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http://www.sportsrecruitment.com/userfiles/images/News%20Images/christmas%20Holly%20Transparent%20bg%20%28flipped%20hz%29.gifA Time for Families to Get Together…

 

 

So for Christians, it’s that time of the year again – the last few weeks leading up to Christmas.

 

 

Mind you, every year, I receive some pretty impressive Christmas cards from Buddhist, Shinto, Jewish, Muslim and even atheist friends & acquaintances and I know that their kids are often running around in Santa hats and eagerly awaiting their seasonal presents as well. With that in mind, I guess Christmas – if you cut out the difference in religious beliefs and adverts that emphasize modern day commercialism - is therefore better summed up as simply being ‘a time for families to get together’.

 

 

 

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Of course for many military servicemen & women deployed in conflict zones or carrying out peacekeeping operations, those attached to emergency services or other organizations responding to natural disasters that range from combating an outbreak of Ebola to assisting communities suffering from adverse weather incidents – there’s little chance that they will be able to make it home in time for Christmas.

 

 

 

For certain families, Christmas this year will be a sad time of the year - for over the past 12 months, they have suffered the agony of witnessing their loved ones kidnapped, abused, shot or beheaded by the so called fanatics that term themselves as the Islamic State: a well misplaced title if ever there was one as their murderous actions are about as far as you can get from the true Islamic religion. These terrorists are simply perverting a religion to spread their misguided Dark Ages ideology, radicalize young minds and cause mayhem. So forget ‘Peace & Goodwill to All Men’ when it comes to ISIS. They have no intention of working towards peace and certainly have no goodwill in their hearts. They and other primitive groups who support their ideals are a barbaric insult to humanity and the world will be better off without them.

 

 

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Unfortunately, our fragile blue planet is in serious trouble. The bombs & missiles will still have to fall on ISIS positions because brute force is the only language Islamic terrorists understand.

 

 

You cannot negotiate with evil. You cannot allow jihadists to rule the world, kill & butcher with impunity, split up families or make thousands homeless.

 

 

 

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Wherever you look these days in our world, terrorists are plotting to or bringing death & destruction to our communities and innocent civilians are in their sights and that could include you! Then you have those power crazed individuals who run their countries with an iron fist, abuse their people and also break every human rights & women’s rights law with rape, torture and death. Meanwhile, the human traffickers and drug barons ply their trade within their own world of despair, filth & degradation. Greed is their creed.  Pedophiles hiding in the shadows endanger the kids; pimps on the street target defenseless women & girls. The word slavery is firmly back on the agenda for the first time in nearly 200 years. It all seems a long way from the idea of a Merry Christmas.

 

 

 So as you sit down with your family in the U.S on Thanksgiving Day and slice that turkey or collapse on a sofa in the UK on Christmas Day surrounded by wrapping paper and that last mince pie – spare a thought for those attempting to make our world a safer place – the military and linked services deployed on duty at home or far away over the festive season.

 

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Remember those working over Christmas to keep essential services operating; police, fire, medical & ambulance personnel.

 

 

 

Last not least, among the many who will miss Christmas at home are those serving on ships around the world.

 

 

 

In fact, wherever you are based - don’t forget all the guys & girls who just can’t be there for Christmas: their families home alone.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NNS141218-08. Vice CNO Visits Naval Station Guantanamo Bay

 

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By Kelly Wirfel, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Public Affairs



GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Michelle Howard visited Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay, Dec. 15-16.

 



During the visit, Howard toured the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (JTF), enlisted barracks, pier facilities, and the desalination and power plant.

 

 

She also conducted an all-hands call for more than 500 Sailors, Coast Guardsman and Marines stationed at NS Guantanamo Bay. Howard opened the all-hands call with her main priorities as VCNO.

 



"When I first took office I told the CNO that there were two things I want to focus on; one is gender integration and one is cyber awareness," said Howard. "I believe that if we want to be good leaders we must be more conscious of the group that we are leading and how they do things differently."

 



During her speech she touched on the importance of increasing the percentage of females in the military from the current percentage of 17 to 25 percent in order to normalize relationships within the Navy and create better command climates.

