17, 2008

On November 18, 1922

Cdmr. Kenneth Whiting in a PT seaplane, makes first catapult launching from aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV 1), at anchor in the York River.

More about Holiday Club Gitmo


Guantanamo Bay Watch:
Guantanamo prisoners released after years of detention without charge go home to find themselves stigmatized and shunned, viewed either as terrorists or U.S. spies, Reuters Jane Sutton cites from a new report. “Guantanamo was never the problem, and closing it will not solve anything,” The National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy contends. “There’s little agreement on how the United States should try ‘enemy combatants,’ delaying the ability to close Guantanamo down,” Joseph Landau relates in The New RepublicMother JonesBruce Falconer hears calls for a nonpartisan commission to investigate Gitmo “and the rest of the secret archipelago of U.S. detention and interrogation facilities created after 9/11.” What worries Obama’s transition team most is, “what if some detainees are acquitted or cannot be prosecuted at all?” The New York Times William Glaberson surveys.

Behind the Lines for Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 — 3:00 P.M.

Terrorism Detainees Pose Tough Choices for Obama

CQ TODAY MIDDAY UPDATE
Nov. 11, 2008 – 1:40 p.m.

President-elect Barack Obama faces tough legal and political questions as his advisers seek to develop a new policy for handling detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama has long said he intends to close the detention facility for suspected terrorists at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo. But deciding where to send the 250 detainees currently housed there and how to adjudicate their cases will be tricky.

The first task for the new administration will be sifting through the records of each Guantánamo detainee to determine who might be released or repatriated to their home countries and who might stand trial.

Obama’s advisers are considering subjecting detainees to regular criminal trials in the United States, and perhaps asking Congress to establish a special new national security court to supplant the contentious system of military commissions Congress codified at Bush’s behest in 2006.

California Democrat Adam B. Schiff , a former federal prosecutor who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, said the congressional response “probably depends on whether the new president heads in the direction of trying to move detainees wholesale into the criminal court system, which I think would meet a lot of resistance from the right or wants to establish a wholly new secret court to adjudicate detentions which will have some resistance from the left.”

The new court would adjudicate some cases in which the government doesn’t have the evidence required to convict detainees of crimes in civilian courts.

But any decision to bring terrorism suspects to the United States to stand trial will spark a firestorm of political criticism from Republicans. Lawmakers in both parties are unlikely to favor seeing detainees imprisoned in their districts.

In addition, any legislative proposal to create a new court, which legal experts have been debating for years, is likely to face widespread opposition across the political spectrum. Conservatives favor retaining the existing military commissions while civil libertarians worry about creating another problematic new legal regime.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Security Advise

Security Advise


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

U.S. Navy Ethos



We are the United States Navy, our Nation's sea power - ready guardians of peace, victorious in war.

We are professional Sailors and Civilians - a diverse and agile force exemplifying the highest standards of service to our Nation, at home and abroad, at sea and ashore.

Integrity is the foundation of our conduct; respect for others is fundamental to our character; decisive leadership is crucial to our success.

We are a team, disciplined and well-prepared, committed to mission accomplishment. We do not waver in our dedication and accountability to our Shipmates and families.

We are patriots, forged by the Navy's core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. In times of war and peace, our actions reflect our proud heritage and tradition.

We defend our Nation and prevail in the face of adversity with strength, determination, and dignity.

We are the United States Navy.

Republic Day Proclamation Day in Brazil - Nov. 15, 1889



On November 15th, 1889; was proclaimed the Republic in Brazil and the Brazilian Empire ended. With this coup d'état, the emperor Dom Peter II was put in exile. Actually, marshal (five stars) Deodoro da Fonseca, the leader of the moviment, did not know what republic was, and thought he was supposed to be the new emperor. The only victim in this coup was the Navy Minister who was shot on the foot.
- Ary Dib Dias Filho

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day - November 11

DNU Flash - 11/11/2008

Headlines

Nominations for the next Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy are being accepted; The Navy implements new motorcycle and motor vehicle safety requirements.


video

Sunday, November 9, 2008

U.S. Veterans Cite Importance of Honoring Military Service

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2008 - It's important to recognize the efforts of America's military veterans –- past and present -- because their contributions and sacrifices have enabled all Americans to stay free, a group of veterans said here today.

America's military men and women have provided selfless service in defense of the nation since its inception, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, 78, said at the annual American Veterans Center conference held in downtown Washington. The center's mission is to preserve and promote the legacy of America's veterans from World War II to the present.

"Being a part of that long line of history is something that I am particularly proud of, as I observe each Veterans Day and each Memorial Day," said Vaught, a long-time advocate for military women and the president of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va.

