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Monday, Jan 16th

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US navy fired 'warning shots' at Iranian patrol boats

Navy fires warning shots at Irani shipA US navy destroyer has fired multiple warning shots at Iranian patrol boats near the entrance of the Gulf, according to US defence officials.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats allegedly opened fire at the USS Mahan on Sunday, which was passing through the Strait of Hormuz, when they sped towards it.

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New Army regulations allow for turbans, beards and religious garb

New army regulations for religious dress, beardsThe U.S. Army announced a new policy that permits religious exemptions for uniform regulations, allowing for beards, turbans, hijabs and other signs of religious devotion.

The policy, which can be overturned by the incoming Trump administration, allows brigade commanders to grant permission for religious garb, rather than previous rules that called for individual soldiers to petition the secretary of the Army. The new rule makes it easier for Sikhs, Muslims and members of other religious groups to wear outward signs of devotion. Commanders are permitted to deny an exemption if they feel the soldier does not have a sincerely held religious belief or if it poses a "concrete hazard" to the soldier.

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3 Women Make History As The Marines’ First Female Infantrymen

3 Women Make History as InfantrymenThree women have made strides to become the first female members of a Marine Corps infantry unit, and along the way have changed the military branch from the inside out.

The women ― whose names and ranks aren’t being released ― will join the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines in North Carolina, Corps spokesman Capt. Philip Kulczewski told The Huffington Post. They’ll be reporting for duty as a rifleman, machine gunner and mortar Marine.

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The Gabby: Navy to commission USS Gabrielle Giffords

USS Gabrielle GiffordssA naval program that has become a target for critics is preparing to commission a new vessel named after a well-known shooting survivor.

The USS Gabrielle Giffords, constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, has completed testing in the Gulf of Mexico and is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2017. The company handed over the $475 million ship to the Navy on Friday.

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Military targets handling of misconduct cases

Ash CarterMilitary leaders are trying to fix the lengthy, inconsistent process for investigating senior officers accused of misconduct, The Associated Press has learned. They are seeking to change a hodgepodge system in which investigations can drag on for years while taxpayers pay six-figure salaries to officers relegated to mid-level administrative posts.

Trust in the disciplinary system "is strained," the chiefs of the four military services said in a memo to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The memo was obtained by The Associated Press.

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Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste

Pentagon waste hiddenThe Pentagon on Tuesday played down a study that found $125 billion of waste in its business operations, saying it had “limited value.”

The Washington Post, in an article co-written by Bob Woodward, reported the study had been purposely buried by the Pentagon amid fears that Congress would use it to slash military spending.

Peter Cook, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, told the Associated Press that the report was “well intentioned” but flawed. He said it didn’t take into account existing programs to improve efficiency and didn’t include specific “actionable recommendations appropriate to the department.”

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U.S. to return part of Okinawa military base to Japan

Air Station FutenmaU.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter on Tuesday said the United States will return some land on the Okinawa military base to Japan.

Carter made the announcement during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday said he would visit Pearl Harbor in late December -- making him the first Japanese leader to pay tribute to victims of Japan's Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

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