 



"Along with the gender integration I want to touch on environment and relationships," said Howard. "We need to create climates where folks are used to dealing with and understanding each other's cultures and differences."

 



She also shared with the audience the results from the most recent sexual assault survey.

 



"We learned that we have had less sexual assault in the last year than we have had in the previous two years, however we still had 5 percent of women and 2 percent of men report some type of sexual assault over the last year," said Howard. "We are still not at zero percent, but we are in a far better place than we were two years ago and we are in a much better place than we were 10 years ago. Although we are doing better, the goal is zero. There is no reason someone should have to endure any type of unwanted contact."

 



After discussing gender integration, environment and relationships she touched on cyber culture.

 



"Cyber has quickly become a domain and we do not have complete understanding of that across the services," said Howard. "We have operated and excelled in three dimensions of warfighting: air, surface, subsurface over the past 100 years after thousands of years focused only on sea and land, and now we must master a fourth dimension: the cyberspace domain. We must learn how to fight in this dimension, we have got to figure out how to defend in this dimension, and we have to figure out how to be offensive in this dimension."

 



She noted the importance of better educating the Navy team about the operational impact of cyber in order to transform the culture.

 



Following her remarks, Howard took questions from the audience, which ranged from big Navy issues to NS Guantanamo Bay specific issues, and closed by thanking the audience for their service

 

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"I want to wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays," she said. "I know does not go unnoticed."

 



Throughout her career Howard has been a pioneer. In 1999 she became the first African American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship. Howard was also the first African American woman in any branch of the military to wear three stars and most recently she became the first female promoted to the rank of four-star admiral.that being away from family on Christmas can be lonely, but I want you to know that I appreciate what you do for the Navy and what you are doing for this base. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed."

 



Throughout her career Howard has been a pioneer. In 1999 she became the first African American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship. Howard was also the first African American woman in any branch of the military to wear three stars and most recently she became the first female promoted to the rank of four-star admiral.

 

 

US Army to launch first JLENS aerostat next week

 

JLENS aerostat

The US Army is set to launch the first of two joint land-attack cruise missile defence elevated netted sensor (JLENS) tethered aerostats at Graces Quarters, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland, next week for a three-year evaluation period.

Equipped with a radar system that can detect cruise missiles threats in an area ranging from upstate New York to south of Norfolk, Virginia, US, the 250ft blimp-like aerostat will be tethered to the ground at all times and float at an elevation of approximately 10,000ft.

The evaluation period aims to demonstrate that the aerostat can be successfully integrated into existing North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) systems, which are designed to protect airspace over the East Coast of the US, covering New York City, Baltimore, and Washington.

263rd Army Air Defense Command lieutenant colonel William Pitts said: "We've already answered the question, 'Is it effective against cruise missiles?'"

"There are plenty of tests that show we can see those things.

"Now the question is, when I put it here in the homeland and plug it into all the NORAD command-and-control systems, how does it integrate and how does it enable the other systems to do their job better? All those command and control nodes can leverage the data off the aerostat to provide some of that early awareness."

"The 250ft blimp-like aerostat will be tethered to the ground at all times and float at an elevation of approximately 10,000ft."

A second JLENS aerostat is scheduled to be launched at APG's nearby Edgewood Section in 2015.

If a cruise missile were to enter the area observed by the two aerostats, the information collected by them would be fed into existing NORAD Eastern Air Defence Sectors systems to eventually destroy the missile using aircraft launched munitions, ground-based air defence systems or aegis combat systems.

The aerostats can produce a more comprehensive picture of the area they are meant to protect than current ground-based radar systems, which have limited ability to detect threats and stay aloft for 30 days at a time, coming down only for maintenance or because of severe weather.

Aerostat's operations will be run by 100 soldiers from Alpha Company, 3rd Air Defense Artillery, which is part of the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. A total of eight soldiers will be responsible for the actual operations of the aerostat, with another crew operating the radar system.


Image: The US Army plans to launch the first JLENS aerostat next week at Graces Quarters, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, US. Photo: courtesy of C. Todd Lopez.

 

 

NNS141218-10.

Wharf Extension on Guam Improves Support for Navy Mission

By Leah Eclavea, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The Tango Wharf extension ribbon-cutting ceremony on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG), was conducted Dec. 18 to celebrate the improvements in infrastructure and capabilities the base can provide to support the Navy's mission.