"I am for women serving wherever they can," said Vaught, who served in Vietnam in the late 1960s. After 28 years of service, Vaught retired from the Air Force in 1985 as one of America's most highly-decorated military women.

"During the time that I was serving, it was always very much in my mind that I had to do well, so that another woman would have an opportunity to come behind me and perhaps have that same job," Vaught said.

Almost no women were trained to use weapons when she joined the Air Force in 1957, Vaught said. All military women today are taught to operate rifles or pistols, she said, because "with terrorist-type activities, you never know where the threat is and you need to be able to defend yourself and you need to be able to take the offensive, if that's what is required."

Like their predecessors, today's women in the military "are proud that they're serving; they feel that they are doing something for their nation -- and they are," Vaught said.

Another veteran, 86-year-old Robert Cone, regaled conference attendees with tales of his World War II experiences. Cone was an enlisted Army paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division in Europe. He was a member of the group known as the "Filthy Thirteen," whose exploits became the inspiration for the 1960s movie, "The Dirty Dozen," that depicted a group of trouble-making soldiers chosen to conduct an important mission behind enemy lines.

Cone and other members of his unit signed copies of the book, "The Filthy Thirteen," at the conference.


Military members' sacrifices, Cone said, enable Americans at home to enjoy their freedoms and way of life.

"I admire anybody that is a veteran and is fighting for this country and everybody else should really admire them as much as I do," Cone said.

Retired Marine Corps Col. Wesley L. Fox, 77, enlisted in the Marines in 1950 and became an officer during the Vietnam War. He received the Medal of Honor in Vietnam for his actions in leading a rifle company against an overwhelming enemy force. Fox was a Marine paratrooper and he retired in 1993 after 43 years of active duty. Fox is the author of two books, "Marine Rifleman" and "Courage and Fear."

A "vocal minority" in the United States, Fox said, prevented Vietnam veterans from receiving deserved praise from the American public after the war ended.

That's all changed, Fox said. Today's military veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan "are heroes -- we recognize that," he said.

Military veteran Michael H. Frederick, 50, is a writer working on a book about Marine Corps paratroopers. The Baltimore native served as an enlisted person during stints in the Marines and the Navy between 1976 and 1988.

"It's important that later generations do not forget what it took to get the United States to where we are and the sacrifices that people have made," Frederick said. "Some people have lost limbs and shed blood and we should not forget that."

Thought of the week

“Upon seeing the shadow of a pigeon, one must resist the urge to look up.”
Confucius

CNN Breaking News

-- An accident aboard a (Russian) nuclear-powered submarine has killed more than 20 people, according to Russian news agencies.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Sinking Of The Reuben James

Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James
Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame?
She flew the Stars and Stripes of the land of the free
But tonight she's in her grave at the bottom of the sea.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?

What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

Well, a hundred men went down in that dark watery grave
When that good ship went down only forty-four were saved.
'Twas the last day of October we saved the forty-four
From the cold ocean waters and the cold icy shore.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

It was there in the dark of that uncertain night
That we watched for the U-boats and waited for a fight.
Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared
And they laid the Reuben James on that cold ocean floor.

Tell me what were their names, tell me what were their names,
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?
What were their names, tell me, what were their names?
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James

Now tonight there are lights in our country so bright
In the farms and in the cities they're telling of the fight.
And now our mighty battleships will steam the bounding main
And remember the name of that good Reuben James.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Turtles - Happy Together

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it's only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We're happy together
So happy together
Happy together
So happy together
So happy together (ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba)

Pres. Barack Obama's victory speech

"Hello, Chicago.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

"It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

"It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled, Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

"We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

"It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

"It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.

"A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain.

"Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he's fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

"I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor (Sarah) Palin for all that they've achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

"I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

"And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation's next first lady Michelle Obama.

"Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the new White House.

"And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother's watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

"To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you've given me. I am grateful to them.

"And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best - the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

"To my chief strategist David Axelrod who's been a partner with me every step of the way. To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics, you made this happen and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

"But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

"I was never the likeliest candidate for this office.

"We didn't start with much money or many endorsements.

"Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

"It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give 5 and 10 and 20 to the cause.

"It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy, who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

"It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organised and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

"This is your victory.

"And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.

"You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

"Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

"There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage or pay their doctors' bills or save enough for their child's college education.

"There's new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

"I promise you, we as a people will get there.

"There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.

"But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

"What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

"It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

"Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

"In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

"Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

"Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

"To those - to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

"That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

"This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight's about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

"She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the colour of her skin.

"And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

"At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

"When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

"When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

"She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that 'We Shall Overcome'. Yes we can.

"A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

"And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

"Yes we can.

"America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

"This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

"Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."
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