"This is a commitment at the end of the day and it's a commitment by the United States of America," said Capt. Andy Anderson, commanding officer, NBG. "It's a commitment by the armed forces to our regional and strategic partners throughout this area."

The purpose for the extension to the wharf was to provide infrastructure, improvements and utilities for cold iron berthing for transient ships such as those within an Amphibious Readiness Group, its combatant escort ships and the Joint High Speed Vessel.

"You look at this wharf and what it will provide, with regards to the Joint High Speed Vessel, with regards to the Amphibious Ready Group, and with the pivot to the Pacific," Anderson said. "This is an incredible asset that will allow us to project power forward from the sovereign territory of the United States of America."

The cold iron berthing would give ships the capability to connect to an electrical power source at the wharf that allows the ship to turn off its main and auxiliary engines. These improvements are necessary to support the relocation of the III Marine Expeditionary Forces from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam.

"To look close at what was done here was quite a feat and I think of the warfighter; I think of projecting power, as Andy said, and being able to be at the forefront in this world to defend the world and I say that because I think we have the best Navy in the world," said Capt. Douglas King, executive officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas.

A 1993 earthquake struck the island and damaged Tango Wharf, leaving the structure unusable. A previous project repaired part of the wharf, however approximately 315 feet remained unimproved.

NAVFAC Marianas awarded the contract to Overland Federal and HNTB Corporation Nov. 28, 2012. The project was completed Sept. 30, with a final cost of $14.9 million.

The new Tango Wharf has new mooring and berthing systems, and utilities and wharf storm drainage systems as well as structural improvements that can resist seismic and typhoon conditions.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.

 

 

“Break A Leg”

 

Film, TV & Theater Censorship is Changing!

 

New classifications include:

 

U = Under Surveillance but not yet hacked

A = Adverse Comment Against N.Korea   

Not for public viewing

X = View this film and suffer a deadly virus

 

 

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Now that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has become – via threats, security concerns and a white flag flying over Sony Studios - an accepted censor of Hollywood and the international film industry, perhaps the Supreme Leader will arrange for further cancellations of the 2015 movie release schedule.

 

 

For a start, in January, one major studio plans to screen ‘Taken 3’. This might be associated with innocent civilians in N.Korea that have been abducted and imprisoned in especially harsh labor camps. In Kim’s world, they don’t just ‘Break A leg’ – they break people. Following Sony Studios cancelling the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview," a comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - fallout from the Sony hack has also resulted in a New Regency film tentatively titled "Pyongyang" and starring Steve Carell as being "a production that will not be moving forward." They have even cut the February release of the DVD on ‘The Interview’. The new film ‘A Most Violent Year’ is therefore certainly out: that title might be seen as a reference to day to day politics in the capital.

 

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February’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ could be perceived as an adverse comment on the Supreme Leader’s fashion sense and the release of ‘The Coup’ in March might give members of the N.Korean military dangerous ideas! Later in 2015 ‘Hitman – Agent 47’ suggests assassinations and ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2’ is obviously going to be a documentary on the plight of a starving population.  You have to draw the line somewhere.

 

 

Yes, you have to draw a line but that should be against any government, organization, terrorist group or hacker that makes threats – be they violent ones or a simple case of ‘comply or be infected’. Sony should immediately release ‘The Interview’ on line and make it available to the entire world. A dangerous precedent has been set by Sony & cinema groups capitulating in the way that they have: giving in to cyber terrorism.

 

 

If we are not careful, the Islamic State will succeed in having all future films and TV productions made in black & white. They might even ban Christmas! Boko Harem will be given a seat on the Oscars Committee and Putin & the White Walkers receive a BAFTA for the outstanding documentary ‘Crimea is only the first step’.

 

 

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But it’s not all bad news. Following recent diplomatic moves by the Obama administration, the US car industry will now be able to replace all of those 1950 automobiles in Havana with shining new models – perhaps Jeep’s 4X4 ‘Revolution’ or maybe the ‘Lexus Castro’ and you will be able to smoke top quality Cuban cigars with impunity as you are clearly seen through the haze of smoke as helping “cut loose the shackles of the past” and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.

 

 

Given time, Cuba might be given the opportunity of joining NATO and the US defense industry might be able to export a few missiles over there.

 

 

“Break A Leg” – don’t worry, at least with Cuba – the country has very good medical facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

Editors in Atlanta couldn’t resist this post sent to them from Facebook:

 

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General: US Troops To Stay in Poland, Baltics Through 2015

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE   |  

 

US soldiers await the order to march in the Latvia Day Parade on Nov. 18 in Riga, Latvia.

US soldiers await the order to march in the Latvia Day Parade on Nov. 18 in Riga, Latvia. (Staff Sgt. Kenneth C. Upsall / US Army)

 

US troops will remain in Poland and the Baltic states through 2015 “to deter Russian aggression,” the top US commander for Europe said on Sunday.

“There are going to be US Army forces here in Lithuania as well as Estonia and Latvia and Poland for as long as it’s required to deter Russian aggression,” said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of US Army Europe.

“We have planned rotations out through next year. Units are designated that will continue to do this,” he told reporters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

The United States sent about 600 troops in April to the ex-Soviet Baltic states and former Warsaw Pact member Poland in response to tension with Russia over the war in Ukraine.

European NATO allies have also deployed hundreds of troops for exercises in recent months. The alliance has also boosted its air force presence in the region.

Hodges said NATO should guard its unity at a time when Russia is “trying to intimidate” it’s neighbors with military drills and frequent violation of their airspace.

“The discipline, unity of the nations is really very important at this point, so that a small incident doesn’t lead to something that didn’t have to happen,” the general said.

NATO has accused Moscow of sending troops to fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine. Moscow denies involvement in the fighting, although it openly gives the rebels political backing and non-lethal supplies.

 

 

 

 

UNITED KINGDOM

Forty Terror Plots' Foiled Since 7/7 Attacks

 

 Sky promo watch live

FOR FURTHER DATA & VIDEOS – VISIT

http://news.sky.com/story/1379349/forty-terror-plots-foiled-since-7-7-attacks

 

The Home Secretary is promising to end the payment of ransoms to terrorist groups as she outlines a series of new measures.

12:57, UK, Monday 24 November 2014

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More than 40 terror plots have been foiled by British security services since the 7/7 bombings in 2005, Theresa May has revealed.

The Home Secretary said the UK faces a "diverse" terror threat  - unmatched before or since 9/11 - and that the advance of Islamic State (IS) has given energy and a renewed sense of purpose to homegrown extremists.

"The security service believes that since the attacks on 7 July 2005 around 40 terrorist plots have been disrupted," she said.

"There have been attempts to conduct marauding Mumbai-style gun attacks on our streets, blow up the London Stock Exchange, bring down airliners, assassinate a British ambassador and murder serving members of our armed forces."

She also revealed that counter-terrorism officers have made 753 arrests since May 2010 - resulting in 138 terrorists being jailed and 13 people being extradited.

Mrs May was speaking as part of an anti-terror drive, which will also see new powers to force internet companies to hold data that could help identify the owner of a phone or computer. 

She promised to put an "end" to the payment of ransoms for terrorist groups by closing a loophole that can allow insurance companies to put forward the money.

It is already illegal for individuals to pay ransoms to groups because it counts as funding terrorism – but people covered against kidnapping have been able to ask insurance companies to make payments.

The UN estimates that Islamic State has raised £28m through ransoms in the past 12 months, and there are fears the payments encourage more kidnappings.

Schools, prisons and councils are to be required by law to put in place measures that would stop individuals from being drawn into terrorism.

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Mrs May said a statutory duty to deter radicalisation would be placed on named organisations and where they fail, ministers would be able to issue court-backed directions.

She said she would like to go further with internet companies - making them keep information on the websites and social media used by suspects, but the Lib Dems blocked the legislation, dubbed the "snoopers charter".

The new legislation will also strengthen Terrorism Prevention and Investigations Measures (TPims) to re-introduce powers in Labour's control orders to relocate terror suspects around the country.

She said: "This legislation is important. The substance is right. The time is right. And the way in which it has been developed is right.

"It is not a knee-jerk response to a sudden perceived threat. It is a properly-considered, thought-through set of proposals that will help to keep us safe at a time of very significant danger."

Alongside the new measures announced by the Home Secretary, police are appealing to the public and businesses for help tackling the threat posed by would-be terrorists.

Across the country, counter-terror officers will spend this week briefing more than 6,000 people at 80 venues including schools, universities, airports, shopping centres, cinemas and farms, in a bid to raise awareness of terrorism.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: "Police officers and our partners are continuing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect the UK from a terrorist attack.

"So far this year, we have disrupted several attack plots and made 271 arrests following counter-terrorism investigations, but the eyes and ears of law enforcement and other agencies alone cannot combat the threat."

 

 

 

 

 

China with CNN

Report: China building 'airstrip capable' island in disputed waters

By Katie Hunt,

CNN

November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)

 

Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated November 14, 2014 shows land reclamation operations under way at Fiery Cross Reef. Multiple operating dredgers provide the ability to generate terrain rapidly. Operating from a harbour area, dredgers deliver sediment via a network of piping. Image courtesy IHS Jane's Defense Weekly.Airbus Defence and Space imagery dated November 14, 2014 shows land reclamation operations under way at Fiery Cross Reef. Multiple operating dredgers provide the ability to generate terrain rapidly. Operating from a harbour area, dredgers deliver sediment via a network of piping. Image courtesy IHS Jane's Defense Weekly.

  • Jane's Defence Weekly: China building island in the South China Sea that could accommodate airstrip.
  • Waters are bitterly contested by Vietnam, Philippines and other countries in the region.
  • Report says land mass is more than 3,000 meters long and a harbor is also being built.
  • China says that construction is legitimate, will improve soldiers' living standards.

Hong Kong (CNN) -- China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate the country's first airstrip in bitterly contested waters, according to satellite images analyzed by IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.

Reclamation at Fiery Cross Reef on the western edge of the disputed Spratly islands is creating a land mass that is more than 3,000 meters (2 miles) long and between 200 to 300 meters (650 to 980 feet) wide -- large enough to construct a runway and apron, the publication said.

The South China Sea is the subject of numerous rival -- often messy -- territorial claims, with China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam disputing sovereignty of several island chains and nearby waters.

READ: Asia's disputed islands: Who claims what?

The areas in dispute include fertile fishing grounds and potentially rich reserves of undersea natural resources.

Jane's said that Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan had built airfields on reefs and islands in the contested waters.

"The work at Fiery Cross thus brings parity but is likely to cause alarm among the other claimants," the report said.

"Given its massive military advantage over the other claimants in terms of quantity and quality of materiel, this facility appears purpose-built to coerce other claimants into relinquishing their claims and possessions, or at least provide China with a much stronger negotiating position if talks over the dispute were ever held."

The report said that dredgers were creating a harbor large enough to receive tankers and warships.

Construction 'legitimate'

But Maj. General Luo Yuan of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) told the state-run Global Times that construction was justifiable and that the infrastructure would improve the living standards of soldiers stationed there.

"The construction and maintenance of facilities and other activities we conducted on these islands are within our sovereign rights and they are legitimate," he added.

At a briefing on Monday, Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that China has "indisputable sovereignty" over the islands in the South China Sea and said the construction would help in case of search and rescue efforts.

China's stance on maritime disputes has put it at odds with many of its smaller neighbors.

Earlier this year, it moved an oil rig near the disputed Paracel Islands triggering anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam.

Relations have also soured with the Philippines.

On Monday, a Philippines court convicted nine Chinese fishermen of poaching hundreds of endangered giant sea turtles from a disputed shoal in the South China Sea. They were each fined nearly $103,000 but face no jail term.

Diplomatic initiatives

The United States has supported efforts by regional group ASEAN to draw up a code of conduct to defuse maritime disputes, but China has said it prefers to deal with the issue bilaterally.

On Friday, a Pentagon spokesman told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the U.S. wanted China to stop its land reclamation program and engage in diplomatic initiatives.

In a speech at the G20 summit earlier this month, President Barack Obama said the U.S. planned to deepen its diplomatic and military engagement in Asia and would work to ensure that big nations don't "bully the small."

An editorial posted in the Global Times, said that Vietnam, the Philippines and the U.S. should "get used" to China's island construction and its more frequent presence in the seas.

 

 

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INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

NCIS


The Story of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS): the federal law enforcement agency charged with conducting investigations of felony-level offenses affecting the Navy and Marine Corps – that is, crimes punishable by confinement for more than one year.  NCIS also performs investigations and operations aimed at identifying and neutralizing foreign intelligence, international terrorists, and cyber threats to the Department of the Navy.  In addition, it provides warning of threats and specialized defensive force protection support to U.S. naval forces around the world.

 

 

 

 

VOTE VOTE VOTE

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There was a time in the United Kingdom when the Prime Minister of the day (regardless of political party) would occasionally have to make the sole decision on the deployment of armed forces: in response to an act of war, genocide, terrorism or for that matter – act immediately on anything that might be seen as a direct threat to the country.

 

Britain had a name for standing up against overseas tyranny – fascism, evil, abuse of human rights: protecting the innocent regardless of location, nationality, gender, religion or creed. The ‘Brits’ were not slow to respond to injustice; support allies and take appropriate measures.

 

Having made a clear decision – parliament would then (within hours) be informed of actions taken. After all, Prime Ministers are elected by the people and the public presume he or she will always have the nation’s best interests & values at heart. Sometimes those choices are very difficult: often unavoidable and usually time is of the essence.

 

Today, that’s all changed!

 

 

 

 

 

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Libyan Troops in Trouble.

 

Rape & Sexual Assault Allegations.

 

 

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More than 300 Libyan soldiers training in Britain are sent home early amid allegations of a series of sexual assaults

and rapes during their stay. The Ministry of Defence says it will review its program for supporting the Libyan forces,

including whether they should be trained in the UK, after two cadets admitted sexual assault and two more were

charged with rape. Another cadet is charged with sexual assault. All separate cases!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haiyan one year on:

With UNDP help, slowly getting back to normal

 



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“I lost my job in the beauty salon which was looted empty right after the typhoon and was very worried for my family, ” says Marina. Photo: UNDP Philippines

 

 

“I remember how scared everyone was,” says Marina Delubio, a resident of Barangay 88, one of the biggest suburbs of Tacloban City.

 “We were clinging to the rafters of our semi-concrete house but it sounded like the fury of the winds and the tsunami-like waves were still going to take us all away.

My family and I were happy to survive, but in the next few hours we realized that we were left with nothing.”

One year ago, when Typhoon Haiyan struck Barangay 88, it left 80 percent of the homes completely destroyed, and the streets littered with bodies.

The storm also caused massive destruction to public and commercial infrastructure, leaving most of the 2,500 families who live in the barangay without livelihood.

“I lost my job in the beauty salon which was looted empty right after the typhoon and was very worried for my family, ” says Marina 

– a single mother of one and a breadwinner for four nephews and nieces, and an ailing 86 year-old mother.  

In the first few days following the disaster, UNDP was active at the devastated site, starting to remove debris and establishing an emergency source of income for those affected by the worst ever storm to hit the Philippines.  

“In those early days it was vital to restore a sense of normalcy to the hundreds of thousands of affected people in Tacloban and the surrounding areas,” says Mr. James Abdul, Area Coordinator of UNDP’s Haiyan Response Programme. “Within days we had started a programme of cash-for-work, giving locals jobs to clear debris and dead bodies – so emergency services could operate and people could access schools, health clinics, roads and markets.”

In Barangay 88, this helped restore access to work and to local services for hundreds of families who lost their livelihoods.

“UNDP was among the first to provide assistance to us,” says Barangay Captain Emilita Montalban. “I want to thank UNDP for clearing San Jose Central School, the health centre and the streets. Removing the debris gave us jobs and hope. UNDP was a lifeline for survival at a time of desolation and chaos.”

Barangay 88 then became the first recipient of cash grants from UNDP to help small businesses. These cash grants, given to 300 small enterprises in Tacloban City, as well as the Municipalities of Dulag, Tolosa and Palo, are helping to restore self-confidence among the worst affected business owners who lost capital or productive assets from the storm.

“One year on, I am able to venture into a new business using the cash grant,” says Marina. “With the money from UNDP,

I was able to start a food vending business and get back on my feet again. Today, we have a long way to go before we will have fully recovered but my family’s future is brighter because I have been able to maintain an income duringthis critical time.”

Today, Barangay 88 is a much happier place than it was one year ago. Building has begun and many homes and businesses are now restored.  According to Barangay Captain Montalban, about 60 percent of the more than 1,600 homes that were destroyed by the storm are being repaired. At the same time, nearly 400 displaced families have been relocated to transitional shelters.

But the road to recovery is a long one. UNDP has begun the process by providing emergency income in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and in the future it will help the government to map the areas that remain most vulnerable to future disasters. In Barangay 88, a pilot of this mapping programme is already helping families to resettle - with government assistance - to areas that are less dangerous.

But for Marina, the recovery is happening one day at a time. “We have a long way to go – but the worst is behind us.

Typhoon Yolanda [as Haiyan is known locally] took away our means of survival but it left us with hope and a

strong, resilient spirit,” she says.

 

 

 

 

UN Goodwill Ambassador Receives Islamic State Styled Death Threat

 

 

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Erin J Morgart

 

 

Reliable sources confirm to DIIA that Erin J Morgart, Ms United Nations and UN Goodwill Ambassador to Indonesia received a chilling email a few days ago ‘threatening her with beheading if certain demands were not met within 3 days”. 

NCIS (Navy Criminal Investigation Service) and the FBI were notified accordingly.

 

If the frightening email was genuinely from Islamic State or IS supporters based in the United States, it would fit in with the way that these barbaric terrorists intimidate, try to strike fear into anyone who does not agree with their warped ideology and generally make venomous attacks against the U.S, British and allies – when they are not busy crucifying, murdering or rapeing their way through peaceful global communities.

 

The world is slowly coming to the realization that young Muslims can be easily radicalized by clever but evil individuals who pervert Islam for their own vicious ends: targeting not only Christians and minority groups but other Muslims who will not bend to the words “You will comply”. The so called Islamic

State use Facebook and other social media sites to boast of their atrocities and the internet to con further young people to support their cause.

 

Erin J Morgart is of course a public figure and features heavily on the web: Hollywood actress, model, Showrunner/Executive Producer/Creator at Arianjebae

Media Production Group, author, journalist with qualifications from Harvard Medical School, recognition by Mensa and of course is known internationally as one of the world’s expert Celebrity Fitness Trainers. She is the Public Relations Executive Director to the International Emergency Response Citizens Corps (IERCC), has received honors and awards from the US House of Representatives, Congress and overseas dignitaries to name just a few of her achievements. She is passionate about helping those less fortunate – regardless of race, color, creed or gender. Erin has always supported the humanitarian efforts of US servicemen & women who assist local communities around the world and of course, the fact that she has trained US Navy special forces in fitness techniques could be considered a reason why she might be classified as a target.

 

 

It’s also true to say that although deranged & radicalized individuals have cut down a soldier on a London street, run over and killed others in Canada and added to the death toll of innocent military personnel by shooting the serviceman on duty at Ottawa’s War Memorial before attacking the nation’s parliament – the death threat received by Erin might not have anything to do with the Islamic State at all. For as the US, UK and European intelligence community detect, respond and close down hundreds of plots by Islamic extremists hell bent on causing mayhem on our home streets – unfortunately other ‘trolls’ (evil geeks as I would term them) target VIP’s, showbiz personalities and vulnerable women (as just a few examples) with threats of murder, rape or a litany of lies about their professional or private lives. There are too many sad people on the internet that simply want to hurt others because they think it’s clever, fun or gives them some form of power that hides their own pitiful inadequacies. It’s the uncertain world we live in.

 

But make no mistake, those carrying out atrocities, making threats and intimidating peaceful folk will eventually be defeated. Evil might win a battle but not the war. What’s more, Erin J Morgart is far from vulnerable. I once asked her how she became so successful as a Navy Fitness Trainer for the United States Department of Defense between January 2003 – December 2013 (11 years)…..

 

“Beat the living crap out of people LOL”, Erin replied with a beaming smile as she rushed off to a meeting as an Advisory Board Member at the US National Foster Youth Career Development Center.

 

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